Let's start by recognizing that this is not great literature, nor is it a "football book". It IS a personal account of a young man determined to succeed in spite of his circumstances, and how he went about acheiving his goals. Without being in any way exploitative, Michael Oher does not pull punches in describing life with his birth family and in the foster care system. Throughout, he balances the negative experiences with stories of love, family loyalty, and people who went out of their way to help. He shows us that love and caring transcend race and socio-economic status.
The assumption is that the reader/listener has seen the movie The Blind Side, and I was glad to have already listened to the Tuohys' book, In a Heartbeat. This book doesn't criticize either, but it corrects some things from the first and fills in some gaps from the second. The focus is on convincing young people that they have options, that they can "make it", and encouraging them to make good choices to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.
The final section, with excerpts from letters to Michael and a list of some resources available to help at-risk kids, is better suited to print than audio; still, it gives the listener a start on ways to get involved in helping other kids beat the odds.
maybe, if it was really cheap
flesh it out -- it has a clever premise, but the jumps are too sudden. I kept thinking it was a badly abridged version. The extended family premise was pretty much wasted: they set up these potentially interesting relationships then did nothing with them.
Dual-narration either works or it doesn't. This doesn't. The voices didn't complement each other. Plus, the Italian accents were excruciatingly awful -- sounded like a poor rendition of Romany gypsies. My Sicilian relatives would run screaming from the room.
I wouldn't have cut, I'd have added!
Okay, it wasn't totally awful, just nowhere near as good as it could have been. The ending obviously sets up a sequel -- I wouldn't mind seeing the authors try again.
This is a book to be HEARD. Very much at issue in this novel is the relationship between content and method of delivery. The narrator uses his voice to great advantage, just the right nuances -- sometimes he appears to be going over the top, but then you realize that the effect is spot on.
In an odd way, MP24HB reminds me of The Night Circus -- there is the same sense of alternate reality layered onto "real" reality. Mr Penumbr'a is shorter and less serious, the setting is very different, and the "magic" here is in the technology.
Oh, yes. In fact, I almost did.
This would make a good book club selection -- a nice length, easy to follow, light-hearted, but offering some interesting discussion points. In the thousands of years of human history, print hasn't been around all that long. Is it really a tragedy that many are turning to digital and audio sources for "reading" material? Is it ultimately an either/or situation? What would you do for immortality? What's a friend? A mentor? For that matter, what is a book?
Not perfect -- the epilogue is superfluous -- but a very nice debut.
At least one character I didn't thoroughly dislike.
Write something else entirely.
I guess Margo wasn't too bad.
The diary thing just doesn't work. It is a gimmick, clever but ultimately annoying.
Everyone is twisted. Even when they are being self-promoting, the two main characters come off as people I would not want to be around. The parents are worse.
I found this book to be manipulative and depressing.
So the story is okay -- I think. I had a hard time getting past how awful the narration is. Why, oh why, oh why, would you get a Valley Girl to read a New Orleans story? (FYI, "New Orleans" has 2 syllables, not 3.) I can excuse anyone from "outside" for not knowing how to procounce "Tchoupitoulas" (it's "chop-uh-two-liss", by the way), but "crawfish"? Excuse me. No matter how you spell it, it's "craw-rhymes-with-claw", not "cray-rhymes-with-clay".
Other than that, nice little story, some fairly decent local color. Main character is a little too goody-goody, the sidekick is a little tedius, but the snotty society dame is fun, and I really do know an 80-something woman named "Baby".
Won't listen to another Laura Childs unless they change narrators.
Fascinating account of World War I. The intertwined lives of families from England, Germany, Wales, Russia and the US present a personalized picture of social and political realities in an age most of us know little about. Solid research and brilliant storytelling combine to give us a history lesson that leaves us begging for more.
Not King's best, but a light-hearted romp for Mary Russell fans. The Pirates of Penzance, silent movies, sheiks and harems - a departure from the recent, very dark installments in the Russell/Holmes series. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy.
Jurassic Park style mega-rich self-centered creep who has to own more and better than anyone else, soul-less strategist, damaged pilot and scientists. All combine in a patently stupid quest that gets nearly everyone killed. I kept trying to put words to how awful the narration is: I usually like Scott Brick (nobody else could do Ender!) but in this book he sounds like one of those sappy up close and personal tear-jerky films they show on sports shows when they have too much time to fill. I finally just gave up and turned it off. Oh, yeah, I did jump ahead and listen to the last few minutes. It ended pretty much the way I thought it would after the first chapter.
This narration of Edith Wharton's classic novel is a genuine masterpiece. The voice is so exactly right, making the most of the elegant prose. The story line may be dated, but questions raised are timeless: how much of our thinking is controlled by our desire to maintain standing with our peers, and how do we balance personal responsibility with pursuit of personal fulfillment.
Whomping good fun! The plot is inconsequential, but the characters are a riot. Kyra Davis writes people we all know, pushes them just far enough over the top to keep us laughing. (If you DON'T know any of these people, you must be an orphan who's hanging out with the wrong crowd.) From Jack, the 18-month old terrorist, to the Jewish mother with two African-American daughters, to the celeb-worshipping sister-in-law, not to mention the personality-challenged philandering husband (deceased), and the Russian/Israeli private eye, they'll all strike chords of familiarity and keep you smiling.
A tough read for the narrator -- lots of characters, all of them "types", lots of different accents. The reader does a great job with the main characters, and well enough with the rest.
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