we have the convergence of two sub-standard experiences: first, a bloated, overly verbose and self reflective text; second, a reading with too much stylization.
Coleson Whithead is a darling of the intellectual literati, and for good reason. He is a talented and intelligent author, and I have enjoyed some of his shorter works as well as hearing him in interview. As a long-time fan of the zombie / post-apocalyptic genre, this book immediately piqued my interest.
unfortunately it falls flat, tripping over its author's vocabulary and introspection and landing right on its face. A strong start get lost in a soupy miasma of reflections and memories of the protagonist which don't inspire any interest of excitement. Whitehead goes out of his way to make the protagonist, Mark, seem like an everyman; instead of making him relatable, Whitehead succeeds only in limiting Mark to gray tones. will Mark make it through the novel alive? who cares? he's so boring and unremarkable I can't imagine being bothered one way or the other.
on a technical level the book is hindered by an overuse of the author's extensive vocabulary; too many overwrought sentences bulging with pretentious synonyms for common words.regarding the reading: this performer reads like an aspiring actor, or an enthusiastic stage performer reciting someone else's poetry. every sentence is pregnant with meaning, and sounds like it should be accompanied by a soul-bearing stare into a camera. again: sometimes less is more.
Probably not. I am familiar with his other work, though this is the only novel of his that I have read. I find his writing to be exactly the kind of thing that makes intelligent people scoff and roll their eyes at The New Yorker Magazine; very intelligent, but far too self reflective and all style over substance.
again, less is more. I think this reading would have succeeded with a more flat and somber reading, given the subject matter. instead the narrator seems to relish the delivery of each line, and his enthusiasm is distracting and overwrought.
there are frequent, pointless forays into navel-gazing regarding the protagonist's past that don't come to much. these passages should either be given more weight or eliminated all together.
I can't help but wonder if I would have preferred this book if I had read it instead of listened to it. I don't know if that says anything about Coleson Whithead, but it speaks to the reader / performer for sure.
I've read around 2 dozen of Stephen King's books, and while I wouldn't say this book is bad, he's done a lot better. Most importantly, know this going in: this book ends like a sequel was planned, and there is not follow up to this book.
I listen to a lot of audio books. I am currently listening to Colson Whitehead's
I have not, but I though his performance was wonderful. A lot of King's dialogue is not easily read verbatim out loud, as it sounds a bit corny, and I thought the performance was very strong in light of that fact.
I wouldn't say so. I purchase and listened to (and much preferred) Bram Stoker's
As a long-time King fan I was always interested in
fascinating and insightful, but more about the life and career of Depue and less about criminal profiling.
Still a great read, and the presentation is fantastic, but maybe more of the author's life and less of the details of his career than you might be expecting. Also, there is a consistent religious aspect to the author's life. It does not supersede his commitment to the science of forensics and his work at large, but anyone with a hard anti-religious agenda might lose interest before finishing this book (the author commits himself to religious study, but never loses sight of his role as an objective observer). My suggestion is that regardless of you theological inclination, listen to his whole book.
When all is said and done: a fantastic voice performance, a great read, and a definite recommendation.
*WARNING: THIS BOOK DETAILS EXTREMELY HEINOUS VIOLENT CRIMES. AVOID THIS TITLE IF THAT IS PROBLEMATIC FOR YOU*
very accessible and easy to follow, though some details may be too much for some people, due to the violent nature of the author's work.
Paul Michael brings to this work exactly what I would hope for, which is nothing flashy. He reads the book in the sort of even, presentational tones that one would expect sitting in on an FBI debriefing, nothing more or less.
I find the greatest problem I have with audio books is readers trying to put too much stylzation into their reading. This book was read in a genuine and straightforward tone that was completely in keeping with the text.
A great reading of a very good book. Slow at times, but a great experience over-all.
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