This one is more in the historical vein of "Mother Tongue" or "Made in America" (as opposed to memoirs like "In a Sunburned Country" or "A Walk in the Woods"). Not as laugh-out-loud funny as his memoir-style books, but entertaining and fascinating, I thought.
I like history, particularly medical history, so this was a great book for me. There is a lot of detail here, but it is written in a very accessible style.
Hoye is a spectacular reader. I discovered him in some Carl Hiassen books where his pleasant voice, crisp delivery, and excellent character rendition made those books come alive. The only issue with this book is that he needed better advice on pronouncing medical terms. There are a LOT of medical terms in this book, so maybe I should not be so critical, but if you have any clinical background at all you will find yourself rewinding to figure out what was meant with a novel pronunciation of a common medical term.
Mukherjee is an excellent writer; I will be looking for more books from him. He gets a star off because he falls victim to a number of common, incorrect word usages. For example, he likes the word "enormity" and appears to want to use it to mean magnitude. This is confusing to me, since enormity usually means something that is really evil. So referring to the "enormity" of a cancer remission does not make much sense.
Musical Southern Story
It's like a lot of other southern literature that emphasizes the frailty and strength of the family
The world lost a great artist when Frank Muller died. I could listen to his reading all day.
Riveting story, excellent narrator. If you are interested in other compelling stories about the Pacific Theatre of World War II, try With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa, by Eugene Sledge. The latter was the main source material for the TV series The Pacific, a companion piece to Band of Brothers.
The narrator was fine, but there were regular pronunciation problems. When Jobs is diagnosed with an islet (pronounced EYE-let) cell tumor, he says IZZ-let. Huh? When he mentions Mac OS X, he says "mac oh ess eks," rather than the "oh ess ten" that Jobs himself used (and that any Mac will use if you ask it to speak that phrase). Then there's "robutt." The narrator speaks of "robutts" instead of robots. Distracting. Regardless, the narration is crisp and generally easy to listen to. Fortunately, the story is very engaging, especially if you grew up during the PC revolution. About the worst I could say about the story is that I was left wanting for more detail.
In retrospect I would have rather re-listened to The Client or The Firm. But if you like the standard Grisham approach (young lawyer against all odds, with lots of "Inside Baseball" lawyering info) then this will work for you. Narrator was good.
Add this to the list of enjoyable, quasi-autobiographical works by comedians like Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Samantha Bee, and Ellen DeGeneres. Not as laugh-out-loud humorous (like Bee's or Fey's) but more genuinely autobiographical like Martin's. Any fan of the Office or modern humor in general would get a kick out of it.
Craig Wasson does a masterful job of reading, as usual. This book required a wide variety of accents and even some impersonations of public figures (Kennedy, Cronkite) and he pulls it off expertly. His usual well-timed injection of emotion into the text made the story come alive. The story itself has the time-travel element, with a twist I had not heard before, but the best part of the story is the romantic story line. The book has a satisfying connection to King's novel "It," but it's not necessary to have read any other King to enjoy this one.
All 4 stories are enjoyable, but Craig Wasson's rendition of "1922" blew me away. I've never heard a reader handle a tale in quite that way. He has an unusual, but gripping emotional emphasis that would probably keep you engaged if he were reading the phone book aloud. Add this vocal talent to a good thriller, and it's amazing!
Proves that just because you know how it all ends up, a story can't be suspenseful. If you are interested in American history and generally enjoy police procedural stories, you will enjoy this book. Read by the author, which in this case is a good thing.
Fast-paced and still fresh 30 years after publication. Excellent narration.
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