I don't know what to praise more- the info in this book, the narration, or the writing. After a while, you begin to ask how many Civil War books can a nation produce? What new can be said and done? This book is unique in that it focuses more on the attitudes and influences on the time leading up to the full-blown war. Yes, I knew what a Wide Awake was before reading this book, but this author succeeded in truly making me 'feel' what a seventeen year old kid in New England must have felt as he saw his friends donning capes and deciding to stand against disunion. This book has a sort of magic to it that other civil war books lack. I have enjoyed very much Battle Cry of Freedom, and books like it that lay out the battles and the results of each, but this book truly enriched my understanding of what someone like me (And very likely these people were my ancestors) felt as he/she had to choose whether to lay down their life to make way for a truly free America.
Though of completely different styles and substances, Tana French reminds me of Stephen King when he was in his prime. You'd read four or five books and wonder how one person could spew forth so much talent without any of it repeating. Tana French has a diarrhea of talent. These books of hers are not really that unpredictable. She's not trying to be gimmicky and Sixth Sense you to death. The devil is in the details, the characters... more than anything, the hard choices. Loved this book as I did all the others prior. She is a unique, talented writer that isn't gaining readers because some loser on tv preached to the masses that her book is the new 'it' book like Twilight. No, she's selling books based on raw talent and masterful storytelling. I applaud her and I cherish these works.
I had trouble connecting with this book, but I pressed on with it anyway. The positives are that it is very well-written, very detailed in regards to WWII aircraft and information (Which I enjoyed). But I just didn't like the story and I don't think it's such a superb book to have all these ews and awes about it. Women would probably get more out of it than men. I say that because there is a lot of emotion tied to it whereas other war books like Hemingway, etc. forego all the touchy feely bits.
5 stars for the perfect narration. 5 stars for the compelling, deep-digging investigative work. This book blew my mind to put it lightly. The only con about it is that dozens of Hispanic names are thrown at you that you'll most likely forget and mix up save for the few key players. If you ever wondered why everyone in modern America was on crack in the 90's, well, this will pretty much answer it for you. And you'll also find out what happens to your stolen cars!
The hard part about writing reviews is that you write them in hindsight, after you've finished the book, to influence people who have not yet read the book. I would not want to turn anyone away from this book. It was interesting enough to keep me reading and I reached a part where I really thought it was pretty dumb. Then the book turned on me and renewed my faith in Tana French's ability as a writer. She truly does handle her craft rather well and I'm learning to go the distance with her and trust she'll carry the story through handsomely until the end. The narration on this was very good. I felt he handled the female voices well.
I didn't expect much from this, being that it's so old. I also expected it to be written in an overly-verbose way. I was wrong on all counts. It's very blunt and to the point. No lollygagging. It really puts you in the stockade with the prisoners. I'm sure not all of it is true, because obviouslly you wouldn't write a diary about escaping from prison while you're in prison, but it's a good book. Not boring at all.
I think the narrator does a pretty good job with this book. For the first hour, I thought it was kind of dry and boring or that it wasn't any different from listening to the radio show. then it picked up and to tell you the truth, it's scarier than anything Stephen King can write. The radio show is kind of a freestyle that bounces off callers, but this is more like a log of a lot of things going wrong in this country that you either forgot about or didn't know the depth of. It's not a perfect book. There are some things I disagree with, but it is worth reading so that you might cherry-pick your own ideas out of it. Overall, I felt it was a pretty sober-minded account if you want to grasp how and why our country has become so neutered. Lets all hope there truly is never another civil war.
I know nothing about the TV show, but this was on sale and I thought I'd give it an open-minded try. Within the first half hour, I could tell this was chick lit through and through by the tone and content of it. A bored chick with nothing else going on in her life, so she starts hustling drug money internationally. I endured for 4 chapters, then deleted it. I think a female audience might be able to suspend disbelief and handle the tone of the book better, but I wouldn't recommend it to men to read.
McKinty's series books are great. Some of the best you can read. I was hugely disappointed with this and gave up on it with about 40 minutes left to go. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't compelling. Couldn't get attached to any of the characters. It wasn't fun. I do, however, recommend Hidden River which blew me away and is in my opinion his best book.
I read all of McKinty's series books. Then I started in on the stand-alone books (50 Grand, Hidden River, Falling Glass and The Sun is God). Really, really felt like Falling Glass was forced and boring. Didn't like Sun is God. Same thing- it didn't have that kick to it like the other books. Well, I decided to give Hidden River a shot and I'm glad I did. This one has all the good moves like the Duffy and Forsythe books. You can burn right through this book because of how well it flows. And for fun, you must pay attention at the 2 hour, 43 minute mark to hear Gerard Doyle royally muck up a black taxi driver's voice. Sounds like a big fat cookie monster. Hilarious. Otherwise, Doyle is perfect. I almost feel that Gerard Doyle is Robin to McKinty's Batman.
This story is masterful in the way its written. I recently finished reading a few other 'mystery' type books where you hit pockets when the author sort of loses you in the suspension of disbelief and you know its a fictional book. Not with Tana French. You get pulled in and its all very real. I don't know why, but the recording on this book sounds slightly muffled. But you get over it after a few minutes and, other than that, its narrated pretty well especially with all the Irish slang and accents. I really thought the plot of this one was brilliant compared to other books not only in this series but in this genre as a whole.
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