*** 3.55 Stars ;) ***
Disclaimer: Linda Howard is my favorite author. I'm definitely biased, but surprisingly, it's not always positive bias. I hold her to higher standards because I know how talented she is. So here's my quick review a few weeks after listening to Open Season:
Open Season wasn't a memorable "best-of" Linda Howard book for me. But most fans really enjoy this book. So because it's a well-produced audiobook, I recommend it to Linda Howard fans. I do think it was a fun read. I also loved the Narrator.
Below is my enthusiastic and thorough review from the day I read it, which I erroneously submitted to the abridged version:
"God I love Linda Howard! She has written many of my all time favorite books. Unfortunately she's written some duds as well.
Luckily, this is a satisfying story with a fantastic performance by narrator Kate Forbes.
Daisy lives in a small town. She is a 34 year-old librarian, in need of a total life make-over. She has few friends, no men in her life, no style, and she still lives with her mother. With the help of her mother, her aunt and a gay friend named Todd, Daisy moves into her own place and invests her time and money into a full makeover.
Now she's ready to meet new people. For Daisy, meeting new people is code for "husband-hunting". I'm not into books involving desperate women searching for husbands, but LH works her magic and the story is well-written. You'll be sucked in by the 2nd chapter.
So fear of being an "old maid" pushes Daisy to find her inner beauty and bring it out, while also becoming more social. Meanwhile, surrounding towns are having trouble with GHB- a date rape drug that can be lethal in one dose. The new Chief of Police- Jack Russo is asked to assist the nearby city with its GHB problem. So while Daisy is trying to catch a husband at bars, Chief Russo is trying to find clues and info about GHB. Needless to say, worrying for her safety, he watches out for her.
That's as much as I can say without spoilers.
The story is very fun, sexy, and entertaining. The romance is wonderfully written. At times it's funny (there's a hysterically funny condom-buying scene that is unforgettable), then all of a sudden LH takes your breath away. Linda Howard can make more magic with a simple kiss and a slight caress than many authors achieve with a full-out sex scene. The characters are likeable and drive the book a great deal. The suspense plot is not forced, instead LH has woven it into the story slowly.
**** The downside : My issue in recommending this book is the somewhat degrading, possibly-offensive tone of the book at times. I assume this is a older book. I can't imagine she'd write such things today. But be prepared for condescending "jokes" about homosexuals, women and the south. Also a bit annoying: Daisy, the heroine, was explained as extremely intelligent. However, she acts without common sense and is ridiculously naive. Im sure the author intended her behavior to show her "innocence", but what it demonstrates to me is an obvious unintended contradiction in the character's personality. Daisy seems far more like an airhead, than a bright woman of 34. She is still very likeable; I'm only dissapointed LH didn't realize her mistake.
That being said, this is still a good listen. Howard fans will like it. ***If you haven't read Linda Howard before, please download Dreamman, Mr Perfect and/or After the Night . Those are some of her A+ books, and they'll give a better example of her work for a first-time reader/listener.
For Howard fans, this won't disappoint, bearing in mind that is has a dated, slightly offensive tone.
Also narrator deserves kudos for her performance. Very well done."
I wish more books like this were available on audible. It was the most thrilling and uplifting story I've read in a long time! I wasn't sure I'd be interested in a rowing team from 1936, but I was wrong. I LOVED this story!
Don't pass this book up. You need not know a thing about rowing. Often rowing is associated with Ivy League snobs, or dapper Englishmen from Oxford. This book will change that misconception! You might even become a fan of the sport. :)
Perfect narration, incredible story! Easily the best audiobook of 2013.
I was thrilled with this book. Jeremy Wade makes it look Very Easy on TV... Here's the real story!!!
River Monsters is a fantastic tv show about World-Class Angler Jeremy Wade and the completely bizarre monstrous creature he catches around the world. This book brings a true inside look at what happens behind the scenes.
Jeremy Wade is not only an amazing angler, but he also possesses a compelling screen presence that makes the show addictive. Similarly Jeremy is a fantastic narrator! I listened to the book twice in a row.
I've always been curious about his life and how became such talented angler. The book gives us glimpses into his early life. He also gives fabulous insight into his near obsession and years of dedication to find certain fish.
Short and Sweet.... And really Scary!!! Famous author of Jaws tells us what he knows about sharks, and what we should know about the ocean. It's quite edifying. I was surprised how much experience he had diving. Although he tries to make the ocean safer by imparting very important safety tips, I came away with sheer horror that I ever swam in the sea! After listening to this book, I realized how scary and wild the ocean really is.
Now perhaps I'm being slightly melodramatic. Ignorance is bliss. I realized that I had been doing many of the worst and most dangerous behaviors! I seriously will not be swimming in water beyond my feet anytime soon. :) (I'm kidding...mostly)
Seriously, this book is really important for anyone who loves ocean, especially for anyone with children!! I have always loved the sea and am a strong swimmer, but I was ignorant to much of what the author explains in the book. Human instinct is not enough when swimming the oceans.
Everest is the muse to many thrilling and tragic stories. This is a fascinating account of the first complete ascent (and descent) of the world's highest mountain peak. I was surprised that the mountain was not successfully climbed until the mid 50's. The book follows the insane competition among countries and individual climbers to be the first to the top. Along with the rivalries, the strong bonds that team members formed and the sheer exhilaration of their success made for a fantastic human interest story. I definitely recommend the book.
I was a bit surprised and sometimes irritated by the special voices and accents the narrator used for specific quotations. The use of "character" voices and accents in nonfiction like this is unnecessary and sounds forced. However, the general narrative was well-performed and I became used to the voices after a little while. Not an impediment to enjoying the story.
This book tells the inside story of those individuals who desperately worked to forge the strong relationship between the England and America during WWII.
What an exceptional book! A must read for anyone interested in the men and women who worked behind the scenes not only to bring American and English leaders together, but also to educate the people of the nations to dispell the myths and stereotypes of the other. This is the beginning of the all-important relationship between the two countries that exists to this day.
An exceptionally interesting story. Well-written and well-performed.
I learned more from this book than I expected. Really enjoyable.
I was born in 1979, so I missed out on the phenomenon of the Carpenters. My only real idea of her was of a singer who died of anorexia.
This book really opened my eyes to the remarkable life and outstanding talent of Karen Carpenter. Many things in this book surprised me: I love that she started out playing the drums! She was one of the first well known female drummers in the genre (probably in any genre.) I respect her complete loyalty to her brother, despite her potential to have a very popular solo career. Most of all, I just love her voice. Because I had little knowledge of the music, I kept pausing this book to look up Carpenters music online. I fell in love with her voice!
I enjoyed reading about Karen as a young woman: about her early musical career on the drums, her fantastic collaboration with her brother Richard, and the serendipitous discovery that she had the voice of an angel
I highly recommend for anyone, certainly not just carpenter fans. In fact I think those who are not fans will find this very interesting as well. The author explains issues the Carpenters had with their "goody-goody" image, and how it limited them and their music! There's also a great discussion of other stars like Olivia Newton John, the Jackson Five, and others.
I was really impressed by this book, and can't praise the narrator enough.
I was confused by the reviewer who disparaged the book for making "Karen a victim".
I disagree 100%. There is NO BLAME placed on any one person for Karen's eating disorder. Instead this book succeeds in demonstrating how the illness slowly came about. There's no one thing that caused her condition. She developed a poor body image, meanwhile she was constantly in the public eye, placing incredible pressure on herself to be perfect. It's also a complicated function of many issues like control and self confidence. I never felt like she was victimized!
An excellent book for everyone. I think music lovers will be surprised by how good this book is. A must buy!
I've been on an Ann Rule true crime binge... I've been listening to her books back to back. Her writing is addictive. I usually enjoy her full length books more than her crime cases series. But this one is really good. I suppose it's hit or miss, and mostly Ann Rule hits it out the park.
This book of cases begins with an unusual and frightening story of wildly obsessive "love". We get to see much of the story through this very brave victim's own point of view. Unfortunately, victims in true crime books are usually not around to tell their story. Thus, the ability to experience the story from the victim's own statements is especially chilling.
The rest of the cases are just as interesting. This book contains three long stories, all well-told!
Once again, Ann Rule delivers a winner! The more I read, the more I appreciate her work. I'm hopeful that more of her unabridged work will be available on Audible.
What a shocker! This is one of the most bizarre and interesting stories Ann Rule has written about. I must say that I was shocked and enthralled by the twists and turns in this true crime book.
I am a fan of Ann Rule, though I have been disappointed by some of her work. This one did not disappoint! It is definitely a keeper!
I think it is a "must-buy" for true crime fans.
I don't want to ruin the story by giving away the details, so you'll have to check it out for yourself to see what happens. :)
Great narration. Highly recommended audiobook.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. That's putting it mildly. I was entranced by it! I like true crime books, but I stay away from subjects that are too gruesome and scary, like the murders of Ted Bundy.
I worried this book would give me nightmares. However, Ann Rule does not fill her book with gory details. Instead Ann tells the shocking and fascinating story of life in the years of his murders and trials, and of her relationship and correspondence with him. The book is updated to reflect all the changes in his legal situation.
There is a lot of heart in this book. Ann Rule writes it with such compassion and true emotion. It's incredibly well written!! I can't say that enough. Instead of coming away with nightmares, I was able to view the horror and tragedy of Ted Bundy from an unusual and fascinating perspective. Rule stays away from the sensationalism that you might expect from a "serial killer" expose. She has written an unbelievably compelling story. It was really interesting to read (hear) her shifting of thoughts and emotions regarding Bundy and his crimes, as she battled with the realization that he may have used her just like he used the other women in his life. Oh it is just a really good book.
I highly recommend this. It is a book that will stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. And I will continue to read Ann Rule. This isn't my first if her books, but I think this is her best that I've read so far!!
I'm surprised at the high ratings for this book. Not what I've come to expect from Ann Rule!!
I respect Ms Rule's work tremendously, but this particular book is very poorly written. The narrative is strange and disorganized; the details are jumbled; the metaphors and analogies are trite and forced, and worst of all, the dialogue/testimony from key witnesses and characters is melodramatic and not believable. The case is interesting, but the writing is so disappointing that I couldn't finish listening, stopping once I reached the trial.
I've read and enjoyed quite a few of Rule's true crime books. I'm a big fan! I recently listened to her story about Ted Bundy for the first time and enjoyed it tremendously. This author can certainly write better than this amateur piece. I almost think someone else used her name!!
The story itself is bizarre. While I have no doubt the facts of the case are true, I have difficulty accepting the testimony of the wife as written in this book. Actually, all the dialogue is so poorly written that it sounds made up. The interviews between the murder squad detective and the "bad" cop, which take place in the car, are really strange and hard to follow. I don't want to give away any details, so I can't really say more, except that it was so bad that it was almost funny. Where was the editor???
Perhaps the narrator made it worse than it would be in print. I was somewhat irritated by the voices she attempted for each character. I normally like Laurel Merlington. I normally like Ann Rule, as well. So I can't put my finger on why this audiobook was so disappointing.
My advice is to skip this one.
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