Fletcher, VT, US | Member Since 2013
I am wrestling with myself (not alligators) about how I feel after listening to this book. This book is listed in Stephen King's top ten books you MUST read so I took his advice. I had also read a rave review from Carl Hiaasen, my expectations were quite high. And yes, I do love the premise of this story.
Ms. Russell does a beautiful job of inviting us into the swamp, we feel the heat, see the waterways, smell the wild orchids. She makes the run down theme park Swamplandia! come alive and that entertains. Throughout Ms. Russell produces beautiful prose that makes this book special.
However, I just can't join in the praise for the Bigtree tribe. Mother Hilola (think Esther Williams swimming with gators) is the star performer , Father the Chief runs the show, son Kiwi and daughters Osceola and Ava (the main character, an alligator wrestler in training) are home schooled kids who's stories drive the plot.
In the first few chapters tragedy strikes, the old theme park looses it's star performer Hilola. The children each react in their own way, and from that point on nothing goes right in the world at Swamplandia!
Although there are so many things I loved about this book, I think the narrator Arielle Sitrick does this book a terrible disservice. Her tween voice would be fine if she had read this book with even a little passion and feeling. Her narration was flat and failed miserably. Even in the most interesting parts, this narrator made me too often not care what happened next. I can usually overlook a sub-par narrator, but this time, I was so confused, I kept trying to figure out if it was truly the narrator, the prose or me. I think narrator
There were moments I couldn't put the book down, and moments I wanted to just walk away from this book.
I also felt that Kiwi' s part of the story was weak, perhaps if this part had been stronger and more engaging maybe the bad narration (female reader) could have been mitigated.
Maybe reading this book in text is a better bet.
I expected more from Joe Hill. This is an earlier collection so I'll have to give him a pass. A few of the stories were engaging but the non-endings became trite and overused. Oh well.
This book is about family, love, first love, music, human weakness, illness, loss, grief, religion, faith healing, hucksters, personal growth and power and control. King serves it up in a book that develops methodically holding the reader/listeners interest throughout. The narrator brings the prose along with a hint of an accent when needed. I liked this book a lot. Not the crazy every moment scary books King sometimes writes but a solid good creepy one. A slow simmer to the burn at the end.
This book was a mix. I appreciated Grisham's exploration of the beauty of the Appalachians and the rural folk who live there. I also thought the authors passion for the preservation of that environment as it is being ruined by coal mining, was a positive and of course important focus of the book.
Now to the story.... sadly the main character was unlikable and somewhat poorly developed. She came off as a whiny and complaining yet naive and somewhat immature irritating young woman. Although there was some redemption for her in the end, I just couldn't buy it. The other minor characters were more interesting and made for the good in the story.
What happened with this book? Why didn't it rise to the level of the last novel and so many of Grisham's others? Although not a complete loss, not so good either.
Amy and Nick fall in and out of love. Then Amy is gone and here comes the famous twists and turns that make this book (now movie) so compelling. Overall yes it is a book that is different and will hold your interest.
However the surprise ending just didn't do it for me. It seemed completely unnecessary and instead of making the book all it's cracked up to be, it detracted. So both worthwhile and a wee bit disappointing all at once.
After listening to too many so -so books that were not even worth reviewing, finally I've come across a book that I loved. This book held my interest throughout. The mystery was engaging and kept me thinking and the characters were well rounded. Yes this is a goodie, a real good mystery that will surprise you right to the end; and I didn't want it to end.
In this book the characters are well rounded, I got to know each of them well.
This is a story of community, gossip, friendship, parenting, and marriage.
It is also a poignant and realistic portrayal of domestic violence. Ms. Moriarty gives us insight into one couple's relationship. On all outside appearances these two seem to have it all. They have plenty of money, a beautiful perfect home, darling children.. but wait something is wrong and that something is upsetting more than just the one family. The secrets and violence leak out into other relationships and it all makes for a engaging read/listen
What a sweet funny and bittersweet story! Ms. Moyes does it again, she gives us an engaging lovely story with heart. I laughed, teared up and just didn't want to put it down. The author hits it right in the mark, the feelings and challenges of a single parent with "special and different" kids This book is not fine literature but a damn good listen. The narrator did a fine job; I really liked everything about this book.
This book was pretty boring throughout. Nothing like the series as many other reviewers have pointed out. Piper's self centered style is dry and matter of fact. I found it hard to make it all the way to the end of this book; I kept loosing focus. Not so good.
This book began very slow for me, not until about half way through did things pick up and a really good plot emerge. I am very glad I hung in there, worth the wait. The characters (even some of the "bad guys") were portrayed with depth and even compassion when appropriate. With all this killing and revenge a love story develops which was kind of sweet in the middle of all the violence. The listener becomes very attached to the main character Sonny. We cheer him on as he revenges his father's death, just killing and killing away. Yea this is a pretty good book.
I am shocked that I disliked this book as much as I did. I typically am a fan of this author. I am not sure what Mr. Isles was thinking as he wrote and wrote and wrote this way too too long book. The plot kept going round and round and never really got off the ground. The characters were not very likable and often acted in ways that were inconsistent. And yes I agree that the narration was worse than horrible. The fake southern accents were insufferable and Mr. Ledoux over acted with many of the characters. I just couldn't wait for this book to end. I suffered for over 30 hours hoping that something would improve and it just never did. UGH.
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