You will spend 145 hours listening to all three of these volumes. You will not regret a minute. This is history at its finest - a succession of compelling stories laced with the most outstanding characterizations you can imagine. Shelby Foote's genius lies in his almost conversational style - it's as though he's sitting next to you chatting. Could not recommend this more highly.
I love Adrian McKinty's work. He can really deliver a sentence and can bring events to life in a powerful, lyrical way. Unfortunately, this book suffered from not having a whole hell of a lot going on. The central mystery is vaguely interesting, but then gets wrapped up in another one, and then the hero spends too much time wandering to and fro in Belfast. Still, it is worth the listen, for a wonderful soft irish brogue and the all-too-occasional time when something happens.
Kept waiting for something to happen - it did, but the author managed to craft an ending that was both implausible and contained every cliche about cops and gangsters.
This book starts out great. Marvelous writing style, good characters, two interesting crimes. Unfortunately, the characters don't develop and worse, they exhibit the relationship skills of high school sophomores. The investigation drags on and on and on, with an ending that is entirely predictable. For one of the crimes, that is. The other one is never resolved. To top it all off, the main character/narrator is an annoying twit.
But beautifully written.
This book starts out pretty well - action filled first scene. Then there's about an hour of waiting for something to happen. Another scene. More waiting. I stopped before I got through the first third.
I love Jim Harrison's work. His novellas (especially Revenge and Legends of the Fall) are some of the best things I have ever read. The latter book packs three generations of action into about 150 pages. His writing is consistently strong and he moves the story forward with every sentence. But not in this book. The Great Leader struck me as a little more than a rumination on growing old and it wore me out in about two chapters. What action there is comes between large chunks of the main character talking to himself. The narrator did a workmanlike job but there was not a lot to work with here.
I loved every minute of this book. Lanchester brings all his characters out through action and conversation and he has a great handle on what was happening in London during the 2000's. Looks at the era from a lot of different viewpoints. I cared about all these people, whether I liked them or not. There are a few references which require some background in English culture, but you won't have a problem if you don't catch them. Very nice story, really couldn't recommend it more highly.
Chester Himes is an unappreciated master of noir fiction. His writing sings and Samuel L. Jackson gets the tune exactly right. The story is entertaining, characters are exceptionally well drawn and the violence is as brutal as it is unexpected. Give it a try.
I read this book years ago. At least two times. It is a masterpiece. This reading adds a level of nuance to the book that is truly exceptional. The narrator picks voices for the various characters that are absolutely spot-on. The one caveat for those unfamiliar with the book is that the story is non-linear. Stick with it, it actually is pretty easy to piece things together as the story unfolds. You owe it to yourself to listen, and consider as you do how little things have changed since our adventures in Vietnam (which was current when this book was written) or in WWII, for that matter.
This is interesting stuff, although the author's bias in favor of Dickie Scruggs makes the book come across as less than the whole story. Still, a fascinating look at how the legal community in Mississippi worked (and didn't) together. A huge influx of money from different sources resulted in some very nasty fights amongst the participants, most of which ended up in court. One would think that a bunch of lawyers would know better than to air their dirty laundry in public. Also a nice look at how politics works in a small state where things are controlled by a small number of players.
The problem with Aaron Burr is that he left nothing behind. As the author notes, Burr refused to conduct business in writing. So we are left with other people's accounts of Burr's life, all of which are tainted by the reporter's perspective. Stewart does a good job of giving space to all the varied views of Burr but as a consequence I came away more than a bit confused. With that said, this book is very much worth the time, especially in the passages which describe Burr's various trials. The insight given into how the legal system operated at the time, and the degree to which it was driven by personal animosity, is great.
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