I am a bit conflicted about this book. It starts off hinting at schlock-horror in a prologue, but then kicks off the novel proper with a protagonist I could really have come to like if positioned in a different story. I LOVE the idea of a pawnbroker as a protagonist - at times this character,and the best of the writing, reminded me of the late great Willam Tapply and his small-town lawyer Brady Coyne. A decent human with a strong sense of justice and a fine judge of character, in a job which brings him into contact with all sorts of people in trouble for all sorts of reasons. I could devour a series like that.
Gray Bolton isn't Brady Coyne, though - Hatchett doesn't flesh him out quite enough. The story is fast-paced and fun once you come to terms with the fact that it's also so pulpy it's verging on camp: the whip-smart gorgeous kick-ass black female sidekick who is also utterly compliant and worships the hero for no apparent reason is just one example (even her name is gimmicky, per Ian Fleming, or indeed Austin Powers). The unremitting redneck evil of the bad guys is another. But if you stop looking for Meaning and just enjoy the sex, violence and thrills per minute, this is an enjoyable ride.
Preference in narration is a personal thing, and I confess this aspect of the book didn't work for me. The style is very laid-back for a story that is so hyper-energised, and I felt the narrator struggled with women's voices and in differentiating characters generally. But, as I say, this is a personal thing - if in doubt, download a sample and see what you think.
I received this book free, as a review copy. My opinions are independent and my own.
This series is fantastic. While this particular story is more confusing than the first (Rock, Paper, Tiger), and less beatly resolved, the insughts into Chinese culture of the everyday variety, plus the glimpses of the life of a US army veteran, are complettly engaging. I really love the depth and complexity of Bravkman's characters, and can't wait to spend more time with them. The narration is slso outstanfing, accents and language tactfully and expressively rendered. Well worth a listen.
I was absolutely staggered that this was nominated for an Anthony Award. Leaden narration does not help a terrible, cliched story. The plot has more holes than and onion bag, the romance is unconvincing, the family platitudes are trite. Worst of all is the lead character, who ought to be interesting, but utterly fails. We are constantly told what a brilliant cop she is, but never see a single example of it. Instead we see stupid mistake after stupid mistake, bad decision after bad decision, while the cop laments how someone of her allegedly prodigious talents could have got it so wrong. And so often. This gets very old very soon. The flat and ponderous narration is surprising from an otherwise talented actor - perhaps she found the appalling writing as depressing as I did. Just awful.
I really liked this book! A clever and original concept, well and wittily executed, and with excellent narration.
Picture a world where certain gifted individuals can live off the fruits of their talent by cloning themselves, and letting the clones do all the scut work? So when the most brilliant detective of his age is murdered, who better to investigate than ... A brand-new clone of the most brilliant detective of his age?
In less talented hands - both the author and the narrator - this could have been very confusing. Instead, this is a highly entertaining sci-fi mystery, recommended if you enjoy books like the Stainless Steel Rat series.
When a much disliked headmistress of a posg girls school is murdered, teaching alumna Susan Lombardi is on the case (with the aid of her supportive husband - and some interesting others). This won't set the world on fire, but it's a good solid traditional mystery, and a pleasant way to pass some time. I will look for more in this series.
I couldn't wait to get hold of this book after reading reviews and synopses. It's fun, and charming, but not the game-changer I'd been led to expect. And the author lost a lot of my goodwill for (a) some unsubtle lobbying for copyright piracy; and (b) calling his Magical Pixie Dream Girl character Kat Potente, ehich seems a bit sad and obvious (but then I never related to the cult spoeal of Cat Power). It's a fun story, neatly told, but this is not the new Douglas Adams or Neil Gaiman. I did enjoy the narration.
I utterly love Neil Gaimsn, so I'm going to pretend this never happened. Even with the incomparable Kayherine Kellgren as narrator, this is almost unlistenable. It's a hot mess of loose ends and inconsistencies desperately patched together with cliches and compromise. The impression left is that Gaiman's Twitter followers came up with ideas that were either stupid or obvious, and didn't listen to each other, and it was left to Gaiman to try and force it all together. At least, I sincerely hope so.
The originsl story behinf Australian film "Babe", about the sheep herding piglet. Here, Babe grows into a proper adult Great White hog, and alas, there are no singing mice, but it's still a beautiful story, with beautiful narration. Recommended for young and old alike.
This was a beautifully performed version of Orwell's claasic novel. This would be a very easy way to introduce this worl to children who might not be great readers. Or, indeed, to adults. A very approachable adaptation and highly recommended.
I thought this might be an intersting exploration of a pop culture phenomenon, but while there are a few glimpses of insight, almost all of this is incredibly self-indulgent and seriouslyboverthought hagiography by someone who could really use another hobby. If you have any interests in life outside of Beyonce, this programme probably isn't for you.
Seriously good: an astonishing cast delivering one of the best works from one of our greatest living playwrights. I was surprised to find I didn't miss the visuals at all.
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