Reminds me of Haven Kimmel (A Girl Named Zippy), had she grown up in post-war England in a family of the declining gentry and a passion for chemistry and solving mysteries. Same laugh-out-loud, tear-in-the-eye observant take on an adventurous girl's childhood. Hard to imagine Flavia's voice in any other than Jayne Entwistle's. This is a series I only listen to, thanks to the pitch-perfect narration.
What a remarkable narration of a remarkable book. Sometimes, I had to stop listening, I felt so strongly the need to tell the main character, "no, don't do it!" And yet, when I got to the end, I started over again. The story is suspenseful and gripping, with an inevitability to the characters' actions that becomes clear at the end. So accomplished a narration, I had trouble shaking the idea that I know the characters personally.
Was there ever a better match between character and narrator than Flavia de Luce and Jayne Entwistle? These books are funny, touching, and sometimes nail-bitingly suspenseful. I had trouble seeing with the logic of some parts of this installment, but all was wrapped up in the end in a way that made sense. I do hope there will be more in the series. Hint: don't listen to this one if you haven't listened to the previous installments. And, I do mean listen: truly a case where the narration is superior to anything one can conjure in one's head.
Katherine Kellgren is one of the great narrators: every character has a distinct voice, and the pacing is spot-on with the plot. Her range of accents is impressive. This is a light-weight mystery but Ms. Kellgren's narration makes it quite enjoyable.
Strong and yet realistically flawed women characters in vivid locations and situations. My favorite character was not one of the two main characters, but rather Magic Gourd, possessor of a dry wit and good soul. Beautifully narrated except for one inexplicable section in which a different and not especially convincing narrator takes over Magic Gourd's voice. I suspect it is Amy Tan. Really, it's a rare author who should read his or her works. Leave the writing to the writers and the reading to the actors, please!
This tightly novel leaves one off-guard: is the main character developing or deteriorating? The characters are so true to life, they could be one's own family. At first, I was put off by Mary Beth Hurt's narration, with sometimes odd and inappropriate inflection. Turns out, that was part of the character development (or deterioration). By the end, it's hard to imagine Hildy's voice as anyone's but Ms. Hurt's. She excels with the other characters' voices, too.I ran extra errands today in order to have the excuse to find out how this unpredictable plot wrapped up. An involving and often quite amusing listen.
I found myself quite caught up in the story of the not-entirely-sympathetic main character: a woman in an observant Jewish community in post-WWII London who becomes an art dealer -- and therefore is friends with artists from backgrounds very different from hers -- but is still part of her own community. I thought the author does an excellent job of maintaining and developing that tension, even as times change. Along the way, I learned about an aspect of English life I knew nothing about. Super narration: I could identify every character separately.
I laughed out loud a few times, listening to this sympathetic rendering of a male college genetics professor somewhere on the Asperger's continuum helping a less controlled and controlling woman find out who among numerous doctors might be her biological father. Doesn't sound like a funny plot, but it manages to poke gentle (and sympathetic) fun at both the professor and those who follow "standard social protocols." The narration is spot-on.
It's not often a mystery brings tears to one's eyes. Bury Your Dead does. This already engrossing series goes deeper in this volume, in which a previous case, a new case and a dreadful incident in between are masterfully intertwined. The narration is spot-on and entirely appropriate to the changing moods and action. Although this book can stand on its own, I would be sure to listen to at least the previous book before listening to this one in order to get the full impact of the events.
Lots to think about in this book: how would I react in this situation, what would I do, what would be the worst parts, maybe some good parts? Just as one thinks there is something that has gone unconsidered or that one could argue with the character's actions, the story addresses that point. The narrator is pitch perfect to convey the feel of the story, which is in the form of a report written by perhaps the last person alive: quiet, yet urgent. One can clearly visualize the main character telling the story in her own head as she writes it down.
The main character deepens and develops in unexpected ways, yet her actions are internally consistent and so plausible.
Elizabeth McGovern is an excellent narrator: clear and able to adjust to each character. Her flat midwestern accent was spot-on, especially as it was stronger when the action occurred in the Midwest.
I thought about this book for quite some time after finishing it: what don't we know about the people around us, how do people change and develop -- and under what circumstances -- yet stay true to their essential selves? I truly wished to meet many of the characters.
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