I adored A Dog's Purpose, both the plot and the performance by George K. Wilson. The sequel left me with some heart-warming moments, but overall sadder upon completion. The lead human character was more tragic, and the supporting characters were either far more heroic or far more despicable than any in A Dog's Purpose. Gloria was easy to hate, and Trent spent time between scenes having his halo polished and his wings adjusted. I won't be giving the hardcover of the sequel as gifts as I did with A Dog's Purpose. Not a bad book to be sure, but a different mood from the first volume.
When I read this installment of Maisie Dobbs' series, I felt it was the best yet. Maisie is a complex character, and far, far ahead of her time. How she is able to accomplish so much as a single woman in the 1930's is . . . well, fiction . . . but I love her nonetheless.
Author Jacqueline Winspear integrates the perfect amount of period detail, but in a way that does not feel overbearing. I always feel transported to another place and time. The highest complement I can give Winspear, however, is how she weaves the various subplots into each novel. I want to take a basket of food and offer to babysit for Billy and Dorene Bealle. I want to sip sherry with Maurice and absorb his wisdom. I want to be Maisie Dobbs!
I have found that I usually tire of a series after reading it from the first installment straight through to this point. Oddly, Craig Johnson just keeps getting better and better. New characters, new settings, and deep, rich characters keep the series fresh. I have devoured each installment and dreaded any wait for the next book to appear.
I've read them all through Audible, and I believe that George Guidall is as vital to Walt Longmire's success as the author is. After viewing the A&E series with great disappointment, I realize that George Guidall's voice has helped me conjure vivid mental pictures of these people (I can hardly call them characters any more!) and any TV portrayal simply cannot compete.
Please, Mr. Johnson, keep writing, and keep George Guidall as the audio voice for your work!
Afghanistan--the last place I would expect to provide the most enduring, complex plots and characters in recent fiction. Nevertheless, Hosseini draws the reader immediately into this land of contrasts and traditions, and it is easy to want the novel to go on for many hours more. When one puts down a Hosseini novel, its characters live on inside one's mind for many days. I can't help but wonder if the author is producing the subject matter for many literature students to come.
This is my first W.E.B. Griffin book, and likely my last. If you are a fan and convince me otherwise, I'm all ears. Perhaps he grew as an author.
One cannot fault the novel for being somewhat outdated; the pay phone that requires a dime certainly reflects its time of writing. I chuckled a bit at these glimpses back in time, but I read a lot of current fiction that reaches back into history.
What I disliked are the thin, predictable characters. I endured rather than enjoyed Men in Blue.
A fun entrance into a geographical area and career far different from my own, Clement creates a protagonist and cast of characters who are quirky, smart, and full of unforeseen layers. When one needs a digression from "real life" (at least for most of us), this could be it. I will add that the final solution is quite dark, and readers with delicate sensibilities may not enjoy what they find here. For myself, I've just downloaded the sequel!
The substance of the classic Jane Eyre is well established, and this character has enthralled readers for almost two hundred years. I can add little to the comments of readers who have read and studied the novel in far greater depth than I. I will add, however, that Susan Ericksen's narration was nothing short of splendid. In her most expressive rendition, I could hear Jane's youthful impertinence, her growing wisdom, and her passionate love. Desperation, strength of character, and fear issued with equal credibility from Susan Ericksen's voice.
After listening to the book, I was so impressed that I purchased the hard cover so that I could refer back to it repeatedly, and I have. I have used many of the exercises for enhancing willpower, and I can imagine that sitting through Dr. McGonigal's actual course at Stanford would be even more engaging. Well-researched and thoroughly documented.
If you dislike sound effects, stay away. These are the worst ever.
Perhaps Patterson thinks that a powerful villain in a position of power is enticing. Not. Imagine Lt. Calley of the My Lai Massacre were promoted rather than court martialed, and you would have this plot.
First, Michael Kramer's narration was exceedingly offputting, breathless(literally). I've never in all my Audible experience heard such pronounced breathing sounds, which for some reason the sound editors decided was appropriate. The first paragraph almost caused me to quit this one.
Nevertheless, I stuck it out. Alex Cross seemed impotent in this installment of the series. Can't solve the crimes. Can't stay focused on his personal loss. Can't keep himself from muttering under his breath in an effort to build suspense. It just didn't work very well, James Patterson.
Yes, this was a beautifully written novel. I did find myself enjoying some of the characters deeply. On the other hand, Richard Burton and the Hollywood hangers-on left me completely flat. Edoardo Ballerini as narrator was the highlight.
Author Jess Walter has a gift for intertwining disparate characters in different decades and different continents, but unless the next novel is free of household names (behaving badly), I won't be back.
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