As often happens in my reading, I am curious of how the title was chosen. Although the Cider House and their rules were significant to this story, the orphanage was much more central to its theme. Regardless, this was wonderful to listen to.
I have not read anything of John Irving's before. And if it weren't for the movie getting such high praise, I probably would not have read this one. But I am glad I did. The characters are wonderful. I did not have trouble following who is who despite the large number of people introduced into the tale.
The subject sounds a bit more controversial, to be sure, than it is. But it is presented powerfully simple. I am pro-life, but I am also a nurse and need to offer all options. Just because I do not agree with abortion doesn't mean I rule over you. I can only hope there is a place like this one for those who need it.
The atrocities presented in this tale are numerous: class differences, prejudices, addictions, harsh realities of life all of them. But they are told in such a way that they are neither repulsive nor shocking.
And I did see the movie after listening to this. I am amazed it was rated so high, as it should be banned for desecrating such a wonderful tale. This selection is well worth your time and money.
I was hoping for more from this book (and ultimately the series). There is not a lot of depth in the storyline or the characters. Their lives and actions are very simple, with none of the richness that makes a story interesting. There is a good mystery with a number of possible choices and a twist or two. However, never once was I disappointed to stop listening temporarily.
To make it all worse, as most others have noted, the narration was absolutely awful. It sounded like the efforts of character differentiation were too extreme. Her normal voice would have been fine. But many of the voices were fake sounding and certainly overly dramatic, and that should have been noted (and changed) during production.
Many other reviewers have commented on the poor quality of this narration. What a shame because this story deserved better than that. I was fascinated by the uniqueness of this dilemma and couldn't wait to hear more. But that was contrasted with the frustration of not being able to understand what was being said. I am all for authenticity of accents, but that doesn't mean quality should be lost: poor enunciation and dropping volume at the end of the sentence being the most significant deficits.
But for all the richness and detail that went into character development and setting the stage for this drama, the author really blew it at the end. The climax that should have been never quite made it. I don't want to spoil it but there was a significant turnabout at the end that was told briefly with no significant detail or explanation. And then that end went on for two groaning segments that did not bring it together. What a disappointment. I want to scream "Let's have a do-over!"
Having been around the block a few times, I have been exposed to much that has been published both about Kennedy's life as well as his death. This book did not deliver much of anything different. That being said, O'Reilly does a great job narrating and it is a good story bringing a number of points together. So if you haven't read or heard a lot about this time of life, this is a good place to start.
This book didn't quite hold my interest. I found my mind wandering frequently while listening. It might have been my issue but regardless, I was not thoroughly impressed with this story and found myself wishing it was over.
What I loved about this installment in the Outlander series is the variety of story lines. We are following Brianna and Roger back in modern times, Lord John and his son and family, Ian and his trials along with some new friends, and of course Claire and Jamie. What I did not like is that going back and forth, the time line did not stay consistent. It truly got difficult keeping track of what happened, especially when names from the past are brought back up.
Davinia Porter as always does such a stupendous job narrating!!
And lots of cliff hangers are left to start up the next book.
This was my second "course." As much as I absolutely loved the first one, this course was a huge disappointment. I expected more of a literature appreciation type discussion of great titles. This, however, was the instructor just telling the story of his favorite books. Yeah, every so often he brings up his list of characteristics of why a book is great, but there is not the literary discussion I craved. His narration was animated, for sure telling a good story. But when bringing up the discussion points was awful.
Charming children's story. Introduction was full of praise for the author, but Iam not quite sure the story was worth all that praise.
There is nothing to sway any real passion either way about this story. Adam was wronged with a murder trial but found innocent. The town apparently disagrees with that finding. He goes away but comes back. The twists and turns that follow are largely not believable. Or involves something that I don't care about. The explanation for why it all happened (and I won't spoil the ending) is the craziest of all. Truly good police work would have discovered some of it out. But apparently that is what this town was lacking, and that definitely includes Robin, Adam's lover.
Everything about this title is mediocre. The narration is fair but male voices are significantly lacking. The storyline is good enough but has so many "Really?" type moments that is just isn't credible. It never appears as if the heroine is in danger, but the storyline just wouldn't' go that way! The characters were likable but still middle-of-road. I just wouldn't bother with title.
If you like ancient Chinese literature, this is a book for you. Despite the difficulty of strange names, it is easy to follow the players. Three young women's lives come together by way of family connections. Times go from plenty to poverty. The women have no power yet they are the ones to strategize their survival. Narration is well done.
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