I would listen to this story again because it really captured the era. The class distinctions were interesting and the story is an historical snapshot of a time.
I have read the book a few times before, but I thought the narrator really captured the biting commentary of the characters. The words seem so innocent, but they have a lot of power, and at times cattiness, behind them. I am a fan of the compliment delivered with the slap across the face and this story has quite a bit of that.
I laughed all the way through the conversation between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth. It was like watching a tennis game where each tries to get one over on the other and Lizzy came out on top.
The only thing that was a little off-putting were the huge silent gaps between chapters. I checked my iPod quite a few times to make sure that it hadn't stopped playing (my iPod does that sometimes for no reason). Once I got used to them though I just let it go.
Yes I would listen to it again because I'm sure I missed some of the foreshadowing that led to the unraveling of the mystery at the end.
My favorite character was Vida Winter. Her story and her rigidity about telling it the way she wanted it told spoke to her strength in light of the adversity she experienced in her life.
I liked the conversations between Vida and Margaret because the two narrators made it a conversation. It wasn't one person impersonating two people.
The story that will never be told!
Loved, loved, loved this book. My sister recommended it (thanks sis!) and it was very good. There are all the elements of a trashy novel (incest, dead bodies in the woods, foundlings), but it never comes off as trashy or trite.
I don't know if I would try another John Jakes book, but I would give Grover Gardner another try.
I would probably not recommend North and South because it was kind of dry. I'm a fan of historical fiction, but this was kind of shallow and repetitive. Everyone is very one dimensional.
I don't know how much a narrator could pull out of this book. He did the northern and southern accents, unfortunately the characters really had nothing to say.
It was something to fill freeway time. It is better than AM radio.
I would listen to this book again because the characters were so amazing that the listener actually is emotionally tied to their lives. They are richly written and seem to come to life.
There were points in the story where I didn't want to get out of my car. I sat there waiting to find out what was going to happen next.
The narrator managed to differentiate the characters through intonation and accent to the point that I always knew who was speaking.
There were times that the witty remarks made me laugh out loud. The group of men (Henry Longfellow, James Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr) are translating Dante's Inferno and their closeness to each other makes the reader an unspoken part of the group. It's like being part of their club.
The Black House ranks among the top audio books I've listened to. My son and I listen to this story on the way to and from school. We listened to The Talisman by the same authors and narrator and I wanted him to hear this story.
The narrator does a good job of switching between characters. We can recognize them by his cadence and intonation.
Yes, we listened to The Talisman. The main character is the same person from the other book only he is an adult now. Mr. Muller does a good job of distinguishing between the young Jack and his now older self.
The collaborations between King and Straub are very good. While I am pretty sure I can distinguish which author wrote what section, they do a good job of blending their styles. If I were to guess I would put the first book, The Talisman, more heavily weighted to King's character driven style. This second book has a heavier Straub feel to it because of the story arc and importance placed on plot. My son is a teenager and I feel comfortable with the conversations we have about the content of The Black House. If he were younger I would not have him listen to it. The story of mutilated children is generally not appropriate for little people. The Talisman is more palatable to a younger audience despite some of the language.
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