There are some books that just scream the need to be done in audio and this is one of them. Penny seems to struggle a tiny bit in the beginning with her performance, but then finds a great rhythm and the book just flows. Living near NYC, I could identify with the style of her performance. The books offers a lot of insight and quite a few yuks too. The book is also touching, especially when Penny battles tears as she describes emotional moments in her life. What I love about this book, something I also found to be true in Rob Lowe's book, is how approachable Marshall seems to be. Yes, there are some curses, especially toward the latter portion of the book, but it isn't every other word and I didn't find it to be that big of a deal. She is a New Yorker and that comes through loud and clear. Her friendships with many of Hollywood's well known names was enlightening. All in all it is a fun read and the 8+ hours went by quickly. I did desire to hear a little bit more detail about the Odd Couple and Laverne and Shirley than the amount she offered, although she didn't gloss over it either. Penny's narration is what seperates this book from good to great.
While there are many Hiaasen books that are better than Bad Monkey, this book wasn't awful, but just average. With that said, while I like Arte Johnsen's voice, he simply wasn't good in Bad Monkey. Johnson's below average performance had me longing for the printed version just a few chapters into to book. His tone would be great for a biography, but the man that had many voices in his career didn't bring them along for Bad Monkey. He often used the same voice for male and female characters while once in a while tossing an accent in that only served to make listening a bit of a challenge. Johnson, a comic master missed the all important timing elements of humor as well, often causing parts that should be funny to simply fall flat.
The story itself, having some of the typical nutty characters found in Hiaasen's witty offerings, lacked in comparison to his other books (I have read them all). Also, the dragged out ending was fair at best. I may go back and read Bad Monkey to see if there is any improvement as I have always loved Hiaasen 's books. The length of time between books and what appears to be the author reaching for material make me wonder if Hiaasen has simply running out of steam. I hope not that's not the case.
Stephen King is a master of creating a mood in a story. He is also a master of transporting the reader into another place in time as he did with the outstanding 11/22/63. In Joyland Kink creates the mood and sets the time period well, but the story itself is thin. Joyland isn't a bad book, but there are better choices from this great writer. On a bright note, the performance of Michael Kelly was top notch.
This is a great story and a sound performance but I will leave it to the other well done reviews to cover that point. But from my point of view two things should be known prior to buying this book. The first is that if you don't have some knowledge of computers or video gaming it will be tougher to get into the story. It isn't impossible, but be prepared to re-listen every now and then. Secondly, This book and Freedom (TM) really should have been one long book instead of two. Unlike books in a series that bring some conclusion to each book in the series, Daemon leaves far too much hanging and really requires the reading of Freedom (TM) to reach a reasonable ending. My advice would be to purchase both books or neither of them. With that said, these two books were a joy to read. The story is very well thought out and Jeff Gurner does a great job! Highly recommended!
Overall this a great book. I grew up with the Brat Pack but was only a distant Lowe fan. However, his writing style and humility makes him hard to dislike. He has had a very interesting life and I think readers will enjoy hearing about some of his chance meetings with other actors. Unlike many autobiographies, Lowe spends just enough time talking about his youth without it becoming boring. He narration is excellent, especially when he copies the voices of those around him. My only issue with the book, and it is a very minor one, is that I wished he spoke in more depth and detail about his fall into addiction. I also felt that he glossed over his video scandal, leaving out much of the mess his career became, the challenges he faced as a result and his journey back.
All in all, a well done book by a very likable actor.
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