I really wanted to like this book. I have been a keen student of 20th century history since high school, 40 years ago.
Alas I found myself unable to really engage with the characters, finding them rather cardboard cutout. I could not help feeling that each was created purely to act as a vehicle to show key historical moments and most of the conversations they had, tended to give us lengthy history lessons. The fact that they seemed to somehow turn up at key points of world events of the time, I found clunky.
The book is redeemed to an extent by some great descriptions, the delivery of casulty telegrams being one good scene.
Overall, while i have no argument with the accuracy of the events portrayed, I feel that Mr Follet may have been better to have reduced the scope of the epic and used history as a background to the characters lives rather than awkwardly dropping them into each significant event. Not a book I could immerse myself in, rather, I skipped along the top, unable to find a way in
In my view, his best work. Certainly on a par with Tinker Tailor. The slow unwrapping of the Character with constant flashbacks, the layering, the atmosphere, are the work of a master story teller still at the top of his game. Micheal Jayston as always reads absolutely superbly. Unturnoffable!!
In spite of the rather simplistic writing style and slightly 'girls own' reading style of 'Jilly' the very English narrator, I found myself drawn into the story.. Don't expect anything confrontational or layered, just simple easily accessible entertainment.
I found the corporate speak part of this book mildly amusing but the book overall rather light weight and ultimately unsatisfying.
I absolutely loved this book, it succeeds on all levels. Its poignancy and humour interweave seamlessly without seeming to take its self too seriously, totally engaging me with the characters. I generally avoid books with multiple narrators, but they immersed me into the roles and transported me back to Alabama in 1963. I regard this book as one of my top 5 audible downloads ever. (and i do a lot of audible downloading) and probably one of the top ten I have ever read. Kathryn Stockett take a bow! I award you the ultimate New Zealand accolade of 3 chocolate fish.
Would have enjoyed the book much more if the narration had not been so appalling. Mr Hitchens may be a great investigative writer, but he should definitely not narrate his own book. Sounded most of the time as if he was doing a quick skim read in the hope of finding something interesting, which was a pity because if you can get past the narration, its a great book.
I had seen the movie which was okay, but the book has so many more layers. The entwining of the story, some history of social attitudes during the victorian era, and even some gentle humour make the whole experience a delicious feast that infuses with the sights and aromas of victorian rural England
If you have even the least interest in the victorian era, read this book. The narration is great too. Overall I award this book the the ultimate prize ...... 3 chocolate fish.
This book is the literary equivilent of a sleeping pill. A third of it could have been removed without any loss to the story. It just seemed to go on and on and on in a kind of literary montotone. I cant imagine how it received the accolades that it did, which was the reason I downloaded it. There are a few laugh out loud moments, but they are miniscule desert islands in a seemingly enless sea of nothing much. Totally putdownable, and a great idea wasted.
Thrillers were never my genre of choice before discovery of the Millenium series. I tended to find them too much to a formula resulting in a degree of samness
Like many I suspect, I went wandering in the literary wilderness of a world without Salender on completion of the series (and a second listen). I found Joe Nesbo on the reccommendation of a friend and have no hesitation in applying the accolade of my review title to all the ones I have read so far, The Snowman, The leopard and The Redeemer.
In many ways these stories are better even than the Milenium series, especially if you take Salender out of the mix. Holer is a great main character, sufficiently floored without being a train wreck, and the writing is tight and well drawn.
Two Ticks, two gold stars, and that most extreme of accolades awarded here in New Zealand, a chocolate fish!
I absolutely loved this book. His push bike pace trip across the States as he draws and colours in the charachters is like a beautiful, slowly eaten banquet. This is a book finely crafted from the rough clay of a family story and along the way you will meet ordinary people that show you dont need a story to be action packed to give it pace. Gentle, but nice, like sitting under a shady tree by a bubbling clear stream on a summers day.
I was inititially worried about him narrating his own story, but as we rode with him it became just right.
Mr Ron McLarty, two ticks and a gold star
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