The short write up sounding appealing so I got this book. When I started listening the first two to four hours seemed quite tedious. I was nearly ready to give up but I kept pushing forward. Thank goodness I did! I can only go to the end and tell you this was one of the best told stories I have heard in some time. The main character is a little flighty but she is solidly grounded as to her family and is open to the new experiences. Because of my own reaction to her life choices I think I am probably not as open to new experiences as the main character and realizing that made me think I didn't like the opening section so much because of that.
I liked the "butterfly" doctor. The speech he gave to the "ZNN" reporter was the kind of speech we all wish we could spout off the top of our head. That portion of the story was so realistically told I wanted to go to UTUBE and see if there was an actual video. I do wonder how long it will be before some college art/acting class makes an actual mock video of this part of the book and really posts it on the web. I think that'd be kick @$$ and quite a tribute to Kingsolver.
All of the characters are most believable and this story made me feel like I was taking a very intimate peek into the lives of these people. At some point I was able to associate with the main character because she had this running dialog going on in her head that sounded very much like the running dialog that goes on in my head . . . . more often than I am sometimes comfortable with.
I loved the author reading her own work. She was great. I loved her voice. The pace was perfect and she complimented what is otherwise a well told story.
I did not give this book 5 stars for the story because I am so tired of the American story teller (we see it most often in movies) where at the end of the story everything is destroyed. The destruction seems only to be done for the benefit of the story teller and has little to do with the story itself. The symbol is 'okay, the story is over and now I am going to destroy the set." I don't think that is reflective of anything but our current culture and an inability to simply tell a story and then to let that be it and be over when it is over. But, to be over because the set is now destroyed is just . . . . blase. That said, even before I was finished I gave two copies of this book away as gifts to other family members. I really really liked this book.
I still had Matthew McConaughey in my head when I started listening to this book. Despite the reader 'not quite' sounding like McConaughey that's the only 'real' voice I could hear on this entire book. I nearly had to say - I think Grisham wrote the book w/ one movie actor in mind for this main character. With that said, it is a great story and well told. And I hope McConaughey plays the role in the movie. I'd be disappointed if anyone else played it. To say that Grisham has the role of story teller down pat is sort of like saying the best description of water is that it is wet. But, the story develops and grabs your attention immediately. It only gets better with each passing moment. It was pretty obvious that the Alaska connection was gonna be the clincher but it was still a surprise on how it came out and it emphasized again, how quickly a jury can change (even in real life). I am so glad Grisham has devoted his time to writing. He simply does it so well. And, he has given me years of pleasure. I am sure that anyone who reads or listens to this book will not be disappointed. Grisham has brought so much pleasure. What more can one human do for so many others than that?
My wife and I both enjoy David Baldacci stories. I thought I would have read this one before but the story was unknown to me. And, it was great! Pure and simple - a great story! What was both intriguing and 'quaint' was the characters' use of telephone calling cards and tape answering machines. While listening to this it seemed incredible to me that it was "only 1995" that we still relied so heavily on land lines and telephone calling cards and tape machines. And, there was so much time taken in the story dealing with remembering telephone numbers (not actually mentioned but in there) and then running around and finding "pay phones" to use "the calling card" on. Incredible! The digital revolution has so over taken our society that to go back in time, even a decade, (a little more than less) and see how much time and energy land line communications took. And here, how much time and energy it took just to be part of the story - it was incredible! I think if the author rewrote this story - and without the land lines but with smart cell phones with apps - he'd cut 30 pages out of the story and an hour of reading.
What was also amazing to me was the thought that the author could modify this story and use smart phones but not really change anything else about the plot or theme of the book. The truly an exciting concept in the late 90's as to the internet and organizing material - what a dream by the author - remains a dream, now, nearly 15 years later. We have different 'gadgets' but the dream is still there. I wonder how long it will so remain?
Overall, this story gets an A+.
My overwhelming sense with this book was that it was another Dave Robecheu novel transported back in time. First, I should say that I listened to any book I can find that Will Patton reads. I particularly like the Dave Robecheu novels. Second, I like the 'gum-shoe' cop books that Burke writes. But, Third, this one was simply and only the same two characters of Cleat or Pete and Dave. Unfortunately, I think Will Patton got caught up in the familiarity of the 'voice' of the book and by a quarter the way in he was using the same exact voice of Dave & Cleat.
In the end, the same voice, the same style, the same characters and just moving it to the Texas independence fight - it just didn't cut it for me. Basically, this book blew chunks.
Either Burke needs to take a vacation or he needs to try a little harder and create some new characters or . . . he could just write Dave Robecheu novels.
This book never made it out of the classroom for me. It mostly sounded like an (ultra politically conservative) professor trying to imagine the worst about human behavior and then writing it down. It lacked any connection to realism for me. The problem is that my vision of human behavior, altruism, empathy and American behavior in a crisis is simply more positive than that which the author believes, thus, his book was filled with doom and gloom which could only be resolved favorably by the military or military action. His idea of hope for a catastrophe was to have the military come in and save the day.
I think that Americans have a history of altruistic and empathetic behavior when we are faced with adversity. If anyone looks back at our personal and national response to NY City on 9/11/01 they do not see people abandoning each other, the laws or morality. One can also look back at how we respond to catastrophes when hurricanes, tornadoes or fire destroy large areas. We group together and we help each other out. So, this storyline just never rose to the level of believability for me because this author would have the believe that we all run for our lives forsaking all those around us.
The only thing I could think about this author is that I hope I never have him, or someone like him, for a neighbor. That would not be my idea of a very good neighbor.
Overall, the story was flat; it was not compelling; the characters did not have enough depth and it was a struggle to get from one chapter to the next. I listen to a lot of audio books and I have a rule that if I buy it I will listen to the end. This was one of the few times I felt like my rule was punishing me.
I was ready for a nice compelling story. This was an Oprah book club book. But, basically, the storyline itself is somewhat offensive; the main character is unappealing; and the reader was nearly as unappealing as both the main character and the story overall. I stayed with it through part 1 & 2 but finally gave it up on part 3. I couldn't think of anything to keep me wanting to stay with it to the end. I suspected (but will never know) the end of the book was as crappy as the first part.
I did not realize I have had this book for such a long time; however, I began listening without knowing anything about the story. The story has an initial grab to pull you in; but, it really doesn't need it. It moves along and sounds realistic. All of the characters feel very believable. They seem real from the beginning. The story feels real. Then, the character has an incident and he changes nearly immediately. As a reader - I didn't believe it; and, neither did anyone else in the story. I think that what makes this story compelling is that I am not even sure the main character believes he has changed. As the story progresses though both the reader and the main character come to realize that he has changed. The story is smooth; i.e., it flows like a gentle river. It is the kind of story I would like to tell if I could tell a story as easy as this one was to read. There is a nice ending and a nice 'moral to the story.' The reader had the perfect voice to read this story.
I give this the top rating.
I love SK books. I started out reading his stuff in 1976 and somewhere in the early 90's I simply started buying his books the moment they hit the book store. I have watched/read as he has grown and matured as a writer and I enjoy reading him today as much as ever. That said, I was a little disappointed in this story. It felt too much like a rehash of the Dead Zone. I thought the main character was just a little bit psychopathic (which gave us the story line) and when he sort of 'became aware' that actions have consequences King wrapped up the story in about 30 minutes. It sort of felt like 'what's interesting about a self aware individual?' The author's answer was 'nothing.'
I suspect as SK works through this overall issue of what do you do when you are aware of every action of every person and you have the ability to look forward in time as well as to trace back in time the 'intervening event' that caused everything else he will reduce the story to 5 to 7 characters, write the bible from God's perspective, and actually make it fun to read. I can't hardly wait.
I gave the reader a 3 star because he was 'okay' but he wasn't dramatic. I think George Guidall could have made this story more dramatic.
This book was a romance writing woman doing her attempt at writing an action thriller. At first I was a little put off but then I was reminded that Lee Childs' main character looks at a woman who looks at him; they make love and then it's the next day and they get back to business. Brockmann's book is about the spaces between the words in the second half of the previous sentence. Overall, a little bit sappy, however, I think she pulls it off; the good guys win in the end and everybody is happy. I didn't give it 5 stars because I like a little more blood and guts and shooting and that kind of stuff. But, the lovemaking scenes . . . . wow! They were right up there. And, yes, I am going to recommend it to my wife. :-)
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