I have enjoyed several Grippando books in the past but this story is simply way too convoluted. Every character and every aspect of the story is exaggerated to the point where it becomes nearly comical.
Jonathan Davis is a very good narrator and does a good job here as well but I don't think anyone could have saved this book.
Andrew Solomon is the kind of non-fiction writer that is extremely rare these days. He does not set out to force his opinions down your throat nor preach simplified solutions to complex problems. He simply describes the worlds that people with what he refers to as horizontal identities have to deal with and how this world affect those around them. While doing so he devotes chapters to various groups of such identities. A horizontal identity here refers to one not passed down from the parent and can be a physical issues such as deafness, dwarfism, downs syndrome or a social one like criminality. He goes into transgender issues and schizophrenia and you feel listening to it that each of these chapters could have been a book in itself.
The strength of the book is his ability to relate the stories behind the issues; he has an amazing gift for making the people real and through listening to him you really do share in their struggles and triumphs. He rarely judges them but describes many of the ethical issues parents in particular have to deal with.
I would highly recommend this book.
Gerard Doyle is perfect for this type of rather dark Irish series. It does a great job describing the turmoil of the time without sugar coating or creating false heros.
If you enjoy it, as I did, consider the books by Stuart Neville as well, set in a similar setting and read by the same narrator.
An absurd tale well told and well read and with great characters. The narrator has the perfect deadpan delivery to make this fun to listen to.
I enjoyed the first three books in this series tremendously. George Guidall is an outstanding narrator and the books were very well written. Here though, I am completely lost. For starters, the book is listed in the Audible catalog as book 4 in the series. It is not. There are a number of other books and maybe they prepare you for this one. As I listened to them; in the order suggested by Audible - you are in for a big surprise - you missed a lot of the story if you listen to this after the Balkan War.
The writing style is very different as well and far inferior to the "first three". Maybe if this wasn't the case I would look for ways of filling in what I missed but this falls so far short of the quality of the start of the series that I will not bother...
The book is typical of Courtenay. He can tell a story. Yes his characters are larger than life and the melodrama is at times a bit thick but still, he pulls it off. There is to me always a bit of an overly romantic quality to his books that would be very hard to take if it wasn't for his skill as a writer. So I know that what I am listening to is at times way over the top and that for one as cynical and jaded as I am this is not a typical choice of book but I enjoyed it immensely..
A lot of the credit for this belongs to the narrator. Bower is as good as it gets.
I really enjoyed the first few books of this series but this one is hard to take. MacBride has a tendency to exaggerate his characters to the point that they become unbelievable and it seems that this gets a little worse with each book. When he narrates he goes one step further in that he tries to further the various characters description by giving them "voices" that he feels match. The outcome is farcical. His DI Steel for instance is a rather cranky bulldozer of a woman with some occasional soft bits thrown in. Every time I hear him doing the voice he believes suitable I get visions of the wolf that is about to blow the house down: seriously overdone.
Unfortunate, because he has shown to be a talented writer with at times a brilliant sense of humor. I have listened to Jonathan Hackett doing a few books in the series with a totally different result.
Violence, loads of it. A story about a former enforcer who's victims haunt him and demand justice. As this is extracted we are introduced to a world where the motivations behind a lot of the violence and the characters running things is brilliantly fleshed out. The same goes for the main character, Gerry Fegan, The story is very powerful, well written and convincingly narrated in a very understated style.
Maybe it is time to move on a bit for Connelly. I think he is one hell of a writer and I enjoyed this book, as will I suspect most people that listened to the series. The narrator is also, as with all his books, well suited to the character and he does a nice job. But no bonus points for originality. Entertaining and enjoyable though.
I have enjoyed every book in this series and this one is no exception. Craig Johnson writes an outstanding story, fast paced at times but he manages to create believable and like-able characters.
George Guidall is of course always an outstanding narrator but I think the Walt Longmire series suit his style perfectly.
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