I have to disagree with Tim ??? quite strongly actually.
This story comes together like a jigsaw puzzle. Different characters give us their (incomplete) part of the story so the reader/listener is left to figure out what is actually happening. The Korean names and dialogue made my understanding slower but after listening to it a couple of times, I can???t stop thinking about it. I think Mr. Johnson did a brilliant job of telling a complicated story.
The level of human misery, cruelty and pathological ideas depicted makes North Korea, in my opinion, the leader in long list of notorious practitioners. History books as well as novels are not shy about adding imaginative ways to hurt people and/or animals but the NK regime certainly beats them all in that respect. It is so hard to believe it has gone on for so long.
If a North Korean slipped through Alice???s looking glass, he/she would no doubt feel right at home in Wonderland ,, well , if you add lots of cruelty.
The book is well written and the narration is spot on.
We have to talk. This just isn't working between us anymore.
Be assured that it isn't you; it's me.
Your super human escapades are fine, I just can suspend belief long enough anymore
Your emotional immaturity is fine, I just feel I need something a less shallow these days
Your author's choice of having Tom Thumb , I mean Tom Cruise play you in a movie is fine, even though I am stricken with paralyzing nausea at the very thought
I'm not worried that you will reply as your author's most favorite phrase for you is "I said nothing." Honestly Jack, if I had a penny for every time I heard that, I could forget trying to win the Power Ball
I wish you all the best. I know you will find new readers/listeners as I must move on and find other authors/heroes/books .
I bought this book because someone said it was similar to the Gabaldon's Outlander series.
There is NO comparison. I could go on for hours about the differences but I'm so upset by this book I can't organize my thoughts. For me, this book is a Wallbanger -- the kind of book I would throw against the wall for just for existing.
Since I usually give romance novels close to failing grades (except for Sandra Brown's Rainwater and Linda Winstead Jones' Raintree: Haunted) why would I give this one a 5 Star rating? The same rating as I would give The Beautiful Ruins, the Book Thief, the Book of Unholy Mischief? Well, that would be comparing apples and oranges so it isn't a fair comparison.
However, as a Romance novel, this one stands out far above all others!
The key difference is that the protagonist is male and he narrates the story to the reader/listener as if in casual conversation. And the dialogue is definitely male--locker room style, blunt, crude and perfect for the story. It is so on the mark, I have trouble realizing that it is written by a woman.
All the characters are colorful, entertaining and totally different than those found in ordinary romance stories.
Great find. I just can't figure out how the author will follow up on this one, much less top it but I'm ready to find out!
What a find!
First I was unfamiliar with the author. Second the story was unique and about a time and place I knew little about (Ukraine about 1930). Third the characters seemed to really care about each other. There was genuine affection between family members. None of the drunken beatings common in many stories of that area.
Smith's writing is delightful. The details are so vivid, it's hard to believe he didn't live the experience.
Bronson Pinchot's performance is stunning. It just couldn't be better.
John Ceepak is BACK! He is one of my many guilty pleasures and I don't mind everyone knowing. Grabenstein's books are fun, clever, and entirely delightful. Consistently a great choice for reading/listening pleasure.
This one should be a movie! Clever cops, handsome robbers, evolving forensic science, LOTS of money in the mix! A fantastic story delightful told. And it really happened!
This book must have been written in all caps with a dozen exclamation marks after each sentence. Why else would the narrator read (scream) it that way? I doubt that Marines in boot camp are yelled at that much.
The back story was interesting but the main story, about a crazed serial killer, was "eh"
This story would make a great movie. Terrific storytelling -- colorful characters, quirky situations, all set in a southern Indiana community during the 60's,
Reminded me of Fried Green Tomatoes .
Is there an award like the Razzie for worst audio performance? Maybe a Nails-On-Blackboard award? A NOBY? If so I would like to nominate Mr. Paul Thornley’s performance in this book.
Although he is a professionally trained actor, I can honestly say I’ve heard more vocal variation and feeling from a prerecorded message than he delivers here.
This book may contain the secrets of the universe but I’ll never know --- it was too painful a listen.
One thing that puzzles me. From the time the narration is complete to the time the book is purchased, how many people listen to it for quality? Three? One? None? None would be my guess for this book because no hearing person could listen to it and say “Yep, this one is good to go”
If I were the author and had spent months researching, writing and re-writing a book that actually made it to publishing and THEN had it swept under the rug by dreadful narration, I’d be more than upset.
This book is so much better than this first one I listened to from this author (The Bitter Veil) that it’s hard to believe they were written by the same person. Hellmann's talent has obviously developed to an extraordinary level.
The story’s structure, character development, dialogue, pacing --- everything – is delightful. The narration is spot on too. And the pacing is FAST --- I mean it really MOVES. I couldn’t find a stopping place until the last sentence.
The bulk of this story takes place in the ‘60s and details many things I had forgotten but brought back a flood of memories in spectacular color.
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