Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012
I can't bring myself to rave about this book, but I will give it a thumbs up. It is a good read, as opposed to a really great read. While some might find the countless metaphors and analogies the author used as great prose, at some point, they became redundant and predictable as you couldn't help but anticipate that another would be uttered. My favorite? ". . . (was) like grout oozing between ceramic tiles." Oh well. Good plot, interesting characters and a fine finish. Consider that my rave!
This is a story that moved slowly through the lives of a woman and her son as it revealed their individual experiences in a pointedly discriminatory society, and it had a mesmerizing way of holding my attention.
The book is about the bare bones existence of a divorced women and her son in the 1950's and beyond; and about how people evolve, redefine themselves, escape their pasts and then return to those pasts over and over again.
I wondered all the way through where the story was going. . . and in time, there was a mystery to be resolved.In addition there was a need for recompense and healing that was a long time coming.
Key elements: A lost boy thought to be kidnapped; a boy who was lost because of an absent parent; a mother with great expectations but no means to achieve them; and a social climate (friends, neighbors, bosses, teachers, counselors) that dampened aspirations. These elements give this book lots of depth. The characters are people you will admire, have empathy for and yet, at times, waiver between holding in disdain for their lack of bravery and willpower and cheering for their meager accomplishments when the world seems against them.
I like this book and the only flaw was in the narrator's attempts to create male voices, child voices and differentiation among female characters. Her efforts were grand, the results not so much.
Still, overall, four stars. Good, not great. Worth the credit.
This is a relatively short book, thankfully. I found myself liking, then disliking it; mostly because the "mystery" was so transparent that there really was no mystery. The characters and events were so ordinary, predictable and scripted! Still I kept listening, just to find out how the adventure concluded.
Part of me wanted to believe that this is really a true account of a true story. The setting is WWII in the Gulf Coast area of Orange Beach, which was then a sparsely populated beach front community of fishermen and laborers. History records that there were German submarines in the Gulf, causing mayhem with US shipping via the Merchant Marines. But could a German submariner who is injured leave his sub and survive a harrowing swim through the shark-infested waters of the Gulf and end up on the beach, where he is found by a woman grieving the loss of her husband to the Nazi war machine?
If the story is true, it is an amazing wartime tale. That part I liked. What began to get prickly was the way the author pounded away at definitions and acts of forgiveness. . .over and over again. Every character in the book presented at least one long soliloquy on the topic, to the point of redundancy.
Three stars. . .that's the best I can do. It's not a bad book, just not a great one.
If you haven't already guessed it, this book, in my view, was LONG. Too long. Only because I grew tired of the ghastly violence that surrounded nearly every element of the book. Reality it probably is in the world of drugs and illegal arms, but the violence was so graphic and so horrendous that I found myself wanting to walk away from the book, even though the story itself was compelling.
The narration was first rate and I agree that this is a story that needs to be told. I am just a little too squeamish for the descriptions of man's inhumanity to man (and woman) that accompany it. I finished it and recommend it only for those who don't flinch when torture is described in detail. I flinch.
Still, I won't dock stars. A good solid 4 star story and a 5 star performance.
What a nice surprise! This starts as a rather mysterious, dark story and turns into an international thriller featuring a unique form of time travel. Great characters, great story with lots of fascinating twists and turns. Narrator is quite good and the story just an enjoyable listen through and through.
I LOVE Craig Johnson's "Walt Longmire" mysteries. . . or maybe I am in love with Walt. . . either way, this is yet another great story in the series. This time, Walt attempts to go undercover in a backwater Wyoming town to resolve a murder. He and his pal "the Indian Nation" do their best and the story offers great excitement, many twists and turns, a little romantic speculation and lots of humor.
If you haven't started the series, do! Cold Dish will introduce you and from there, it is a sure bet that you'll want all eight of Walt's stories in your library.
I stumbled on this book via a genre list on Goodreads. . . and was happy to find it available on Audible.
This is not just "another" story of the Jewish experience during Hitler's reign; it is a GREAT true story of one woman's experience that has been written as novel.
Anya Brodman died in 1996. This novel relieves her years-long nightmare as a young Russian Jew who moved to Poland with her family prior to the outbreak of WWII. Her wonderful family was slowly but surely decimated; their upper middle-class station ripped from under them as her father, brothers and husband were slaughtered. Anya, her daughter and mother suffered in a Jewish Ghetto and just before Anya and her mother were forced to board the train to the labor camps, where Anya and her mother were parted, Anya made the wrenching decision to give her young 3-year old daughter to a Gentile, in hopes that the child's life would be spared.
This is a wrenching story. Part I is a narrative of Anya's family and life before the war. It was idyllic. From there the story follows her decisions, deceptions and horrendous life; sometimes in gory detail; as she prevails. Anya's story reveals her fallibility, her wounds and pain, some of from which she was never able to recover.
I was immediately engaged with this story because of the superb narration. Kathe Mazur did a marvelous job throughout. It is a long story, but one that is brilliantly written and told. Anya's story is one of a heroic struggle just to survive and reveals her character and determination.
There is little to criticize, however I would offer this note: There were elements of the story that provided so much detail that I wished for less; and there were elements of the story presented with little detail and I wished for more. This minor fault does not diminish its value nor my recommendation to consider putting this one in your library.
This is the fourth book I have listened to in the "Walt Longmire" series and the fourth time I have given author and narrator five stars. Not only are these contemporary westerns great stories filled with complex, well developed characters and mystifying cases to solve; but the narration brings Walt and those he encounters to life in a fantastic manner.
The setting is Wyoming, the time period now, although recountings of Walt's tour of duty in Viet Nam in the late '60's, influenced by the discovery of the body of a Vietnamese women are a central element of the plot of this book.
Start with the first in the series, and you'll want to read them all. They are that good.
Adrian McKinty has done it again. This story is simply wonderful even though I must admit it has numerous grisly accountings of murder and mayhem. What I liked is the way McKinty wove so much history, human interest and mystery into a grand plot that kept moving. I found myself finding it hard to turn it off because I couldn't wait to hear what happened next.
Loved the inclusion of history and myth in relation to the bands of "travelers" or Irish "tinkers.". I loved even more the incomparable narration of Gerard Doyle. No one could possibly do it better.
As a mystery/thriller, this one is stellar!
I chose this book based on reviews that described it as a stellar, moving story about men who survived the horrors of war. For some, perhaps it was. For me, it was less of a story about the survivors than it was a detailed accounting of both American and Japanese strategy and battles in the Pacific.
Sorry, but that isn't my cup of tea. There were brief overlays that were compelling collages from the life of the boy/man from Montana who was catapulted unto an awful circumstance, but not enough to create a story line that kept my attention.
Likely this is a great war story, just not one that I could thoroughly enjoy.
I can vaguely recall "reading" this book as a sophomore or junior in high school and preparing a book report as a class assignment. However since that was several decades ago, before listening to this Audible book, I had no recollection of the substance of the book, so I enjoyed rediscovering it.
The Good Earth is a simplistic story -- almost like a fable or analogy -- that remains applicable and can be instructive, even in this modern day and age. Wealth as a destroyer of traditional values, the cycle of nature ,and the oppression of women are three of the major themes of the book.
There are lots of take aways, but one seems paramount and timely: when we are without wealth, we can be critical of the lifestyles, morality and culture of the wealthy; but when we become wealthy, it is easy to adopt those same lifestyles, moral codes and cultures. Interesting, the outcomes we observe for the wealthy are parallelled in our own experiences, and happiness is not among them.
The narration of this audio-book is superb! Anthony Heald is simply wonderful. Pearl S. Buck's writing, somewhat barebones in terms of background and description, stands the test of time and warrants accolades.
This is a great book!
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