The storyline is very interesting. I really wanted to know how it all turned out in the end and I learned something new at every listening.
Learning lots about the history of the time.
The story is interesting, the length and depth are important to the overall tone and understanding. Unfortunately for me, sometimes it just bored me. I found I couldn't listen to it during my commute because it encouraged nodding off! I've listened to other histories and biographies without this outcome but don't think it was the narrator, he was fine, professional. I put to good use the variable narrator speed on the Android app. I might have given up without it and I really wanted to finish it.
Yes, it's overall charm comes from being well written and inexpertly narrated. The choice of Penny Marshall to read her own story was a stroke of brilliance. It comes across as (someone we like to think of as) an old friend revealing stories about themselves we've never heard before. It's very obviously a reading of a book, though somehow transcending into more of a long letter from a favorite friend. It's stiffness is forgotten in the fun of hearing the story.
The most memorable moments are the relationship connections between Penny Marshall and well, . . . everyone. She makes LA, Hollywood and New York sound like one small town filled with interesting people. Interesting not because of what they've starred in but because of who they really are, what they shared with her and what she learned from them.
Narration wise, when Penny Marshall reads about her mother's passing. Her voice cracks and you feel her emotion.
L.A. Meyer has given us a gift in Jacky Faber and her over the top adventures - a strong, yet fallible female character and the opportunity to discuss her life lessons with our own girls. She is a good natured big thinker, courageous thru fear, yet prone to nightmares and depression. She learns from her many mistakes, is always willing to learn new skills, is never above working hard at what must be done and doesn't blame others for her misfortunes. She cobbles together a family of friends, experiencing the unconditional love and loyalty that comes with it. She accepts others as they are without prejudice, she might not like someone but she accepts them and their dislike of her in turn. She vocalizes and acts on her principles and puts others first even when the consequences for her are dire. She is manipulative and a shyster, sometimes blurring surviving and conning. Throughout this series, Jacky learns (and takes to heart) that her actions have unforeseen, sometimes negative, consequences for her friends as well as herself - not something often represented.
And then there's the history. It's dirty, appalling, uplifting, exciting and pretty accurate. Jacky is a dynamic character and her outlandish story highlights the limitations imposed on fellow characters. The historical context and dialog give a glimpse into the soul of the time and place, not just a textbook overview.
As for the increasing sexual nature of Jacky, she is now sixteen and has for a long while been responsible for the health and welfare of herself and many others. It is understandable that this part of her life would mature, too. The consequences for herself and her friends aren't lost on her. I have survived one teenage daughter, have another on the brink, and feel it has been handled well so far but it may not be for everyone. I am listening ahead of my 12 year old daughter so I know which subjects, both personal and historical, I want to address more fully.
Narrators & writing continue to be awesome. The recording itself is awful. Slipshod editing provides many, many opportunities to listen again to what you just heard. One interval of static drowning out narrator is included free of charge.
If you don't cuss in your everyday life, this is a little jarring at first. The one or two sentence quotes, while clever, cannot hold a candle to the longer stories. While much of the humor (and there is LOTS of it) lies in the son's reaction to his father, there are also stories and references included that give a broader picture of his father as an individual and it is those that are priceless. The narrator does a great job of conveying the wonder, and sometimes horror, of being this extraordinary father's son. The sound quality is excellent - although you may have to rewind often to catch something you missed while laughing.
As a bonus, there are plenty of parenting take aways you can use on your own kids.
Funny and light hearted with engaging characters. It is laugh out loud funny without being mean spirited or unkind. If you've ever had to deal with a brilliant sibling, friend, offspring you will appreciate this story on a whole other level. Narration and sound quality were both excellent.
True, no sex scenes but LOTS of graphic violence peppered with rippling, straining and injuries. Breathy narrator voices the Tough Chick with plenty of insecurities setting in motion the stereotypical mindless mistakes making sure she drives away the Good Guy, positioning the Bad Boy to become her rescuer from the Evil Doer. All the while holding her own in battle and beating herself up mentally. Ah, good times.
Still, I had to finish it and was surprised at how quick the time went by.
The story is funny and light hearted but the narration production is what makes this a premier choice. The narrator is charming and talented. This was quite an unexpected find! What a gem!
"Wow" just sums it up. Neil Gaiman's writing never disappoints. Normally, I prefer to listen to business books and read pleasure books, allowing the pictures in my head to be mine and not a narrator’s. I purchased this one on a whim. What a good choice! Gaiman's reading provides an entirely new dimension to his story. Always entertaining, we are now fortunate to hear the story with the same intention and point of view with which it was written. The cadence of his voice combines with an endearing gentleness and an original story to create a grand listening experience. A master storyteller makes all the difference.
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