Not the worst book I've ever read or auditioned, but certainly at the lower end of the quality scale. The writing is mostly tolerable, but the ridiculous plot and flights of fancy were difficult to swallow. Even the narrator sounds bored. And in the middle of the muddle, there is an unexplained graphic lesbian sex scene followed shortly after by a graphic gay sex scene. It was as if they had been transplanted from another book.
The story is an throwback to a much earlier Stephen King while the writing is in realm of his mosre recent books. In short, perfection. On top of that, the narrator is superb! I would probably purchase a recording of his reading the phone book.
Brutal yet beutiful tale read by the most astonishing narrator ever!
Smart, funny, and with a pitch-perfect narrator to boot! I normally listen to audiobooks solely while commuting to and from work. With this one, I had to plug in my Ipod and listen to more at home. The characters are real and 3-dimensional yet the author weaves them into situations which, while totally believable, evolve like a hilarious, off kilter Rube Goldberg machine. I would love to spend more time with this family - at least from a distance.
What a great way to pass the time while waiting for Jasper Fforde's next Thursday Next novel!
I was only 3 when the book came out, but throughout the 50s and 60s there were whispers (and shouts) about Peyton Place. I was still too young to sneak into the movie and when I finally saw it on late night TV, I yawned. That said, both the book and the narrator are a real treat and I found it surprisingly better written than it's trash reputation would suggest. The inner voices are surprisingly honest and I will publicly admit that listening made driving to and from work a great ride. Take the plunge! You'll enjoy!
Stephen King has always been a good story-teller and I would sometimes put up with a lot just to get through the plot. So my question is, when did he become a good writer? This book, while bearing similarities to some of his other novels, is particularly well written and a joy to listen to. Campbell's Scott narration is pitch perfect.
OK, so I don't love the narrator on this book quite as much as the narrator on the three previous Jasper Fforde books, but c'mon folks - how many books can make you laugh as often as anything in the Thursday Next series. These are gifts from the OutLands and should be cherished. Yes, I almost drove off the road while laughing at the game show where politicians vied to be the best at evading questions. If only we had television access to "Celebrity Name That Fruit" life would be as wonderful as a Thursday Next book!
I must take exception with several reviewers who complained about the narration of this remarkable book: it is equal to the task in every respect. In fact, I ended up searching for other titles read by the same narrator. The book, itself, is worth every moment of the time spent listening and now, two weeks after finishing it, the story continues to haunt me. Those simply looking for a good story will not be disappointed - you get twenty years of plot with intricate twists and turns. Dig a little deeper and you get such remarkable descriptions of characters and situations you actually watch while they materialize in front of you. I occasionally laughed, frequently got angry, and more times than I would like to admit felt a lump form in the back of my throat. Ultimately, you hope for justice for the many injustices thrust upon the characters, and while there is a satisfying conclusion, it feels real rather than contrived. Except for "We We the Mulvaneys" which I read a few years ago, I had not read any other Joyce Carol Oates since attending college in the 1970s. "The Falls" reminded me of what I have been missing. Ms. Oates is a prolific writer and am looking forward to reading everything I've missed over the last 30 years.
The combination of the author's welcoming prose and the narrator's friendly and familiar voice (do I know her?) makes this a pleasure for all senses from beginning to end. All senses? Yes! You can see, smell and taste each dish as it is described (including the feel of the texture and the sound of the bite), and instead of feeling hungry, you feel sated as I if you, yourself, were dining with the author. Equally described is each individual human character and situation, assuring you that the author is as comfortable in describing them as any dish with shaved truffles. Ms. Reichl doesn't shy away from presenting her own foibles. In one scene I found myself truly disliking her, only to discover, a few paragraphs later, that her husband is chiding her for the same behavior. I would love to say to the author - and the narrator - let's have lunch!
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