As a girl, I tried...really tried...to like Little Women for my Mom's sake. I even received a set of dolls for Christmas, Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth.I tried to treasure them like Mom did. Couldn't. The book was just too sweet and nicey nice.
March was almost 180 degrees in the opposite direction. There was nothing "nice" about this character. He was kind of pathetic in his never ending lapses. He came close to being human, but seemed to lack the ability to get out of his academic, hopelessly idealistic dream world. Not even the interesting character Grace or his beleaguered wife Marmee (what an awful name!!!) could penetrate his shell.
I thought the narrator adopted the perfect tone for March. While reciting the sometimes flowery phrases, he revealed the flaws that plagued him.
Not my favorite book, but I'm glad I persisted. I liked the author's afterwords. Turns out she shared my feelings about Little Women. I'm grateful to her for bringing us March to improve my reactions to the entire package.
I hate when this happens. I wanted Nete Harminson to get her revenge on the cruel individuals who took away her future and her dreams. Curt Wad, a particularly heinous member of this cast becomes the center of attention for Department Q. Sensing the threat posed by Carl and his team, Wad plans to eliminate them one by one. In this fourth book of the series, we get closer to answering other background questions. Just who is Assad? What makes Rose revert to other character personalities? And who is still trying to frame Carl in the nail-gun incident? I like these little extra plot threads for the series reader. They stay in the background, not interfering with the current plot, but add depth to the experience.
So, in summary: wonderful plot-line...interesting characters...suspense...tense moments, and even a good amount of humor. And now I am off to read Book 5.
I liked the characters. Each was motivated by different events to investigate the death of the mysterious and talented Ashleigh Cordova. McGrath wanted to expose the movie director father of heinous acts, some involving children...Hopper was still hurting from the end of his love affair with Ashleigh...and aspiring actress Nora was just happy to be part of the team. But then the plot wove in and out of black magic, human trafficking, crazy townspeople, old movie plots, cults, etc. Each twist introduced new characters most of whom had no connection with each other. Then there was McGrath's bad trip (meaning this in two ways!!) to the Cordova estate. What was that all about!? And just when I thought everything was being resolved, there was yet another plot twist that took us to an island off of South America. WHAT?
The reader was pretty good, although I thought his voice for the assistant Inez was almost comically bad.
Better than any work of fiction describing ordinary humans facing extraordinary challenges, Tobar writes a narrative that etches in all of the mortal flaws and strengths making this unremarkable group of miners stand out as almost mythological characters. They fight, they pray, they joke, they cry, they starve, they suffer, and they both fear and face the seemingly inevitable tragic death that looms. Meanwhile, their families, especially their women, refuse to give up. Their strong advocacy keeps the search and the drilling alive even when officials quietly predict failure. And that is only the story leading up to the miraculous rescue. The remaining chapters are equally dramatic. The rescued miners now become celebrities on the world stage. Some fall victim to the stardom for which they are arguably even less prepared than their underground ordeal.
What a fascinating book. I will never forget it. And the narrator is amazing. He treats his characters with a dignity and clarity that serves to bring each to life.
Ahhh. Just when Jo Nesbo seems to be winding down his Harry Hole series, Adler-Olsen gives us some good dark Scandanavian thrillers to devour. Carl Mork is the central character, a troubled police veteran with just the right amount of flaws. I like the way his unlikely partner emerges...Ahsad (may have the spelling wrong for these names) at first appears awkward and inept and then amazes all with his brilliant deductive skills and uncanny defensive moves. By now, I am on Book 4, so I'll just say that another "interesting" team member, Rose, appears in Book 2. The plots are well paced with plenty of fascinating twists and some graphic scenes of violence and brutality.
Erik Davies reads well, but I like the narrator in the subsequent books even better.
What an extraordinary cast of characters were assembled to battle one of the most horrific natural disasters in our nation's history! The cast includes the greediest millionaires, the most spiritual nature lovers, the strongest and the weakest leaders, the Buffalo soldiers in search of honor, and the townspeople caught in the cross-hairs. As the saying goes, "You just can't make this stuff up!" Egan's descriptions of the forest and the wall of fire are first rate. His vivid prose gives the listener all the special effects needed to make this book memorable. The narrator was good, not great. But I'm grateful that he didn't over dramatize the scenes that truly did not need embellishment.
I'm glad I listened to this after I watched the Ken Burns Roosevelt series on PBS. It rounds out Teddy Roosevelt's legacy and deepens my gratitude and admiration for his dedication to preserving our most precious wild places. I shudder to think what the American West would have become without him.
After listening to the Pillars of the Earth and the Century Trilogy, I was expecting another wonderful Follett experience. Ugh. This one just didn't measure up. Not even close. The plot was something of a cliche...Every passenger about to take an epic journey has a background story. Who are they? Why are they going? What are they afraid of? What are they trying to escape? etc etc. At first I was unhappy with Casaletto's rapid cadence. (I had to check my player to see if it was on the wrong speed.) Later, I was grateful for it.
How fascinating and remarkable to meet these founding brothers (plus one sister...Abigail) as human beings with fragile egos, remarkable strengths, and human frailties. Jefferson came across as a bit of a bully, Adams as a stubborn egotist, and Franklin as a showman. Washington came through the best. He embodied the Revolutionary spirit that kept the show from closing early!
One can't resist comparing these loyalties to those that came after World War II. We had the unassailable Eisenhower and a period of bipartisan achievements. The question is, can we achieve the same as we move farther from that "finest hour" mentality?
The founders knew there were challenges down the road as the nation would finally confront the slavery issue. And yet they chose to dodge the bullet leaving it for the next generation.
I thought the prose and the reading was a bit tedious and pedantic. I think there are better story tellers, but the way the subject was researched and packaged was great.
I was ready to settle into a new series starring Lucas Davenport. I liked Rules of Prey a lot. But this one was a put-off on several levels. I felt like the author wrote about native Americans without knowing very much about them. (Contrast this with the Tony Hillerman books) However, he included all of the "no good" stereotypes. We had drunken, drugged, miserable Indian characters in this tale, not one of whom inspired any real interest or worth for the plot. But it was the Lucas character that left me disgusted....the way he uses women with no regret. He just goes on about how he loves women, can't help it, and...implied...."take it or leave it." He's now a father...but that changes nothing. I felt sympathy for the New York lady cop who fell into step with this character and cries and begs at the end. Not fun to read. I'm not easily put off by personality flaws. So many great characters in other action novels are deeply flawed....Like Jo Nesbo's Harry....but this Lucas guy just bugs me!!!
OK. Since I was troubled / puzzled by the ending, I should warn that my review might give too much away.
So, let me get this straight. Eight billion or so dollars were cleverly drained away from the evil Syrian regime (the heist!), potentially weakening its power to kill and torture its citizens. Great!
But, in order to save the book's appealing heroine from her hostage state, Allon negotiates her release, lets one of the evil doers slip back into his role, and releases the fortune back to the regime. In short....Allon negotiates with terrorists to save one life and, quite possibly, seals the miserable fate of thousands for years to come. Oh....but.....happy ending....he finds a lost painting.
I have either read or listened to every Daniel Silva book, and I'll probably continue to do so. But this one seemed strangely out of character.
Finally, George Guidall is an excellent reader.
The story had details of agony and misery that might not be something everyone would choose to experience. The book was recommended to me by a Dutch friend who lived through the German occupation. She wanted me to understand the circumstances surrounding her early years. For her sake, I was glad to read it. But...oh....the layers and layers of faith and prayer that served the main characters so well. Would the writer have survived had her Christian convictions not been so firm? I was both drawn and repelled by some of the simplistic views of Corrie and her sister Betsy. I am still mulling over how I would have responded to their ministry in the concentration camp. The reader has an air of missionary goodness in her tone. I'm sure it matches the intent of the writer.
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