If you like backdrops of tough, old timey England, and you like strong female characters with pluck, then read this book. You'll get all that and more with Fingersmith. This story pulled me in like a bedtime story for grown-ups. I felt I was on an magical ride with the heroine, caring about her ups and downs, and wishing it all lasted longer.
A lot disappointed me about The Farm. I did not care for the boring mom's endless, punishing recounting of her tale. I was staggered each time she repeated a mind-numbing detail, or produced a new, uninteresting storytelling device... A couple times I wondered if the author was deliberately trying to be boring. The Child 44 series was so outstanding, that I still love this author. But, please, TRS, no more like this one.
Troy is great but someone (him? the producer?) made the mistake of having him stretch out each sentence, the words read on the slow side, and between words there were a LOT of pauses.. it got to be irritating pretty fast.
The story may have been good if I read it with my eyes instead of listening to it, I don't know. It was hard to give the story a fair shake with such slooooow reading. Even when I put it on 1.5 speed, it wasn't a real fix because Troy's awesome voice got compromised, lost some of it's gravitas and it's gravely quality.
This book was SO out there and weird - in a great, way. It's fresh, imaginative, surprising, playful... I'm loving your talent, Mr Croshaw!
Jam is not a typical example of the genre, but it's post-apocalyptic, and I love post-apocalyptic novels. But what I liked BEST... hm... probably the wild creativity. The idea of the Jam, itself, and the odd characters.
This has the dense Harlan Coban weave of relationships and plot lines that he's loved for, it's got the freshness of a female detective character, and there is also some material about youth today, technology, and of course love-angst. I really enjoyed it. I almost didn't get this audiobook because I found the audio sample to be of a rather "meh" moment in a bar. I'm glad I took the risk because it was really good! I don't agree that Harlan can't do women - he did great with her.
I liked Fingersmith, loved The Little Stranger, and hoped for a lot more from The Night Watch. I see that Sarah Walters wrote this novel with 3 goals... goals which she does indeed accomplish, but none of which are too concerned with plot: 1) Portraying daily life in WW2 London with surprising and interesting detail 2) Gay storylines 3) Diving deeply into her characters lives... even the most colorless details. There really was very little plot. If you fall in love with her characters, you may love the book. I liked the characters, but I was bored a lot and needed more. There was one scene I liked because it was concerned with human nature and personal awareness... it's where an older, wiser character schools a younger character regarding "the cinema"... I wanted more like that. I also wanted a plot, and I would have loved a thoughtful surprise like the answer behind The Little Stranger.
I enjoyed the protagonist's gloomy imperfection, his thought process, his worries, and the quirky details of his old-timey medical practice. I loved that one of the female characters is homely, and how her homeliness was experienced by the protagonist. However it was the mystery of the house.. the reason behind the bizarre goings-on that make this book outstanding. The author's inspired idea for this, and her unhurried reveal made me want to stand up and clap.
Stephen King is a craftsman with a beautiful literary voice. His words flow casually and perfectly, and culminate in so many brilliant phrasings... it's like he's nonchalantly tossing pearls in the air! I have been talking about his skill with friends, and I have been told that IT is one of his best works. I recommend IT strongly, especially since the reader, Stephen Weber, is also outstanding. Weber has an impressive vocal range, and he has the instinct and talent of a performer.... bringing an energetic cadence to sentences that you know others would read flatly. I think listening to Weber read brought more to the novel than my own mind would have, had I read it myself.
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