I was really looking forward to the profound insights of a seasoned traveler with a sophisticated cultural palate. Halfway through the book, I was still hopeful. All I got was what to hate about China (pretty much everything) and why (it stinks, you can't breathe, Mao is still god, everything is fake, what isn't fake is being either destroyed or copied into obscurity, the people are rude and mean-spirited when they aren't inscrutable, and the culture is inexplicable - but the food is great if you like eating poisonous invertebrates, western pets, genital organs, and raw meat).
And some of the insights _not_ offered up were amazing. How could you wander innocently into a gay bar and order a drink without recognizing the place for what it was (whimsically punching in the only floor number that was unlabelled in the elevator might at least have been a reason to be wary)? Or worse, what American male, having just checked into a seedy motel in the middle of the night, could honestly say that he doesn't know what the girl on the other end of the line is offering when she says, "Ma'sah'gee"? And what about the young man who assaulted him by the ATM, screaming at him and repeatedly slapping the back of his head - why tell me about the incident without offering any sort of interpretation, however naive or biased?
A co-worker was born in China, and while she admits she would not want to raise her children there, she did appreciate the view from Tai Shan (Mr. Troost claims one cannot see more than 10 feet in any one direction through the smog). Nobody she knows thinks highly of Mao and his likeness is not everywhere.
I give it one star for the deliciously sarcastic wit, which carried me through the first couple chapters before it got old, and after that it was
Audible, can I get a credit refunded? I will happily delete the files and forget I ever heard of the book.
I had no idea the narrators of these stories were married, and the knowledge brings a whole new dimension to the interplay between the female and male voices in the books. I also loved getting to know them a little bit better, and hearing about some of the challenges of reading these stories.
I have always loved Jeeves stories, and when I got this collection among my first Audible purchases, it quickly became my fallback whenever I had finished a heavier book and wanted something light to fill in before picking up another. I think I've listened to it at least a couple dozen times now, and I still enjoy it. Sure, I've got the stories practically memorized, and the plots will never surprise me, but they're still worth a chuckle. I only wish I had known that all the Jeeves stories in this book were reprinted in Carry On, Jeeves before I bought that one as well. If buying the books in print, I would rather have had the full Jeeves collection in Carry On, Jeeves, minus the Reggie Pepper stories in My Man Jeeves, which I've never found quite as entertaining.
For that reason, I'd give it two stars if not for Simon Prebble's narration. I think he makes a far better Jeeves than any other I've heard so far, and his renderings of some of the elderly relatives in the stories make it worth listening to some of them twice in a row just to hear a specific passage again. The one that comes to mind most is the uncle's shock and outrage upon seeing the portrait for the first time in the Hard-Boiled Egg. Definitely recommended. If only Prebble had narrated the other Jeeves books on Audible.
This read like a Hardy Boys story. I kept expecting some plot twist to save it, but none ever came. The girl showed some promise in the beginning as a wildcard, like maybe she would show up her husband in his own line of work, but no such luck. She ended up being only marginally helpful. Everything was completely predictable. The detective's reasoning was nothing special, and every other character behaved exactly as you'd expect from the first impression.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.