At first I found the characters to be too everyday...too ordinary. There were no heroes, no one was glamorous or brilliant. But, one by one, each character became part of a fascinating tragedy. Everyone had a public side. Everyone had a private side. And the ways in which the characters related to one another were always complex and often heartbreaking.
I doubt if anyone else will think of Jane Austen, but that's what came to mind. J.K. Rowling simply wrote about ordinary people involved in everyday events. And what a tangled web she wove! The characters became quite compelling. I'm still thinking about them weeks after finishing the program.
I liked the reader very much. He brought the voices to life without slowing the narrative.
I once thought as I listened that an alternative title would be "The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother"
I am a retired science educator. As such, I easily remember most of the names dropped into this narrative....like old friends. But finding them in one sweeping overview of the natural sciences was like a thrilling journey. In the hands of master story teller Bryson, the history became a lively tale of what is known, what is probable, and what is left to be discovered. I loved the book, and I know that I will listen again. I can't stop thinking about the way the planet has and will continue to change.
I think I might have responded even better had it been read by someone with a less of a formal lecture style. But Richard Matthews gave a flawless performance.
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.
At first I resisted. I almost decided not to read yet another account of the misery of the great war. So much suffering, so much injustice and cruelty! Did I really want to go through this again from the point of view of yet another afflicted human being? But I stayed with it, and I am not only happy that I did, I am transformed by the narrative. The girl, the Papa, the cantankerous but loving Mama (who can forget the scene when Rose storms into the school to tell of Max's recovery?) and the Jew hidden in the cellar who clings to life for Liesel's sake...the characters will live on in my heart.
I like a good thriller, and I can take a good measure of "blood and guts". But this one was over the top. There were too many scenes involving blood, brains, and bones being splattered all over the landscape. When this kind of violence becomes routine....I bail out. Sorry. Couldn't get through it.
I thought the narrator was perfect for this very rough ride.
I'm sure many will enjoy the experience. Just not my thing.
First of all I will say that the reader was very very good. Without his elegant and expressive cadence and with only a printed text, I would not have endured to the end. Second, on the plus side, I dusted off and vowed to use many antique vocabulary words..."desultory", "importune", "decorous", "prevaricate", "remonstrate"...to name but a few! The paragraphs were beautifully constructed and beautifully delivered by the reader.
But! As I said in the title..."Who are these people?" They dined...but on what? Did they enjoy it? They died...but of what...and was there any pain beyond their melodramatic efforts to utter the final monologue? They fell in love...but no word of sexual attraction EVER entered the narrative. They spoke of beauty, but only of tapestry, statues, and interior decor. (Maybe an occasional sunset from the terrace). Were they ever too tired, too hot, too cold..? Isabelle has a child who died. All we hear about that was that she concluded mourning the child after 6 months and adjusted her wardrobe accordingly.
I admit that I was finally swept up into their sterile lives and the utterly hopeless messes they made of them. I hoped for some kind of resolution for poor, pathetic Isabelle at the end, but when her "Mr. Darcy" in the person of Casper Goodwood finally planted a real KISS on her lips at the end (the first in the whole book)...she nearly fainted. The next day she hurried back to her horrid husband in Rome. The End.
This novel makes anything by Jane Austen or Edith Wharton read like Lady Chatterly's Lover in comparison.
All that said, I wouldn't have missed it for the World! Thank you for delivering this to me so elegantly, John Wood. I'll look for your narration again.
The story captured me from the beginning. I have an affinity for WWII based novels since I had several close relatives involved in the fighting. I especially admire the courage and tenacity of the British during the London blitz.
I loved the way this plot developed....What did Mom do during the war? Who are the people in these photos? Was she a villain or a victim? So many questions to be answered...so little time since she is dying. There is a breathtaking plot twist at the end that I didn't see coming!
The reader did an excellent job. I liked the way she developed the characters one by one.
Very enjoyable. I will look for more by Kate Morton. (already read The House at Riverton)
I read the description of the plot and thought it sounded promising....but it delivered very little in terms of interesting twists and good cop drama. In fact, I was amused by the very sensitive and elaborate "bodice ripper' scenes that provided the only interesting "thrills" in an otherwise pretty bland narrative. Guess I should have guessed when I saw that Harlequin was the publisher. If you are into steamy scenes and don't care much about the plot line....go for it!
Yes. I thought that it delivered a finely crafted story line with so much suspense that I was almost afraid to keep driving while listening to certain parts.
I wanted to compare this with the other Jo Nesbo books (I've read them all!) I thought I would miss Harry Hole, but I didn't. Nesbo broke new ground by introducing fascinating and flawed characters, none of whom got a free pass. There was not a single "good guy" in the bunch. I liked the way the action was organized by stages of a perfect interview by which a head-hunter engages a candidate. In this setting, it became the stages by which a person becomes a murderer.
He read it with the perfect degree of snobbery and disdain. At first, one thought that Roger would never dirty his hands with foul deeds. But, layer by layer, he became the sinister character that became more deeply involved in murderous crimes.
The fall of the white queen.
My friends and I can't decide if Nesbo killed Harry Hole at the end of the last book. I hope not, but...sigh....even if that proves to be the end of my favorite character, I will stick with this author. Nesbo is the best out there.
Yes! The drama was intense and the plot twists were well executed. I thought I could see what was coming a couple of times and I'm happy to say that I was wrong. This was a good yarn...well wrought!
No....but the voices were superb. Especially Julia Whelan...her Amy was "amazing" on every level. At first you loved Amy....so sweet. Then you hated her. And on some crazy level...you admired her. Whelan got it just right.
Yes! I think that the reader added a sharp edge to the experience. Audio books are usually kept in my car....this one came indoors. I guess that's the listening equivalent of "couldn't put it down".
I'm always drawn to World War II novels. There is something compelling about the pure low-tech genius of the conduct of wartime intelligence...radio signals, fires on the beach, photographed pages of documents, etc. And this story had characters who were all so vivid and approachable that, at times, you almost found yourself rooting for the bad guys...who weren't always so evil and who had backgrounds trapping them into the roles they carried out. Especially at the end of the novel, the lines between good and evil were blurred, and necessity emerged as the overarching motivation of conduct on both sides.
Michael Page is a very good reader. I like that he doesn't over dramatize...just reads the parts clearly and honestly. And with this novel, the action rings through without a lot of hype!
My only negative reaction to what was a wonderful novel overall is to the way that it wrapped up with a bit too much explaining. The main character received a good deal of information about his role in the project by way of a final conversation. Some of this could have been more subtly delivered as the plot unfolded, allowing the reader to anticipate these important twists, turns and ironies.
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