I would advise listeners not to give up on this story. It appears to be a little confusing in the beginning with an inference of being a story about a 'zombie.' But, it is not. It took me several chapters to really get a grasp of the storyline. But when I did, I found it to be very interesting. The people involved seemed to be very real and ones that were truly identifiable. I found myself thinking, 'I know people like this.' Unfortunately, toward the end, it became a little too graphic for my taste; but I enjoyed this book.
I found this to be an almost ulikely story, considering that although this young man is a survivor; too many factors would have gotten in his way for the story to turn out as it did. Nevertheless, it was entertaining and worth listening to.
Clearly, this is a story that can only be enjoyed by a teenager. I found the narrator to be very annoying. I've never met any adult who says, 'did ent', or, 'would ent,'etc.' It was very distracting. I need to understand or even empathise with the main character; but I found nothing with this character. She seemed to be obsessed with herself and extremely, clingy. Even with a possevive mother and a wimp of a father; she kept lamenting about their failure to support her in her dream of becoming a dancer. And, yet, she allowed herself to be financially supported by them as she lived comfortably away from them. She made all the wrong choices in her personal life and was shocked with the outcome.She gave mixed signals to her date when she allowed herself to be fondled and moaned when he kissed her. At a social gathering, she was aware that he was innebriated and out of control. But, she allowed herself to be dangerously compromised and became a victim of rape. Against everyone's advice, she chose not to bring her attacker to justice. Instead, she clung to others to lead her about like the weak-minded, spoiled child she appeared to be. Nowhere did she actually stand up for herself and express her outrage and frustration until it was too late. Was there a better need for this woman to seek psychiatric help? I did not return this book because I wanted to stick with it, wanting to believe that she would eventually find her own power to control her life. She didn't. Instead, she kept whining about her 'pitiful life,' throughout.
First of all, I found the reader to have the most annoying voice. For example; every time she said,' EX..CUUSE ME?' I cringed. It was not her fault that too often, the main character repeated someone's statement as if she needed assurance. Nevertheless, the story in general, was a little unbelievable. Having been a priest for ten years, surely he would have protected himself better than to go flying off to 'rescue' a female he knew little or nothing about and who wasn't even a Catholic. The fact that her husband was a violent and powerful man in the community, would have given any sane person reason to make better choices. I would also question a judicial system that would condem an indvidual to life in prison when the victum's body was never found. Too many odds and ends for my liking. Still, I was determined to listen to the entire novel that had a predictible ending. I would not recommend this one.
How this author had the nerve to spend the first SEVENTEEN chapters, rehashing the entire story from the first book, is a wonder. Any reader would know that the second book is supposed to be a contuation of the first;so why bother with the refresher? The main character, supposedly has become older, wiser and more self-confident. This was not the case. She's still giving the impression that she loves/forgives the old fool that abused her for most of her childhood. And, she continues to fall for weak-minded men, although she professes to have changed for the better. I like the fact that she finally became comfortable with her body. The moral of this story is that telling the truth would have saved everyone a lot of heartache. I also was disappointed with the reader, who is nowhere as good as the first narrator. At one point, she even called, RHODA, RHONDA.
This is a story that was hard for me to pause and continue, later. Best of all, was the excellent job of the narrator. Her voice, with the Southern accent, and inflections, made me subconsciencely, nod my head in recognition. The actual story, was mind-boggling. And, until the story was nearly finished, I very frustrated with the lead chacerter. What happened to her at an early age; was sad. But, there was no justification for her to keep that terrible relationsip going when she was old enough to know better. I also loved the fact that the author did not stoop to allowing Annette to slim down to what most folks in this country, believes to be the ideal' size 6. Instead, as she grew up, she developed the self-confidence in herself that enbabled her to accept herself for who and what she was. It was a very enjoyable book and I look forward to Part 2.
I happen to admire Lou Gossett as an actor. But, it has always been my opinion that only PROFESSIONAL narrators should be used for audiobooks. Mr. Gossett is a perfect example of lacking the ability to tell the story without it seeming to be a lecture. (Each sentence begins and ends with the same reflections.) Had I listened to this book first, I would never have seen the movie. (It was much better.) Sadly, this being a true story, I found it very disappointing that the main character, thriough the years of slavery, seemed to mellow and rarely showed his desire to flee or rebel against his inhuman condition. To witness such cruelty and yet, even when he was about to be freed; he says good-bye to his, 'masters.' Clearly, all of his pride and sense of honor had been beaten out of him. Worst, were his discriptions of the 'good masters,' who once a year gave a Christmas celebration for the slaves. Where in his life could a relatively intelligent young man, find any justification for one race holding another race in human bondage, allowing one race to become rich through the toil, sweat and sorrow of people working for scraps and treated worst than animals? That question was only asked by the white man who succeeded in helping him to return to a family who had not seen him for twelve years. He did express his frustration; but never the anger he should have felt.
This is a very touching story although sometimes, too hard to digest. Mixed equally with the sentimentality, is brutality beyond belief. But, halfway through, I began to understand for the first time in my life, the reasons why people kept repeating the same things; not realizing the eventual outcome. It was not just a story of the class system that was put into place. It was the realization that women of any color, had no control of their lives and their destinies. Everyone had a, 'place' and the invisible line was never sucessfully crossed. Real love, never took prescidence over tradition. My impression was that females of any color were invisible human beings, who only clung the the one thing that made them endure; and that was their offspring. I thought the story was well written and read, to perfection. Hard to believe that it ended as well as it did.
I try to find something about a main character to admire or empasize with. But, in this story, I felt nothing but disgust and loathing for him. Having walked in on his wife in their marital bed, vigourously engaged in the arms of his boss, naturally was devastating. But, farther into the story, I began to feel empathy for the wife. The main character was so busy describing how perfecect he thought his relationship was with his wife, it became clear that he hadn't a clue as to if she was just as pleased with their relationship. She married into an extremely dysfunctional family, who each were content to distance themselves from each other for various reasons. With the death of their father, each of the syblings, grudgingly agreed to participate in a seven-day ceremony which forced them to be together. The author went out of his way, in my opinion, to shock the readers by describing the most intimate and sometimes, disgusting sexual topics in every paragraph. Nevertheless, I didn't give up on the story. And, as I suspected, even at the end, I was blessed with yet, another shocker.
I have always been a Lawrence Sanders fan. True to form, he doesn't disappoint in offering this story. Try as I might, I could not help feeling sympathy for the killer. If ever there was a need for psychiatric help, this story screams for it. I love the way Sanders manages to include his teams' efforts in discovering the serial killer by hard work and dedication. Also amusing, is the time spent in enjoying the various appetites of the Captain. (Makes you want to pause and go to the refrigerator.) Still, I could have passed on what I thought to be a little, 'preachy' about the plight of women in this country. (We already knew that.) And, as much as I admire the main character, I don't always agree that everything in life is black and white and no gray areas.
Although I saw this film several years ago, the story was just as exciting. Anyone who likes puzzles will truly love the way this story comes together.Sometimes a little too erotic for the sqeemish, but I think it was necessary to bring out the true character of the main character. I highly recommend this one for those who enjoy, 'page-turners.'
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