Wow. Lots of turns and twists in this novel. While I frequently don't solve the mystery--the whodunnit--before the denouement, I usually have a sense of everything. I wasn't prepared for the conclusion of this one. Again, wow! Granted, there are several red herrings, as there should be in a good mystery, but they serve a purpose by providing several parallels and perspectives. They require that readers consider various options, what they would be willing to do in some circumstances, and how far they would go to find answers and cures. Mystery novels function on several levels: they offer what probably happened, what could happen, what couldn't happen, and then what actually happened. Seldom is a police investigation straightforward. Nothing is straightforward here, which is as it should be. I will read other novels by Susan Hill. Looking for them now . . .
Like the previous reviewer, I don???t usually enjoy short stories. I don???t know why. In fact, this is the first book of short stories I have downloaded in my many years of being an Audible member. However, unlike the previous reviewer, I highly recommend Proulx???s text. Do realize that Proulx doesn???t provide fairy tale endings. Rather, she captures the ironic nature of living in a world that is ugly and beautiful, cruel and loving, desolate and plentiful. She describes the rich and sometimes impoverished sense of Wyoming and any other open range that seldom embraces an easy life, particularly in human terms. Proulx???s Wyoming and other spaces like Wyoming don???t always tolerate humans. Nevertheless, the humans Proulx describes (and others I???ve known) feel compelled to inhabit (conquer?) these open spaces. She reminds us of human frailty in the midst of large spaces that can???t be conquered. I liked these stories, even if they made me feel small. I liked the surprises even if they weren???t pleasant. I liked the humanity even when it seemed to get lost in acres of snow or mud. And I liked how humanity is frequently defeated even as it is elevated.
This is one of those books that makes my "mulligan" list; you know, the kind that you wished you hadn't purchased or listened to? The author doesn't know how to balance between the reality of diary entries and the literary qualities necessary in good storytelling. Maybe, just maybe, if it had been in a traditional third-person narration it would've worked. I just know the narrative failed miserably in its current form.
"Jackson ain't no special place. They's 10,000 towns just like it."
This novel chronicles the beauty and exquisitely painful stupidity of human beings in the United States regarding race. I've read and listened to hundreds (thousands?) of novels in my lifetime, from Stephen King and Terry Pratchett and Stieg Larsson and Harper Lee and Dostoevsky and Bronte and Alcott, and Homer and more. I don't know that I will ever encounter a novel as moving, triumphant, poignant, and revealing as this one again.
Amazing. Simply amazing.
A good listen. Some humor, some romance, and lots of wondering who did the dastardly deeds. A major bonus: Molly knows how to take care of herself and doesn't need anyone to save her.
I've listened to this novel three times. It's a wonderful novel to begin with, but it gets better with each listen. The characters are intellectually curious and thoughtful and influenced by healthy and amusing cynicism. They accept nothing at face value. And, Mau's ability to milk a pig is quite remarkable. As usual, Pratchett has turned everything on its head. Pratchett is the best.
So that I don't spend my credits half-way through my subscriptions, I'm listening to my favorites again. This is one of them. One of the reviewers indicated that she didn't like or care about Lee. I don't necessarily like or care about him either, but I think that's part of the novel--part of what makes him "a person of interest"--how do we respond to those people the authorities deem "a person of interest?" I'm fairly certain that Lee doesn't know or like himself either. Forgive the cliche, but Choi unpeels the onion. Choi takes her time revealing the characters. If you're fine with a slow revelation of motivation and a somewhat existential novel, you'll probably enjoy this. And, while I thought it odd that a female narrates a male focalizer, I nonetheless enjoyed listening to her. There's something about her voice that engaged me.
I like the way Iles reconceptualizes God, but the conclusion was way beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. My biggest issue was the Christ story. Entirely annoying.
I can't imagine a better novel. I suspect I'll compare everything else to Larsson, and everything else will fall short. I'll listen to this more than once (I've already listened to his previous novel twice). This one is equal to, if not better than, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And that's saying a great deal. The characters are exceptionally well drawn, the plot tight, and the narrator--well, I could listen to him all day. In fact, I did. I'm in mourning that there will only be one more book.
If you want to listen to a smart, sexy, engaging novel that deals with serial killers, DON'T LISTEN to this novel. Reuben Montoya is truly hot, hot, hot (where ARE these guys???), and I wasn't sure of "whodunit" until near the end, but everything else? Formulaic and cliche. In fact, I think this author consulted the dictionary of cliches: (imagine quotation marks around the following) figment of her imagination, the flash of white teeth, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, too young to die, shake uncontrollably, tears burned [or sprang to] her eyes, This guy's dangerous. Don't worry . . . So am I, There but for the grace of God go I, nerves stretched tight as piano wires, figment of the imagination, brooding eyes,stopped dead in her tracks, icing on the cake, and so on. And don't forget the forms of erections, usually against the back. I'm especially troubled by Faith's rapes and her responses. And WOW! Talk about simplistic thinking? One of the characters, who knows she has been abducted by the serial killer, refers to him as a monster, a lunatic, a murdering psycho, and a creep Well. Yes. He's a serial killer. This could have been an interesting contrast in psychopathic behavior, obsession, lust, passion, and desire. But it's not.
So. If you want a smart, sexy, engaging novel that deals with serial killers, listen to
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and then be sure to listen to The Girl Who Played with Fire.
No cliches. No formula. Just good, smart writing, writing that will make you wish the novel didn't end.
Or, you can listen to some Robicheaux (Burke) or
early Scarpetta (Cornwell).
If you want something lighter, listen to Lust, Loathing, and a Little Lip Gloss (Davis).
Spend your hours, money, and credits on something that deserves it.
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