Shapiro should stick to non-fiction. An account of a criminal who at least knows he/she is a criminal would be a refreshing change.
Sands probably did the best she could, given that she was tasked with being the voice of one of the most self-involved, morally vacuous women it has been my displeasure to endure.
Not at all, and I've been reading about some of the famous forgers mentioned in the book.
Possibly, although I thought her pronunciation of the various non-English names was a bit too precious. Remids me of that scene when Diane Keaton is talking to Woody Allen about Van Gogh, and it sounds like she has a bad case of phlegm.
It could have been so much better if the characters had not been some of the most narcissistic and annoying that I have ever had the misfortune to hear.
I am a speed reader and listening helps me slow down and enjoy the words. I'm a 7th generation southern Louisiana native, and it was fun listening to the descriptions of places I know well. One thing that tickled me was the degree to which the wonderful narrator mispronounced words that are unique to the region. I hereby offer myself to the audio publisher as a source to help bewildered non-natives learn the way to say "Atchafalaya" and "Houma" and "New Orleans."
SPOILER ALERT: The "extraneous" characters and subplots that bother those who haven't read all the previous books are--in fact--keys to past mysteries and clues to future developments, so they all work to keep up the suspense.
I thought they all were excellent. I especially like the interaction between pairs of characters.
The scene at the house of the family who died was truly creepy.
As an aside, I must say that I disliked the condescending attitude towards the "natives" whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by outsiders. These are people who have been self-sufficient for generations, living in one of the harshest physical environments (alligators are not nearly as bothersome as mosquitoes and snakes), and who wouldn't dream of trying to force others to modify how their strange urban lives are lived.
When hurricanes come through and devestate their homes, as happens every few years, they don't call Geraldo or FEMA. They get together, and rebuild their lives. They are mostly poor but proud.
Therefore, when "activists" show up to "protect" frogs (which the locals eat) or trees (which the locals use to build houses) or lakes (including forbidding a community of people who have lived there for 200 years from using the water), then perhaps a little perspective is needed. It wasn't necessary to turn the locals into sterotypes from Deliverance (cue the banjos).
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