Please note that this is "unabridged SELECTIONS," not an unabridged book. Of the 8 stories in here, only 2 were excellent. 4 were okay, and 2 of the stories were incomprehensible or pointless. I'm disappointed in this audiobook.
Creation of believable characters, removal of plot holes
He was pretty good at the accents, voices, and keeping them straight. He also brought energy and life to the story.
Exasperation, pain, offense
I wanted to like this book enough to finish it. I really really did. For so many reasons. But I was suffering. I was suffering too badly to continue to suffer, after getting at least 65% through the book. I love sci-fi, and I love speculative stuff and I can suspend disbelief for weird or new or even scientifically inaccurate stuff, so long as it's believable within its world. But so much of the human interactions here were completely unrealistic. The most prominent female character was inconsistent AND embarrassing. Forget the Bechdel test - the two female characters never spoke to one another and the main one never seemed to worry about anything other than a man no matter who she was talking to. Here's a great quote I remember from shortly before I quit the book "I could tell she wasn't going to give me any more sugar just then, so I decided not to beg for it. Women don't respect that." I won't even try to go into the plot holes that were so numerous my brain was feeling like the proverbial swiss cheese, just trying to keep track. I wasn't expecting high literature from this book, but this book was just too bad for me to continue.
This was a pretty fun book. Like many other listeners, I found the author's sighing and breathing into the microphone excessive and distracting at times, but it didn't ruin the book.
I got just over two hours into this 13-hour book before I gave up. The book has such an intriguing setup - an Irish girl arrives without parents in the US in the 18th century and is sent as a servant girl to live with the black slaves on a plantation. But the execution of the story is disappointing. The characters are one- or at best two-dimensional, saying things and behaving in ways that are more like cartoons than real people, though the book takes itself quite seriously. Plot turns are both predictable and often unbelievable, seeming manufactured by the author, rather than making sense. The author pays close attention to some details (like what food is prepared) but less to others (why is a 7 year old lost on a snowy day all day but doesn't need any warming up when she's found? How much time has gone by between scenes? What motivates the characters?). Both narrators here are excellent, but the book is a sad contrast to The Help, which shares one of the narrators.
I just could not finish this book. I tried and tried. I got halfway through, but most of that was a struggle. The author was also the narrator, and she was a very good narrator. But there was no arc to the story. It was like a bunch of little steps, one bit after another, but no plot, no storyline, almost no conflict or mystery or anything to grab you. It was just kind of bland and boring. And there were many miss opportunities for ... I don't know what to call it, maybe deeper analysis, or discussion of implications, but most of them were missed.
If I remember correctly, this is a novel based on true experience. Maybe that's the problem. There were a lot of irrelevant and boring details that might have been interesting if this were the memoir of a remarkable, unusual or famous person, but were boring as part of a novel.
Sorry, Alison. If the person in the book is anything like you, then you seem like a delightful, funny, and interesting person. But the book itself isn't doing it for me.
After listening to and really enjoying "Company Man," I came back for more J. Finder. But this book was such a disappointment in comparison. The characters behaved unrealistically, and there was never a good sense of how much time has passed. It was too unbelievable. Plus, Scott Brick's reading was very tedious - he seemed to only have two emotions in this book: shock and disgust. Don't really recommend this one.
I had no idea what to expect from this book. It was quite enjoyable. Lots of very colorful characters -- that was the best part. The plot was silly, somewhat unpredictable, and fun to follow. A very fun listen!
I was expecting a standard crime story with flat characters who behave predictably unrealistically. Instead, this was complex, with real characters, a multi-faceted plot, and lots to think about. I found myself listening at every moment, wanting to continue with the story. My only criticism is that Scott Brick didn't do as much as he could to differentiate characters by their voices.
This was a wonderful book ... almost a "bonfire of the vanities" for the current tech world, only with some more personal aspects. The author was a fantastic narrator, and the book was fun and exciting. I enjoyed it tremendously.
This story was well-written, with good language and imagry. What really made this particular book amazing, though, was the narrator. Here is a definite case where reading the book itself would have been a completely different (less-fulfilling?) experience than hearing Lamia bring the story alive.
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