This was a fun book in that it had sort of a campy, "trashy novel" feed about it. The best aspect,however , was the reader, who can make or break an audiobook experience.This reader made this story come alive .The plot itself was just okay, not Cain's best work. Both audiobooks I ve listened to by James Cain have been enhanced by the choice of narrator.
I purchased the audio version of this book and found it to be a very fair representation of a world that relatively few people are familiar with. It is an interesting topic and one of the rare books in which the narrator being the author enhanced the listening experience. For some reason that is not often a successful pairing, but Mary Johnson pulled it off well.
This book is a poignant and engrossing listen, full of unexpected twists and turns throughout. Kudos to the narrator for using restraint with voices and letting the listeners reach their own judgments and conclusions about the intentions and motivations of the main characters, which are complex. The reader/listener is left with that feeling that on one is ever completely good or bad, but an ever changing mixture of both.
Although I am a Meg Wolitzer fan, she really dropped the ball on this one. The story is so boring and implausible that I can barely slog through the last 10 % of the audiobook. The idea of a well known musician drugging a young kid with LSD on numerous occasions to harvest his inherited song writing talent is ludicrous. This book reads like formulaic bad young adult fiction. The good are so good and the bad are so ridiculously portrayed ( I.e. the naughty and nubile Kathy Kiplinger, with the unfortunate you gotta hate her story line of being a fake rape victim) that the only real seeming character is Jule's hapless husband. I must say that the story was not aided by the "Valley Girl" accents and simpering parents' voices created by the narrator. I have come to the conclusion that, with the exception of the occasional character part ( raspy smoker's voice or unique accent) the best narrators do not go overboard on voices because the "man voice" or " lady voice" or "teenage voice" can be so distracting as to alienate the listener and ruin the author's intent for the character. Of course, this is a fine line and not all narrators can pull it off but this already weak book was weakened further by the unlikable voices used. I really didn't feel anything for any of them except for a irritation.
I liked everything about this dark story with lots of twists and turns in the plot. I am new to this author and highly recommend him to someone who would like discovering a new author. All four of Cain's audiobooks that I have heard have the uncanny trait of outstanding narration. I wish other book narraters were as expertly chosen.
This "listen" was okay, neither great nor memorable. I don't think the writing style was so great for an audio and I may have liked reading it better.
Although I enjoyed listening I found the it to be anticlimactic and disappointing at the conclusion. Most of the book was suspenseful but the ending fell short.
This is a sad story of two people who, for lots of reasons, couldn't be together. End of story. But after the melodramatic death of one of the main characters, the continuation of confusing character twists was distracting and somewhat unnecessary.
This book is a disjointed collection of really interesting stories. They are insightful and plausible. But the tie that supposedly binds the "chapters" together is vague, unclear, and occasionally pointless. The ending was so odd that I thought that there was a problem with my Kindle! The book does not have an ending, resolution, or culmination. The words just stop. This could have been a really good book but it just doesn't blend and the reader is left wondering what it was all about.
This is a laugh out loud sort of book, which I think is rare. I would recommend it to anyone, especially if they are new to the work of David Sedaris.
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