I loved this book. Ben Howe is a terrific writer who captures the culture clash of his family and adopted neighborhood with a wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humor. I'm surprised to see some readers comment that the narration is weak. I think Bronson Pinchot captures these characters perfectly. (As one reader commented, the George Plimpton impression alone is worth the price of admission.) This is a book I can imagine listening to again. Great fun! Highly recommended.
I began my Audible subscription last year and listened to over 30 books. This was my favorite. Mary Doria Russell is a gifted writer who cares deeply about her characters and about history. I was equally impressed by Mark Bramhall who brings every character alive in his masterful narration. I hated to have this book come to an end. Can't wait for Russell's sequel which will move the action to Tombstone and the OK Corral.
I honestly think I lost IQ points listening to this book. The worst part was that I got sucked in initially by the reasonably suspenseful plot devices. I put up with the cardboard characters and cliched writing because I was intrigued by the mystery surrounding the building. But the pay-off was so bad, so ridiculously bad, that I felt like an idiot having wasted any time on this drivel. I want my time back and the brain cells I expended in the effort. The narration was ok, although some of the accents were pretty lame. (Ray Porter's German is much better than his Indian.) I just kept wondering, "Isn't he embarrassed to be reading this?"
I understand from reading many other reviews that mine is a minority opinion. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
So some of my friends had been telling me for years to read Lonesome Dove, but I'm really not much of Western fan and it looked really long. Therefore, it's been one of those books that's just been sitting on my shelf for way too long. When I subscribed to Audible earlier this year, I saw that Lonesome Dove had gotten stellar reviews and was recommended as a great first "listen". 36 hours seemed a little long, but I have a long commute. Best decision I've made in a long time. Honestly, it was hard for me to get out of my car at times because I just wanted to keep listening. Loved the characters - if I get another dog he's going to be named Gus for sure - loved the plot, loved the setting.
McMurtry is a master novelist, but he's also great historian. After reading the section about Clara and her family, I felt that I understood homesteading better than I ever had from a history book.
Others have mentioned that this is an old recording and the sound quality is pretty bad at times. But it would be hard to imagine a better narrator than Lee Horsley. His voices are terrific and he captures both the comic and tragic elements of this novel perfectly. I can't recommend Lonesome Dove highly enough. So glad I finally got to reading it - listening to it was even better.
So, had he survived his assassin and his doctor, James Garfield might have been one of our greatest presidents. Who knew? This is a fascinating piece of history and Candice Millard captures it with the skill of a great suspense writer. I love American history, but knew very little about this period. Millard does a great job of introducing an amazing cast of characters including Garfield, Charles Guiteau - the psychopathic assassin, Alexander Graham Bell, Chester Arthur - Garfield's successor, and New York Senator Roscoe Conkling.
Unfortunately, I found Paul Michael's narration pedestrian at best and, often, simply excruciating. I'm not sure why he felt it necessary to read even snippets of letters in character, but it sure didn't work for me. I found the female voices especially irritating, so much so that I had to turn off the recording at times. From the posted reviews, it's clear that many others were not bothered by the narration, but for me it was nails on the chalkboard. In any case, I highly recommend Millard's book, but recommend reading it on your own. I've chosen to do that with her first book, The River of Doubt, also narrated by Paul Michael.
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