First -- the story: It is a good one, realistic in events and character. Very worth your while even though the characters and locale(s) seemed less well developed than they could have/should have been.
Second -- the narration: Generally well done, although there are segments that were clearly "redone" or inserted as the full taping was edited. I found the introduction of each new chapter to be oddly done, however. One word. Succinct. Spanish. Then English.
Third -- the story structure: It tried to flow seamless from scene to scene and time frame to time frame -- sometimes leaving me in the lurch. From evil rancher to sage advisor to suspicious physician assistant to crooked plant manager to border patrol agents to immigrants and around and around back and forth again. Although it worked (after a while,) in the early chapters, it was confusing and disconcerting. Listen carefully to names as they are first introduced and you'll do fine.
I liked this story for what it told about today's political issues regarding immigration and our nation's sense of responsibility and morality (or lack thereof) as we capitalize on illegal immigrants -- all the while punishing them for their presence here. Not that this book nor I can offer solutions to this complex issue -- the story makes you think deeply about prejudice, human character and the policies regarding the borders of this nation.
I liked this book until the ending. . . then it was so anti climactic there was hardly a need to finish listening to the last 45 minutes. Too bad, because it had great potential and good narration. The story built and built and then just collapsed on itself with predictable events that made for an oh so happy ending. Too, too bad. Three stars at best.
I have read other Courtenay books, but in my view, this is one of his best. Perhaps that stems from the story being set in the 1960's Singapore when so much was happening in every corner of the world. Courtenay combines world history in a manner that is educational, engaging and well plotted. It was a wonderful listen.
This story is exceptionally well told by Humphrey Bower. Lots of good voices to represent the many characters and just the right pace. I enjoyed the entire plot as well as the family history that was revealing itself in the then present-day characters' lives.
If any fault is to be found, it is in the final minutes when finally the truths are revealed. I didn't want the story to end and it seemed too abrupt. However, when the pieces of the puzzle came together, they did so very fast, so perhaps it was in keeping with the plot.
If you like historical fiction and want to learn more about the coming of age of Singapore, China and other parts of the east, you will enjoy this one.
Simon Vance's narration is what drew me to this book and he was spectacular, as always. The story was a fun little diversion in the city of Amsterdam, and having spent time there myself, I enjoyed all the references and geographically staged events. Interesting plot and outcome. . . just a nice listen!
This is a L-O-O-O-O-NG story. You get your money's worth if you buy books by the hour. However, it could have been told in a much more compact, exciting, interesting way. If you haven't ready many books about dystopian societies, this one will be entertaining; maybe even seem pretty realistic. If you are better read, leave this on the shelf. I gave up on hoping for reality in this story when the snow plows arrived and cell service continued, despite the loss of all other services, including shipments of food, availability of medical care, and the loss of electricity.
The main character was Alex, a former Marine captain, who may or may not have PSTD eight years after the fact, and may or may not have a family he truly cares about, and may or may not make the darnedest decisions. . some of them borderline stupid. . when a global flu epidemic turns his Maine neighborhood into a combat zone.
The characters are really little than cardboard, nothing multi-dimensional about them at all. That leaves the listener wondering if he/she should really care how all this turns out. In the end (spoiler) everyone lives happily ever after, just as you know logically that every 12-year old boy who plays video games, would after using a automatic gun to kill a man who was about to shoot his dad.
The narration was solemn, slow paced and really fit the story, although it might put less committed listeners to sleep.
Three stars only because I finished the book. It was somewhat engaging.
The Foxmans are a quintessential dysfunctional family, sans their recently departed husband/father. . . . five kids and their mom sit shiva and the dysfunction reigns supreme. Funny throughout, filled with coarse language and crude moments -- but somehow, quite believable. This is a family many can relate to; especially their varied states of discord and lack of emotional intelligence. Judd, a man reeling from infidelity, narrates the story and offers hilarious "mind thinks" about every situation.
This one is likely not for everyone, because it has graphic sexual descriptions and a plethora of hard core four letter words. But it rings true, terribly, terribly true and for that reason is a good read.
Nell, Fen, Bankson and the tribes of New Guinea are the central characters of this novel with their surroundings well described, their depth of character well-established. The story reveals how professional jealousy, egotistic greed, and love can intermix into a painful, if not volatile circumstance. I enjoyed this story because of the story itself. . . anthropologists who themselves would have been good "case studies," studying the tribes of New Guinea while dealing with complex emotions, needs and relationships.
Nell may have been fashioned after Margaret Mead and Fen and Bankson otherwise modeled. Perhaps this was why the story rang true and the unscrupulous behaviors of some anthropologists realistic given the 1930's setting.
Great story, I think. . . would have listened to the narrators and story much longer had it been so.
Enjoyed this one, but decided half way through that McKinty's Alex was not as brilliant and capable as my fav, Sean Duffy. Good story set in Denver CO which made it great fun. Lots of tragedy and violence, but closes with a semi-happy ending, nevertheless.
McKinty hasn't written a bad one, so I will look forward to the next!
Great story line and plot, well written and a police procedural that is very engaging with lots of twists that you won't see coming. Narrator just seemed a bit "off" for this one. . perhaps because I've listened to many other Michael Connelly books and better like the other narrators for his books.
Not the best Connelly listen I've had, but one I wouldn't have wanted to miss!
I enjoyed this book, especially the narration by Simon Vance. It is a twisting, turning story of intrigue that will keep you guessing to the very end. My only criticism of it is that none of the characters but Rob were fleshed out enough for the listener to acquire any sense of empathy or dislike for them. That said, it is a good (not great) story that was worth the time for certain!
Such a nice surprise! This 1978-era novel of the high seas is a real gem! Scott has produced an engaging story of adventure, revenge and romance (minimal emphasis) on the high seas. It is about one man's war against a behemoth oil tanker and the listeners are taken to sea on both the oil tanker and small yachts. The author has skillfully crafted a story that pulls listeners into the adventure, wondering all the while whether Peter will live to complete his revenge, or simply die trying.
Loved the narration and recommend this maritime thriller to all!
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