The prose of the day with its excessive flourishes makes for tedious listening today and the author padded this book with a surplus of that kind of quoted material. In doing so, he took two interesting stories and diminished them with trivia. This is one of the reasons for footnotes. Richard Thomas does as much as I suppose he can with this.
This delightfully interesting conversation was mildly provocative, more than occasionally amusing, and very sharp. Two thoughtul and smart guys, both articulate, clearly enjoying one another. Pleasure to listen in.
I can't identify who Daniel Sullivan and Henry Timms might be, but if they are actors portraying Adam Gopnick and Malcolm Gladwell, they do great imitations.
I read Positively Fifth Street (a great read) and was very disappointed by this tedious exposition. The author didn't give the narrator much to work with and the reader returned the favor. This is a very dry read. I like Poker but if this was my introduction to it, I'd try something else. Long lists of data, names, countries from which players come. Just tiresome filler that an editor should have deleted. Very disappointing from an author who has demonstrated the ability to do far better.
I was disappointed by what I listened to and ultimately decided to stop. The first story, about Sedaris working as a department store elf, was mildly diverting, but far too long and not worth it. The second story, read by someone else was a macabre, bitter nasty, brutish, offensive story about a family that has the family's father adult Vietnamese child from the war days visited on them, accompanied by the story's rudely offensive characterizations and observations coupled with an ending too awful to consider. Said to be based on a true story. But even if true, there's no reason to repeat it. The third story is a smarmy, cyncical put-down of Appalachian types by an oh-so-superior media type. I turned it off in the middle or maybe it was just the beginning, but I preferred to hear the blaring horns of a traffic jam than listen to another word of this whiny drivel. I've been amused by Sedaris before, but this plainly isn't suitable for my sensibilities and taste. I wouldn't even give it one star if that was possible. This was just awful.
As was the case with many other reviewers familiar with Michael Connelly books, I thought the narrator didn't come up to the very high standards set by Dick Hill. But even with a less than ideal narrator, the book was pretty good. Still worthwhile and I don't think harsh criticism of the narrator is warranted.
The story is absorbing enough--outsize affecting characters, plenty of action and setting--but the greater pleasure comes from Robert Forster's reading. He communicates the world-weary, not really cynical, somewhat noble characters with every intonation and every breath. The only drawback--and it doesn't detract from an absorbing 7+ hours--is that the production values are just a little lacking. The sound quality isn't quite as crisp and clear as it might be. But the story and reading are so absorbing, you barely notice.
The gratingly large number of "he said" is impressive and oppressive. Like hitting your head against a wall; it felt really good to turn the book off and return to blissful silence. In written form, your eyes might just scan over the endless, mantra-like repetition, but hearing it was painful.
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