Linden, VA, United States | Member Since 2002
I got this because I wanted to learn more about the Autstrailian anti-hero, Ned Kelly. The story is sadder than I thought it would be. Ned Kelly and his family certainly have more than their share of bad luck; but I got tired of the Kellys believing that they were always the victims of circumstance and corruption. This story makes it clear that the Kellys and their families were mostly criminals, which is why they were harassed by the police.
The story also makes it clear that there is NOTHING glamorous about being an outlaw.
I really liked the Austrailian narration, but didn't understand a lot of the slang (maybe there is a glossary in the dead tree edition). And it would have been a bit less distracting if the narrator had either used the cuss words, or dropped them, but the "adjectival" frequently interferred with the flow of the narration.
I have always been confused about John Irving's books. I love his easy writing style, but his plots are overworked and his characters are undeveloped stereo types. This one deals with the trials and tribulations of a small town in New Hampshire. Irving clearly drew on his personal experiences to create the town of Gravesend, but there is too much philosophy, and not enough charm to support the entire novel. It's charming, but just goes on too long without saying enough. The conciet of time shifting throughout the book gets rather annoying. I found myself wondering why I would want to know what an old guy thought about his religion. I was far more interested in the actions of the youngsters. I also think that the time shifting was an easy way to avoid having to make the characters evolve into adulthood.
Terrific narration and fascinating characters throughout this very long novel. However, the ending, while realistic, didn't need such a long build-up. The tragedies endured and the abuses suffered reminded me of Candide or Oliver Twist and I think that the story could have been told with fewer side plots -- especially since the side plots are not resolved or even of any consequence in the end. Beautiful prose that extends for hour upon hour must have been the basis for the Pulitizer, but I found character development uneven (but interesting) and the plot somewhat meandering.
I like Jodi Picoult because I never know what to expect next from her. Every book is different. Here she presented a world where Asperger's Syndrome rules everyone. I loved the narration and the character development -- and the plot started out really strong, but by the end -- it just sort of ended, without a real resolution. Yes, Picoult likes to do the "twists", but this wasn't so much of a twist as a frayed knot.
As Sue Grafton's alphabet is nearing and end, I'm looking for detective novels featuring strong women to keep me entertained. J.T. Elison's Taylor Jackson seems to meet this need. A clever plot, interesting characters, and I want to know where Taylor and S.A. Baldwin end up.
Narration is boring, plot is non-existent, seemingly no end to this long, long, long winding road.
Allison McLemore's narration was so charming that I couldn't resist using a credit and I was so pleasently surprised. Yes, there are zombies in the book, but mostly they're pretty nice folks. This is really more of a "cosy" mystery -- who's doing what to whom in small town Louisiana.
Don't know whether readers looking for zombie horror will like this, but those who want a southern style mystery will be delighted.
Sharon McCrumb is so talented, and I was hoping for some insight into the ballad, but this gave me no more than the song, really. I don't understand the reason for the two narrators. I was originally intrigued by Pauline, but she quickly dissolved into a one dimensional villain. Zebulon Vance provided history of the 1860's, but didn't provide any information or insight. I don't know what his purpose in the story was supposed to be.
We all know that the South lost the Civil War, that rural life is hard in the 19th Century, and that Tom Dooley dies, I wanted a better back story than this.
Well narrated, but I have no love of sailing and my knowledge of 1970's Irish rebellion is spotty. But even in all my ignorance, I found the plot lines predictable and pretty dull. I chose this book because I was delighted to find that Woods had written a series on Will Lee. This one focuses on a year during law school where Will hangs out in Ireland and goes from being a boy to a man. Romance and tragedy about, but he comes out stronger for it all in the end.
Almost a mystery, almost science fiction/fantasy. Overall well performed, in fact, I think that narrator helped keep the characters separate for me, but it seemed to go for a very long time in an investigative phase, and then, all of a sudden, the world changes, and it's over. It almost feels like there was a really good outline for the novel, but due to deadlines, the characters and plot could not be fully realized.
Good characters and more twists than a pretzel factory working overtime. The long exposition is well worth the wait, but toward the end the story starts getting bogged down in feelings and thoughts rather than moving the action along. Well executed performances, story just needed a little less conversation and a little more action at the end.
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