I love Neil Gaiman -- his stories are so fresh and original, his characters so beautifully drawn, and his voice makes me swoon. My only complaint about this story is that it's too short! This isn't really a novel; it's a novella. I was so sorry to have it come to an end, but so satisfied by the end, too. How I love the Hempstock women! Gaiman gives his female characters the depth, strength and complexity that they deserve but often fail to get at the hands of male authors. This is a dark story with some creepy details (that worm!) that I can't get out of my mind -- definitely not for kids, but it's not a horror story, either. Another wonderful tale from a master storyteller.
Witty and droll English humor, delightfully bizarre characters (well, Death isn't so delightful) and satirical examinations of Biblical prophesy, pop culture, British roadways, food & diet obsession, our many human failings and frailties, and more. The narrator is superb, presenting a huge cast of characters each with his or her own distinct, spot-on voice. I startled more than a few strangers when I laughed out loud while grocery shopping and taking a walk. Perfect summer listen!
The author masterfully weaves specific stories - of individuals, the Depression, the Dust Bowl, the rise of Nazism and the world's indifference, the sport and art and zen of rowing -- into a moving, thrilling, sometimes horrifying tale of the power of the human spirit. A beautiful story well-read. Loved it!
I downloaded this audiobook based on listener reviews, my love of the Arthurian legend, and Davina Porter as the narrator. She's the only good thing about this tedious book. There's little character development and a lot of suggestive sex scenes, which aren't even very erotic, just rather amateurish in style. I quit half-way through because I couldn't bear the repetitious, overwrought internal monologues of Morgane and Guinevere. Hope I can get my credit back. What a disappointment!
What a thoroughly original take on a story that's been told many times before. Beautifully written and sensitively narrated. I laughed and wept. A piece of advice -- thumb through the print version of the book to see how the author lays out the stories within the story, the headlines and other narrative devices. I won't give it away, but it's very creative.
Well-written, imaginative story, great characters. Multiple voices worked sometimes but not all the time. An odd choice to switch to a different reader who then does all the characters. Ender's voice should be Ender's, Valentine's should always be the same, etc. Confusing at times. This gets totally out of hand in the second volume, Speaker for the Dead, which I had to return because the narration was so dreadful. A shame because the story is even better than Ender's Game. Guess I'll read the rest of the series in print.
Thank you, Louise Penny, for writing the most riveting, moving, suspenseful, and beautiful book of the series, and thank you for ALL the books in this series. Thank you, Ralph Cosham, for bringing these characters to life in my head with such skill and care. How I love them all! There are moments when I held my breath in fear and moments when I laughed out loud. Thank you both for creating a world and a group of people whom I feel honored to know and to have spent so much time with. It was time well-spent. But now the book is over - what'll I do now? Guess I'll just have to start the series over again! For those just discovering the series -- read them in order, PLEASE! You'll enjoy them so much more as you get to know the characters and hear the plot lines develop from book to book. I envy people just discovering Three Pines for the first time -- lucky you to have stumbled into this magical little village. Enjoy!
I am completely hooked on this series, in love with the characters, fascinated by the world that Louise Penny has created. This novel also offers a lot of Quebec history and we spend time in one of my favorite places - Quebec City, particularly the old walled city. I enjoyed the interwoven plots -- 3 of them -- and the further development of both Gamache's and Beauvoir's characters. I was a bit frustrated with the extensive recap of a previous story -- that usually drives me crazy in series. Here, though there's enough that's new that it's not all repetition. Most of all, I love Penny's exploration of the human heart. So many wonderful insights about grief and loss and love and hate. I like that her characters have depth and complexity. But they're also reliable -- Ruth, Clara, Gabri, Myrna. How I wish I could sit with them all in front of the fire at the Bistro and eat some of that amazing food that Penny is always writing about. Her books make me hungry - for more! Can't wait to download the next one.
I so enjoy spending time with these characters in Three Pines. How I wish I lived there! This mystery has a number of layers and reveals more about CI Gamache's past. It's darker, more serious but still filled with the wit and warmth and lovely literary allusions that make these stories such a delight. Can't wait to listen to #4. I'm missing Ruth and Clara already!
I'd love to live in this town and know these people. While the mystery was less believable than the first book, the larger stories of friendship, sorrow, cruelty and caring as conveyed by an endearing cast of characters make this book well worth the listen. I enjoyed the narrator more in this book than in the first one -- better differentiation of characters, with some wonderful voices. I look forward to downloading book 3 in the series. I miss these wonderful people already!
I found the story very enjoyable -- evocative, refreshing setting (tiny village in Quebec in the autumn), interesting and well-drawn characters, and some really lovely writing. I wanted to have a cafe au lait and croissant in that bistro and sit around the fire with these endearing people. My only quibble is with the narrator. I thought he was great for CI Gamache, but he had too little variation in tone and style for the other characters. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was speaking. With such a large cast of characters, that's especially important, and I found it frustrating. Regardless, I'm going to download the next in the series. A fun summer listen.
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