I started the book on the way to work. After about 30 minutes, I found a place to pull over and put a stop to the whole thing. I don't know if it was the reader or the whole experience, but I just had to stop it. I listen to a wide variety of books, and I enjoy romance, fantasy, mystery, thriller, science-fiction, a lot of everything. I did not like this at all. Maybe the reader didn't work for me.
Since so many people liked this book, it must be me. This was a painful experience. I listen to anything and everything, and love history, romance, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, and humor. I was looking forward to this book, and I had saved it for a long weekend. I started the book in the car when I left home for the park where I walk and listen to my books. I didn't even get out of my neighborhood to the main road when I had to stop and turn the thing off. It couldn't have been more than a few minutes, but I couldn't stand another second of the story. Painfully awful to me - I wish I could wash the words from my memory. Awful, awful, awful. I am not saying not to read this book, but I recommend that you try the sample first. With all the high ratings, I didn't even think about trying the sample. Learned my lesson. I would give this minus five stars if I could. I have struggled through books I didn't enjoy, hoping they would get better, or trying to find something in them that was worth the time. I would not even consider listening to one more word of this book. This book was not for me. I will avoid anything by this author in the future.
I don't mind light fantasy fluff, but this book did not work for me. By the time the writer used the description of an ostrich with a hot fudge sundae on its head for the third time, I had to stop listening. This book was not for me - if there is a romance, I certainly didn't get to that part. This book might work for some, but it didn’t work for me.
I did hate the book - after slogging through most of the story I did not finish the book. Most reviewers loved it, but not me. It felt like spending time with people I didn't like - scummy people doing scummy things.
I don't think this book is for everyone - looks like listeners either love it or hate it. It was well written, and well read. People that like pure fluff books will be lost. People that like blood and gore will think that nothing is happening. It held my attention from beginning to end. I liked the characters and the story- a pleasant way to spend my long commute to work. Five star listen! Making the book into a movie with Hugh Jackman as Don would work for me.
The writer and the reader came together and pulled me into the story. The story was not always comfortable, and some parts were intense, but I really liked the book. I found myself listening every extra minute in the day. Now, I don’t think the book is for everyone, but I found the steady pace of the story worked for me. Yeah, there was the non-Irish accent thing, but I really enjoyed the reader. The characters came alive for me. I can still remember details and feel the emotions, like remembering a movie with all the sights and sounds. I downloaded all the books from the series as soon as I finished.
After listening to a dark crime/mystery story, I wanted something lighter. I had hoped for funny, interesting, sweet or romantic, even silly would have worked. Drab did not work. About a quarter into the book, I found myself slogging through it. I stayed with it trying to give the story a chance. I found I didn’t like the main story or the secondary story. I didn’t like the family dynamics, the school experience, and I am still not certain if there were romantic or funny parts. I found the real characters OK – barely, but did not see anything appealing in the secondary characters. I didn’t like either reader. The female reader had an almost whinny thing going on, and the male reader had very little to work with. (SPOILER ALERT – when the main character was reading a fan story she had written to a guy, I was surprised that he didn’t fall asleep or beg her to stop – or throw himself out of the window. That is when I stopped listening, almost half way through the book. The story was inconsistent – for days the main character was too afraid to go into the school cafeteria to eat, but instantly walked home alone on campus at midnight with no problem. The fantasy character asked someone to take him somewhere in a boat, but was surprised that he actually had to get into the boat?!?! That ended it for me. I would agree with the teacher and give the whole thing an ‘F’. It might work for some, but did not work for me.
The main character was still young, but spoke of the past the way a grandchild might speak of the grandparent's time - not the way a person would speak of their own not so distant past. She mentioned a time before when women made rugs in their 'spare time'. As though the hard work that women performed was related to leisure activities - I doubt anyone was familiar with the term 'spare time' when that level of effort was required to maintain a home. It was like the writer wasn't from planet earth, and had just read about it and interpreted the story incorrectly. There was a long introduction of nothing much happening that I thought might lead up to something interesting, but it never did. It reminded of the ramblings of a schizophrenic full of distorted thoughts and hallucinations. A dialog with snippets of songs, books, and TV shows all mixed in with odd references to history, paintings, and school - the pieces not fitting together. A bland recipe with garbage thrown in to spice it up. Altogether a bad experience - I listened for hours, but I just couldn't finish. I didn't care how the character got where she was or what happened after and I certainly didn't want to waste any more time on the story. I wish I could wash the whole thing out of my mind.
The writing was excellent and the reader well matched to the story, but after many hours of listening, I stopped and did not finish. For a time I had hope, but there is a place in a story where too many unpleasant things happen, and nothing after that point can save the story for me - that is when I stopped listening. It was like witnessing abuse - disturbing. SPOILER ALERT – this is a story about manipulators and manipulated. The manipulators were clever, well prepared, and in control. The manipulated were bumbling around lost, reacted instead of acting, and were pulled around like puppets. I thought I might like some of the characters, but they turned out to be non-functional. Maybe the manipulated rallied at the end, but I just didn’t want to suffer until it happened. And if it didn’t happen, I didn’t want to suffer until the end. This is a good book, but it didn’t fit me. I like the good guys to be clever, but half way through I started thinking there might not be any good guys in this story.
If you want to listen to something depressing, this book is for you. Well written book and the reader was great, but I don't want to listen to non-stop unhappy. I saw the movie and wanted to see how close it was to the book. I just wanted it to be over.
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