A heart-of-darkness-type story that was great for passing the time on a long road trip. Interesting, thoughtful, and beautifully written. Special kudos to the narrator, who weathered a bewildering number of voices and accents with commendable ease. Overall, though, I felt the underlying story was weak. The characters' motives were not sufficiently explored, and although there is a gripping plot twist toward the end, the end itself was unsatisfying. This very well could be the abridgement, though, and overall I would recommend this.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I do all of Tyler's books. She has a way of capturing exactly what you are feeling, and of embracing life with all its imperfections. I am surprised that others found the story uninteresting. I was completely caught up in it, to the point that I turned it on in my car even if I was going a short distance. It is true that one of the main characters is almost unbearably depressing toward the end, but I like books that do not shy away from difficult subjects, and I thought the ending nicely redeemed this thread. Not for those who want a happy story, but great for those who want writing that beautifully articulates the human condition.
Impressed by the other reviews of this book, I downloaded and listened to it. It certainly is a well-written book, with several gripping scenes, and it fills an important need for female coming-of-age stories. Ultimately, though, it left me cold. My interest kept fading in and out, the imagery often seemed contrived, several ends were left quite loose, and I just didn't care enough about the characters to want to see it through. Given all the positive reviews, I would still recommend it, but keep in mind it's not for everyone.
I can only join in with the other glowing reviews. This is an honest, fascinating, helpful, and (of course) well-written book. The autobiographical part demonstrates how much writing is an internal need that shows through even in pretty desperate circumstances. A wonderful antidote to our 'get rich and famous quick, without real hard work or self examination' society. The part on writing is most helpful for fiction writers, but is illuminating for all writers. Even though King's genre is not my cup of tea, I learned a lot about writing and gained respect for King himself.
I downloaded this because I am planning a trip 'down under' and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is beautifully written, amusing, and extremely informative. Bryson has done an immense amount of research on this country, and imparts it in a thought-provoking, insightful, and funny way. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in Australia or in travel writing in general. Only a few minor drawbacks keep this from five stars in my opinion: it has a confusing strucutre (I'm never sure which visit we're on) and gets a bit too long and repetitive toward the end.
How wonderful to hear this classic tale of horror and the supernatural so well done. The narrator is phenomenal--I often couldn't believe it was the same person--and the music is effectively placed.
I remember really enjoying this story when they did it on Masterpiece Theatre a few years back. A really wonderful, if somewhat improbable morality tale about what we should look for in love. Be warned that it does take a while to get going, though, and the narrator's well modulated but quiet, soft voice doesn't help keep one's attention either.
I really enjoyed learning more about the Beatles, and this is written very well. Two problems, though. One, the narrator's voice is annoying. Two, the book is not really what it seems. After the two very long introductions to further editions, in which you learn that the original only covers the early years and is full of mistakes because of legal issues, it is really disappointing to learn that it hasn't been revised at all! It seems foolish to republish this without improving it.
I *loved* Bridget Jones. Hilarious, heartwarming stuff. It's pretty hard to follow that up. This is quite good as sequels go, and is definitely worth it to hear more about Bridget and her insecurities. The reading is superb--each character not only sounds totally different, but completely embodies who the character is as well.
This is a fantastic book, with rich detail, complex plot strands, stirring scenes, and plenty of romanticized chivalry. I'm glad they did it unabridged, and the reader does a valiant job, but this is a tough one to listen to out loud. You need to have full concentration.
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