I LOVE this book! The title is perfect. Even some ruins are just as beautiful in what they became as how they started out - completely different but beutiful. I???m still crying because???the book ended? the book/end was so well done? because I could have never imagined it would end this way. YES to all.
This book has so many great elements ??? and the narration of Edoardo Ballerini ??? spot on!! I laughed until I cried (especially the Richard Burton scenes ??? but so many others!), and I cried and didn???t want to stop. I lost a whole weekend because I could not stop listening ??? this is a warning. The only critical thing I can say about it is some parts start at the end and work back, some parts don???t, but in the end it was perfect. Rest assured you end up knowing what you need to know ??? and I would NOT change a thing. DO NOT SKIP THE EPILOG.
I would buy this again if I had to; thank goodness I can listen to it as many times as I want. Thank you Jess Walter and Audible!
Jess Walter - I will read anything you write from now on (I say that now...:).
The best review
This was more of a bio of Michael Hess than about his birth mother and her search for him. I felt deceived.
First - the narrator is horrible. Second, I don't mind some hot consensual romance and but abuse is over the top. I won't be downloading the rest of this book, nor any of the others.
I have to first say that Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye did a beautiful job narrating this novel. The story was very interesting and has inspired me to read more about Sarah Grimke and her sister. Sue Monk Kid's explanation at the end of the novel was very enlightening and I enjoyed that almost as much as the novel itself.
Having said all of that, the fictional slave characters Handful and her mother were the most interesting characters in the book; I found myself anxious to get back to their story. Sarah Grimke's part of the story somewhat faded - though I'm not sure why. I think Ms. Kidd was trying to stay true to the real story without moving to many facts around. I'm not a literary scholar so analyzing what happed with the pure fiction and the fictionalized biography would be futile.
I liked this but didn't love it. The Grimke family has a few interesting historical characters but honestly - the fictional parts are where the author shines. It is worth the credit and I will listen to it again; but I am more inspired to learn more about Sarah.
This was one of those books I read and had to step away from to properly understand how I feel about it. It is very emotional, though I have to reveal am firmly in the camp of people being allowed to make choices of life or death based on the future prognosis.
There were no surprises, just a well written story about a down on her luck ex-waitress who got a job emotionally caring for a tragic accident victim, and how it plays out. It is well written and narrated. Louisa's inability to get on with her life after an event that was apparently traumatic but not fully disclosed (which is fine - really) was a major peripheral cause and effect theme. Will's golden life was also a parallel theme. Louisa and Will's families are as annoying as most families are but add an interesting element.
I will listen to this again - very credit worthy. I am not sure why it is categorized as Chick-lit - had I realized that I probably would not have listened - it should be categorized as fiction.
...is from an airplane window as you fly over.
This was not a good Grisham. Everything was predictable. Everything. There were no surprises. The only thing that kept me listening was Ansel's testimony, deposition, whatever it ended up being. The audience was prepared early in the book for something like what was revealed, though even that was a bit of a disappointment.
I should have listened to a reviewer I follow, and heartily agree with Richard's assessment. It is an interesting story that could have been much better, and not up to Grisham's talent. I wonder if this is one of those novels written for Grisham though I'm surprised he would put his name to it.
Michael Beck did a good job narrating. I wonder how I can bypass Mississippi... I won't listen to this again, and will probably return it.
I have not read a Molly Harper book I didn't get a laugh and cute and absorbing story out of. I need MH and Rhys Bowen to provide entertaining entertainment! This is a very good book that made me laugh, uncomfortable, angry, and content.
This story about a woman wronged by a selfish husband, and what many wronged women would like to have the ability and chops to do. The email is hilarious, the family dynamics is familiar.
I have already listened to this again, and will many more times! That's the kind of book it is! Very credit worthy.
I did not care for this book. It was a different (not completely unique) take on WWII Germany from Germans that did not care for Hitler or the Nazis. It took much too long to engage with the characters, and the story jumped around a lot. Death as the narrator was an interesting slant, but he gave away much of the plot.
Hans was very sweet and probably the only peripheral character I liked right off; Rosa was course, which the reader finally discovers is a shell to cover for her real personality - much to late in the story. Rudy was incomprehensible; I didn't get him at all, just that he had a very short, life long crush on Liesel. Liesel was empathy invoking, determined, reactive, and reckless. Near the end when she jumped into the marching of Jews from/to a concentration camp she HAD to know the consequences of that action - Max - the Jewish ultimate victim - suffering horribly already - got the added bonus of more suffering, while Liesel got the Nazi standard punishment! I almost quit reading it. I felt empathy for Max, and angry at Liesel - again.
It is a dark story, told during at dark time in history so I knew how it was going to end - even if Death didn't tell you ahead of time. (honestly - every plot twist and turn the narrator gives away!) I just kept reading to find out when, not what, happens. I agree with one reviewer that compared Allan Corduner's reading of this book to Vincent Price, and I agree. I actually felt like I was listening to the voice in Disney's Haunted House!
I kept feeling like I was missing something, but ended up most of the time being annoyed. I know I am in a serious minority by not singing any praise for this book. I feel compelled to give it two stars for no other reason than I didn't give up, no - one is enough. I believe I am returning this book and getting my credit back.
An example of how poor narration can ruin a mediocre book. I felt like a kindergarten teacher was reading to me. The story was somewhat interesting - only somewhat - but honestly, decent narration could have made it much better. Listen to the sample and rest assured it is a horrible throughout. I won't be listening again, and will probably return.
Apparently the seemingly random history lessons on the local people was to make up for those who had not read the series, and this book could have been just fine without them.
I would never subject myself again to this narrator.
I have looked at this book/series several times before purchasing. I'm glad I did. This book is Beckett and Claire's (along with 3 boys) story. Of course they are all super people, beautiful, and everybody's friend. Pretty standard fair.
Many of the reviews disliked the narration by MacLeod Andrews, he was too slow or whatever; I liked him. There were times where I could not tell who said what in conversations because his range isn't extensive, but all in all, I liked him.
I liked the ghost thread that weaves through - I assume - the series. This is NR - and I got the right ending, medium character development, and an enjoyable listen. It was worth the credit, though I think I bought is at one of the Daily Deals, it was definitely worth that.
I can not believe I never written a review on this book. I listened to this in 2011 and I loved it enough to happily purchase other Bryce Courtney's books. I just recently 'revisited' this wonderful book and have every intention of introducing it to my grandson.
It is unbelievably cruel - and optimistic, and it is very inspiring. It is fiction and the prelude does say it is Bryce Courtney's 'story' I understand it is every underdog's dream; and fiction. It is still a really good story.
Every underdog child should read/hear this. It is hopeful in a time of bullying and painful reminders of missteps. (Everything is recorded and replayed!!) It is the ultimate survival story that we all need. Everyone needs to find a passion, an inspiration, and a truth. This book has lived on for many years - first published in 1989 - and has lived in many hearts to this day.
The message? Do not discount others due to prejudices. Be passionate about something. Do not give up. Do not worry about what others think. Know what you know. Never quit learning - and do not forget to start learning.
I don't believe my little note will not mean much but I had to submit my opinion. Definitely worth a credit or two.
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