I have always loved Steve Martin's work and now I understand how his distinct sense of humor developed.
The story is great, but the narration was the best. Sometimes authors don't make the best narrators - Ray Bradbury - but Neil Gaiman is amazing. His voice is perfect and his character voices are all distinct and perfectly matched to the text and situations. It is more like an old time radio show than a reading. If this "writing thing" doesn't work out, he should consider acting. Another great story well read by the one person who knows it the best.
The book itself deserves 5 stars. Michael Maloney, the narrator, I'd give 1. He has this very distracting way of fading quickly at the end of sentences making you think you are getting a call. If you listen on an iPhone you know how audio fades right before the ring begins. Even without thinking you are receiving a call, his fadding, breathy voice is very annoying. The story is wonderful, touching and sad - but I would not buy another audio book with Michael Maloney as narrator.
When someone really loves you, they make you toast. Toast is Nigel Slater's favorite food and a great metaphor for anything warm, comforting and memorable - like this book. It's a great biography and introduction to good food. follow it up with Eating for England.
Not as enjoyable as his previous book Toast - but just because Toast told a story - this is just collection of food essays. They are well written and entertainig - will make you want to run out to an import food store and try a few new items - as I did. Start with Toast though. Toast will help you understand how Nigel came to be.
I think Kay has had her run. I used to love these books - now it seems like she's not even trying. I thought she researched the Kay novels. When her character's last trip to the Vatican was to embalm a pope - I almost yelled out loud - "Popes are not embalmed!" I am tired of hearing details about the travertine tile she laid in a herringbone pattern one warm summer day. These ridiculous details are even more pretentious when read aloud. Don't even ask about the reader. Her voices do not fit the characters making this a painful listen.
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