I enjoyed this listen, but would strongly warn those easily offended by violence, racial slurs, bias, language, and the like to choose an alternative. That said, this novel takes some time getting started as a good deal of time is devoted to establishing main character back story, but upon the discovery of "The Dahlia," the plot snaps along without losing any momentum or quality. Sometimes depressing, sometimes outright funny, sometimes uplifting, this novel easily takes its rightful place within the Noir/Crime genre, and for those who enjoyed "L.A. Confidential," it is a sure bet. **Bonus author interview included wherein author identifies his thought processes and motivations associated with the writing of "The Black Dahlia."
Seriously, I have read FanFiction that had more integrity, thought, and plot. The narrator was, without a doubt, the very worst choice ever to have been selected, and left me, for the most part, laughing until I cried. I have never NOT finished a book from audible before this sorry selection, but discovered, by chapter nine, a complete lack of interest in continuing further. My best suggestion is this: If you are looking for erotica, that which is less overtly sophomoric, with a bit more substance, try Anne Rice.
I'd like to think that Roy Dotrice simply was not available to narrate this book, rather than find that the powers that be at Random House felt that his absence would not be noticed, or that John Lee's mispronunciation of well loved character's names would be easily set aside, as the story itself was so engrossing. No. The story was not engrossing, and Mr. Lee made it difficult to even recognize beloved characters, as they all sounded rather haughty, and much the same. Not so with Roy Dotrice. It was a stupid move, and one I am pleased they have corrected for A Dance with Dragons. Narration Rant over.
For the previous three books in this series, I literally could not stop listening! I found traffic to drive in just to extend my listen. Seriously. So, imagine my surprise when I found myself FF through whole sections, not simply because of the narrator, but because I could not manage to become invested in the main character POV's in A Feast For Crows. Even those POV's which continued from the previous books remained unfamiliar "in their own skin," so to speak. I wouldn't say this would be a waste of 2 credits, but one might want to actually read this one page by page, rather than listen. All hail Roy Dotrice, who paints pictures in my mind with his voice!!
Do NOT hesitate to obtain this offering from King...In top form, can not put it down, page turner...Absolutely worth it. ENJOY!!
For King fans, this listen will be a bit more cerebral, and a good deal less traditional King Creepshow. From that perspective, Lisey's Story is a masterpiece of fiction, seasoned by King's ability to transform the mundane aspects of life into otherworldly, magical elements. It becomes almost autobiographical in the detailed journey through the details held within writer's imagination, The Pool, and the reader's ability to hitch a ride for a voyeuristic dip. Not a traditional horror format, Lisey's Story is a personal description of the ways and means of authorship, the guts of the writer's mind, and the interaction between the real world and The Pool, just under the surface, but not available to all, offered not to frighten, but rather validate and explain.
In the tradition of gothic genre, I found this novel quite entertaining. Some parts were a bit overly sentimental, frought with musical overtures, and melodramatic, but such things did not completely destroy the entertainment value. Comparative to other novels which I have paid more for, but whose value and quality were non-existent after listening, I would suggest that this is the best $13.00 download I have ever purchased, whose quality far outweights the price of purchase.
Don't waste your credit on this. Usually I enjoy Brown's books, but this one is simply not worth the time or energy, it's inherent flaws too numerous to list here. Suffice to say, the author phoned it in and were no stars allowed in submission, this review would reflect it.
I loved listening to this book about as much as King clearly loved writing it. Don't miss the "bonus" interview with King at the end. There seems to be a little something extra added when King reads his own work, the dialect, the inflections, the "yankee" accents. My only complaint is that Audible does not carry the entire King library of work as I would dearly love to listen to "Misery" in English, rather than the offered Spanish. The possiblity of hearing King vocalizing "Dirty Birdy" would be worth the cost alone. But I digress....
I purchased this book because of the Stephen King recommendation, and I find I must agree with him. After listening to "Bag Of Bones," by King, there follows an interview in which King details what he believes comprises a good novel, character development, thoughtful story, solid presentation, etc. Perhaps it was better that I had knowledge of his review criteria prior to listening to "The Ruins" as it prepared me, allowed for an educated guess, or simply provided the boundries by which to measure expectations. Regardless, this novel was outstanding and to my mind very reminicent of "The Lord of the Flies" or "Heart of Darkness" in which the "horror" aspect comes from within, rather than without, the character's and reader's minds. Oftentimes people are more comfortable with a fiendish creature, something apart from us, which we can name, detail, a direct our fears and anger towards. This novel, and the aforementioned, make it difficult to separate the horror from the human, and in this they mark their purpose, their theme and thesis....there is nothing more horrifying than that which one human being can inflict on oneself or others....we are the evil, and given the chance, we find ways to florish, like vines. Read it, you'll see what I mean.
As an insatiable devotee to "Forensic Files," "City Confidential," and "American Justice," I could not wait to download and listen to Rule's "Breath." Though I was somewhat familiar with the subject matter, I found Rule's telling, complete with details not covered within any of the aforementioned television programs, entertaining, educational, and interesting. Her grasp of the criminal mind, and her ability to present it for the layman, are what drive the content of "Breath," and render it difficult to abandon once started. I strongly recommend both of the Rule books available at this site, and would encourage Audible to aquire those works outstanding.
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