Listened to this warm yet raspy story while on vacation in the Smokey Mountains this summer. A fitting story for the scenery and surroundings I thought even if my wife and I did find ourselves silent fighting off the emotional wash of tears, understanding, and sympathy. For the pet lover and caretaker in me, it was as much about the broken horse as it was the author's broken heart, life, and tested will. Yes, Murphy's 3rd Law (S#!& Happens) fully applies and makes the whole story at first seem to be a "woe is me" tale but it quickly hits home to the listener/reader that there really is heart, loss, and soul wretched personal emotional trauma that is put on display. It takes a strong will to keep getting up when life loves to do nothing but keep putting you down yet when these two mammals meet it is a resounding reminder of how spoken language is so over rated and how a look, an action, a sound and even behavior is a universal language between souls where no other language exists.
I won't call it my favorite book. I can't even say if I would listen to it again, although very likely. However, I feel that I am a better person for having "read" it if only to be reminded that we are most, if not all, awash in the same sea of life and should do our best to perform our duties as keeper of this great blue marble and its multitudes of all its inhabitants.
Tim Curry provides a masterful presentation of Dickens' classic tale. We all know the tale so there is nothing new there. You could say that there was not much new in the telling of it...but you would be wrong. There have only been a few who could effectively and accurately portray the heart, soul, and yearning this story has to offer and Tim does NOT disappoint. I won't say it was the greatest performance, I'll leave that to the listener to judge for them self. However, you would be remiss if you did not at least take the time to hear this Christmas classic during your next holiday listening phase....Enjoy.
While not quite "The Matrix" nor even "Alice in Wonderland", Coraline is a story well told, developed, and equally woven between the story world and ... an under-story world. Neil presents yet another masterfully crafted fantasy while easily having its own place in reality with how mainstream society can so easily induce individualism to the detriment of the nuclear family and further risking the entity of society itself. A must for readers of fiction.
Mystical, captivating, and reinforcing! A must for any reader that loves epics like Dune, Star Wars, THHGTTG, etc. Science, Math, Physics, Astronomy, Love, Loss, Recollection Travel and Discovery all manifest in this uniquely developed society and the quest of the main characters...for truth. Details of the sciences do not drone out the story nor ablate the presentation and development of the characters...those things stay just outside the periphery providing a great ribbon of strength to support the story and like a fine ribbon of silk to not get in the way (unlike some story tellers that take an entire chapter to tell you enough detail about the Kalashnikov that you could basically carve your own 1:8 scale from a well used bar of soap with your eyes blindfolded and both hands tied behind your back).
Where this story fails is unfortunately were a lot of N.S. stories fail...their wrap-up, conclusion, ending...whatever you want to call it because they rarely are any of those. I am not sure if it is publisher fault, writer fault or if N.S. gets abducted by aliens when he gets close to finishing each story, but most fail to fully satisfy the reader's journey only to conclude with weak summaries, weird events that kick the reader in the back of the head, and generally leave the reader thinking that the publisher's deadline was more precious than reader's enjoyment or intellect (think that when reader's gets tired of it and move on to another author!) The equivalent of a Literature Guillotine generally awaits the reader in the final chapter(s) and this one is hardly any different.
Neal does a great job of reading his story as if it was the only story he knew and unlike a lot of authors that don't read / record well, that could never be said of Neal. Like other greats, its as if he has lived with these characters, knows their voices, hearts, appearance, and manners all so well and all so distinctive and is equally able to present them to the reader.
Parents will secretly smile or may even openly accept the courageous and funny insight this tale has to offer. If you are easily offended and you have read this review this far -- STOP and pick another title -- there are over 90,000 other titles to enjoy.
If you are still reading, regardless if you are single or married, have kids or not -- YOU WERE ONCE A KID YOURSELF and if you don't think that you at least once in your life caused this sentiment, regardless if this vulgar or not, in your parent's mind -- you truly are deluded. It doesn't matter if you were the Valedictorian or the kid from the other side of the tracks, you have either been the parent or the kid in this story and if you can't laugh at yourself, do you deserve to be able to laugh at anything? A welcome and refreshing casual quick break from the regimented expectations of society and authors.
Samuel L. Jackson does a supreme job of delivering this story. Cadence, enunciation, inflection, and pitch all play in his performance to make this short story seem more than a prose and more like a heartfelt, compassionate, poem of struggled/tried love.
Besides our beloved Orange Mackerel Tabby domesticated house cat that could easily pass as a direct descendant of the "Dew", The Dew has become our most loved pet that was never known. Definitely a "tail" for any cat-lover. Vicki quite quickly and with enough detail to make you think you were living in the moment with her sets up the scenes and provides effective background, surrounding and necessary details without overly decorative language or minutiae while keeping pace of the story well maintained with the reader wanting more and more. Being as much about Dew as possible, Vicki could not help but to spill her life into the leaves of the story; however, it was more that Dew taught her about living and being satisfied in self than not and trying to attain status inconsequential to need. Easily one of my favorite non-fiction reads as the personal stories, the socio-political settings and happenings, and the triumphs, tribulations, and losses all resound in the soul with the yearning to just do the right thing, to take care of this world if even all that amounts to is taking care of one frozen kitten.
Susan McInerny will be on my watch list of narrators as she brought this story to life in a way that I have not had the previous pleasure.
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