You never really know until the end, who done it. This book was a fun, easy listen. The only reason I gave the performance a 4 is because, even though each character change is announced, I found the narrator's voices too similar and I had to back up a few times to figure out who was who. Still they did a good job.
An entirely credible scenario of what the future may very well be, but liberals and Democrats beware, it is an extremely conservative Republican viewpoint. I believe the author also has religious convictions which are underlying but conspicuously absent from these writings in order to be more appealing to those who do not possess faith in deity. I suspect atheists will see through this anyway and object. I hope this doesn't stop anyone from considering all the events this book describes as serious possibilities to prepare for.
I enjoyed the 9 books (though they could have been consolidated to probably 4) but 10 was a little contrived and not really necessary.
I bought this book on sale and found it to be the best sale book I've read so far. It should sell well even if not on sale.
The story is an interesting insight on the circus of the past with a sideline insight to the circus of life in the present. The characters and story line credible enough to even doubt it's a work of fiction.
My only reservations to giving 5 stars were the occasional profanity (which was understandably in character) and I did not like the background music in chapter transitions. I thought that was distracting and unnecessary since the voices were two different readers. I also don't want to give away the ending, but having just lost my own elderly mother after being her caregiver for 8 years, the ending was sweet, but a little improbable . . . just a little, and easy to forgive since the book was so good.
This just wasn't for me. I read reviews before purchasing, but apparently I didn't read enough. I usually like to read the unfavorable reviews too, but somehow I missed them with this one so I felt obligated to add mine.
First, I am a devout and fairly orthodox Christian, with Jewish ancestry and I have studied other religions as well, including Islam. I found this writer's interpretations and comparisons of these faiths to be incredibly naive and completely lacking in understanding. It felt to me as though she wrote from the perspective of an atheist while trying to describe the faith and piety of Catholic nuns. Her writing lacks the foundation of faith and spirituality. She ignores God and the purpose of faith and instead inserts mysticism and hedonistic rapes. But the ultimate insult to my Christian faith was the minimization and fictionalization of The Christ, His life, purpose and mission. It came near the end, at a point where I decided to just finish the thing and be done with it . . . and I don't write many reviews, so you know this one really annoyed me.
I am also an avid genealogist. This book starts with a modern day generation and miserably fails at trying to link family history back 500 years, connecting 25 generations. Even worse, it utterly fails entirely, to link 2000 years of biblical history. Instead it claims to find new scripture (written in the 14th or 15th century) that sheds new light on the gospel.
Overall, I know this book was fiction with a somewhat bland attempt to be a romance novel (which I don't care for) and I did buy it on sale (glad I didn't waste a credit) but I didn't like the incredibly improbable and contrived story. The characters were shallow and unrealistic in their behaviors. The reader wasn't bad, though I kept getting some of the characters mixed up and the main character Menina, should have had a distinct southern US accent (her parents did) and she did not.
The only benefit I realized from this book was inspiration to resurrect my own pitiful attempt at writing a novel, dust it off, edit a little and try my hand at publication. If this author can do it, then why not I?
I listened to The Gold Coast first and even though the author recounts details of the first in the sequel, I'd still recommend reading Gold Coast first. They're both good.
I took off one star for 'Story' for a minor detail (pertaining to Ethel's letter), which I thought lacked credibility and was a little too trite in its last minute rush to save the day and that the villains were just a wee bit too unjustifiably nasty.
I read this in paperback nearly 20 years ago and have always remembered it as being really good, but after so long a time had forgotten many details. When I saw there was now a sequel, I purchased this audio along with The Gate House sequel. It was every bit a good as I'd remembered it, made even better with the reader's incredible performance.
If you liked The Great Gatsby, you'll love The Gold Coast. DeMille gives his Gatsby-ish characters more depth and the story lines more details. There is a comedic element to The Gold Coast that softens the drama that made Fitzgerald's Gatsby a little more refined and classical (no one farts in The Gatsby), but for me, the humor better reflects real life and I love to laugh.
If you can suspend credibility for awhile (I think that's the whole point of science fiction), you'll enjoy this book. While not one of Koontz's best, it still ranks high with me - but then I'm happy to accept concepts and not dig to deep for realistic and credible explanations of how time travel might affect past and future events.
Since history has long vilified Nazis, it was a little odd that one of the protagonists was a repentant Nazi acting out of an impetuous infatuation. It would make a little more sense had this character used his abilities to save millions of lives instead of one, but then the romance of this story would have lost it's point.
Just a good, light, entertaining listen. The characters are well developed, not superficial but typical for a romance novel. The reader did a great job. The good are very good, the bad are very bad. The romance is perfect fairy tale, almost typical harlequin formula. Boy meets girl, instant attraction, misunderstanding occurs, lack of trust ensues, boy and girl thrown together by events beyond their control, bad guys cause trouble, boy and girl resolve misunderstandings and prevail over bad guys, and then happily ever after.
I listened to this book during a stressful time in my life (elderly parent terminally ill in hospital) where I welcomed the fluffy, feel good, light minded entertainment of a romance novel. This book filled that order.
Another slave story, but focuses on one particular family which makes it easier to follow the story line and individual characters. It presents both sides of the slavery issue, nicely. It predates the Civil War and for me, having never been a big history reader, it made the cause of the war more personal and understandable.
What really made this book for me was Sue Monk Kidd's own afterword explaining how the book came about. I hadn't realized the book was based upon mostly true characters and events. I came away with even greater respect and admiration for those who stood for the abolition of slavery.
Like Forrest, outrageous and catastrophic events seem to swirl about Alan Carlson wherever he goes, while he remains practical, steady, true and oblivious to the chaos in his wake. The events are incredulous yet somewhat plausible, the actions of the various characters even make sense with one minor exception being the invention of the atomic bomb, which was just plain silly, however not enough to detract from the story. The reader did an excellent job of defining the characters.
Warning: If you're like me and listen to audio books on discreet headsets, while at the gym, shopping, and doing various things in public - there are passages where you'll laugh out loud and draw concerned and annoyed stares from people around you.
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