Not this one. The core story of Anna and Nicolas and Marge the eco-nut was generally acceptable, but why did he create such a profoundly damaged woman as Anna, with her perverse attachment to her Japanese war criminal tormentor. She was never redeemed, which is what I was waiting for. Why was Nick the war hero such an unbelievable wuss with his intimate relationships? The book could have been cut by 1/3 - the diatribe about hydro-electric development, East Timor, oil drilling, gorillas and endangered frogs was a lecture that belonged in a 'green' publication, not a novel.
This is the last one I had purchased to listen to, which is a good thing. Bryce usually meanders, but not this drastically off topic.
Humphrey is always magnificent - the range of his talent seems boundless. But this time, there was no one character whom I'd want to share a beer with. The Yakuza Oyabun and the POW Goji Moru were the most potentially interesting.
Good grief, no. It went on too long and I just didn't care what happened to any of the main characters about 4 chapters before the end of the book. They were all self-absorbed and with the exception of sad, twisted Anna, not fully developed as human beings.
Someone who has limited interest in character development, genuine emotion and a gripping, believable plot line.
Violet starts off as a self-centred spoiled child whose primary emotion is annoyance. She shows more affection for her cat than for her mother. As she becomes a young woman and then a courtesan, she shows little initiative for taking action to change the direction of her life. There was no passion. The portrayal of the character does not build depth or resonance - I stopped trying to care about her when she so meekly let her child be taken from her without putting up any sort of a fight. Her passivity and lack of heroism were overwhelming.
The narrator(s) were adequate, but, like the character Violet, the delivery was flat and without affect.
Fury. Disappointment. Annoyance. Disbelief. I felt tricked by the 4 star ratings because getting deeper into the story did not expose any new truths about Violet's journey to self-discovery. I kept listening for as long as I could bear it, waiting for the shift to action or a lift in the story arc or an aha moment, but simply gave up.
I thought this would be a good book for a 13 hour plane trip but it was not. I'm so disappointed that the contents did not live up to the description.
This novel ranks in the top five for me. I've read Sandford since his first book was published over 20 years ago and he always delivers a gripping plot line and sub-plots, vivid characters and a satisfying conclusion. No fluff or filler - just the real thing.
The intertwining of events, Virgil, of course, the development of an array of rich characters, whether they are on the side of good or evil, the matter-of-factness that somehow helps to temper the sobering violence. Unfortunately, the theme of multiple murders and shakey motives rings even more true lately.
I love his voice. In future, I will seek out books that he reads.
I'm looking forward to more Sandford. And Conger.
No. This is the kind of writing you find in supermarket magazines for women. I have no interest in these types of 'bitchy' relationships involving unlikable females.
Ken Follett - dependably excellent.
Not really. I wasn't wild about her voice.
Buying this was a major fail!
In the comedy-memoir genre, it ranks up there with Bossypants for me.
Yes, I'd listen to Craig again. His story is authentic and there's wry humour and honesty, without a hint of pathos or arrogance. The love of his family - and the women in his life - shines through. This is a man who has learned from his life choices and I was glad to hear that, in the end, he triumphed.
He has a great voice and good pacing, when he tried other accents, they were believable. HIs choice of words was authentic. There was a clear arc in the telling - starting off young and exuberant and ending up older and wiser, despite being battered along the way. He has a deft hand - didn't overplay the drunkenness, drugs or his sorrow at what had gone wrong. He's consistently likable, grateful and positive.
Very enjoyable. I'm going to PVR or YouTube-search his shows, so that I can see him in action.
Never. Aside from the bizarre tales of her upbringing (roadkill, anyone), I found this to be a too-long story about the life of a self-absorbed woman without a lot of outside interests. I stopped listening halfway through because Jenny just did not have the knack for genuinely connecting with the people in her life or with me.
Yes, the content was presented in a sardonic way, marred by an unsympathetic portrayal of the other characters (real people), and with a 'look at me, I'm special' tone.
What followed after the stories about her family was presented in a such a superficial way, e.g., life in the big city, her husband, the birth of her child (which came across as unimportant rather than funny). It's not the individual scenes as much as her me-me-me perspective that quickly became annoying.
Comparing Jenny to Fey or Sedaris is wrong. She is so far NOT in their league in terms of quality of content, consistency of humour, relevance and connecting with the reader/listener. I was beginning to feel sorry for her rather than being entertained.
The content was of great interest to me, because as a writer, I want to imbue my characters (especially the dodgy ones) with traits that 'ring true'. The in-depth information about 'happy feet' and other body 'tells' was very useful, especially since we tend to rely overmuch on the face and eyes.
What I did not like was the constant references to the author as FBI agent in a 'look at me' sort of way, without revealing anything about him as a human being. The stories he recounted were so single dimensional, they made being a high level law enforcement officer seem boring. More anecdotes and exciting events where he used his skills as a 'reader' of body language would have been helpful.
It annoyed me that I kept being referred to PDF images. He should have been able to describe the visuals accurately, so that I could 'see' them with his words. This is a 'talking book' - I don't carry documents with me when I'm riding my bike or working in the garden.
The narrator has a strong, pleasing voice, but the monotone delivery reinforced the lack of sparkle in the content. He sounded too much like Sgt. Friday from Dragnet. Good for a 30 minute TV show but not good for listening to for hours on end!
Unless the author is going to increase the pace and layer in some complexity and excitement, no follow up is needed. There are so many other resources out there - the author needs to be able to leverage his experiences being an FBI agent to connect to the reader/listener and energize the story more effectively.
Yes, I'd recommend it. There is a good balance of humour, life lessons, and insight into the comedy 'biz'. Tina has such a pleasant voice, she's never snarky and she doesn't take herself too seriously. The pacing was excellent - I listened to Bossypants on my daily walks and lost track of how far I'd gone, it was that good. There was just enough name-dropping, too.
Tina stories about her father were warm, funny and respectful. They gave a good backdrop to her character. The scenes about her husband's experiences with fear of flying were funny and touching, and showed her as a considerate, caring woman who wasn't just out for laughs.
It made me laugh out loud. It reminded me that famous people are just that - people.
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