The story of the real Lord and Lady of the manor is as fascinating as the fictional Downton - and I am a Downton fan. I had no idea the real occupants of Highclere Castle were so fascinating. For anyone with a sincere interest in the period, this is a must.
Do you know that feeling when you want to hurry through a book because it is hard to put down and at the same time you find it so enjoyable that you hate to see it end? This long book was a treat from beginning to end. I liked the story, I liked the characters, I liked the narrator. And it kept me enthralled for all 30+ hours. Reading the reviews of Tartt's other books which I have not read, I see comments for one having a lengthy end and for the other, comments about an abrupt end. I must say this one seemed about right. Yes, it ended with loose ends, but that's life - never tied in a neat bow. Yes, the author did some lengthy philosophizing at the end, but I was so reluctant for the book to end that I enjoyed this part as well. You will get your money's worth for sure!
A bit of art history, a bit about art conservation, a bit about furniture restoration and the antiques business, a lot about casual drug use, a lot of mystery and intrigue - a modern take on a who-done-it combined with coming of age in difficult circumstances. All in all, I loved it.
I found "The Boy . . ." a little hard to get into - I kept feeling lost, but I stayed with it and it was well worth the wait. Different and interesting. A new sort of thriller. Give it a go and you won't be sorry.
The story of Kunta Kinte and his family is as amazing as I remembered it from the mini-series, but this audio version is made even more amazing by detail and by the narration. You will be amazed again if you remember it, but you will be astounded by this story if you are coming to it for the first time.
Duncan Kinkaid and Gemma James are terrific characters whose personal story serves as a wonderful backdrop and unifying factor to the various mysteries in the series. I have enjoyed every one of them.
I deliberately delayed seeing the movie because I wanted to hear the book first, and I am glad I did. I still have not seen the movie, and I will be interested to see just how the book was altered, if it was, to create the movie. The book has a framework of Philomena's story but the heart of the story belongs to her son, Michael Anthony Hess. His story is an amazing saga not to be forgotten. It is a story of the 1980's and 1990's in America, a story of success and heartache. I highly recommend the audio book. It does the story justice.
Sue Monk Kidd has outdone her own previous best. I cannot remember when I have so enjoyed a novel. Every beautifully written word rings true; every aspect of the story enthralls; every character lives. Historical fiction it may be, and well done, but the story and the characters are timeless. I am buying copies for each of my children and hope they will share them with family and friends as well. I want to buy copies for all my friends. I simply cannot think of enough superlatives. Do yourself an immense favor and read or listen to this book, or both.
What fun! Everyone should have the privilege of knowing these people. They have a zest for life and know how to live it! I wouldn't mind living to 100 if I could be like Alan. Maybe I can be.
While this book does move along the underlying story of the major characters, and it does solve the central crime, it leaves so many open story lines that it is not quite as satisfying as most of the books in the series. Still, I do enjoy this series. The characters feel like old friends. Hill's stories always move along at a good pace, and this one raises some interesting questions. All in all, I enjoyed the book but it is not the star of the series.
DCI Banks is a great character. I am always disturbed by the fact that his physical description does not at all fit the actor who portrayed him in the BBC versions, but nonetheless, he is an engaging character whose personal and inner life provide a good counterpoint to the stories of crime and detection. I found the narrator's super deep voice not the best choice for Banks, and he does not do well on reading many of the other characters, especially the female ones. I found these issues detracted from the overall impression, but still I enjoyed listening to the book.
The Simon Serrailer series is a well-written, engaging series of mysteries that feature interesting characters and enough suspense to keep you engrossed. But more than the mysteries, it is the characters themselves that keep me coming back for more.
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