For me, this book was the gateway to Anne Tyler. Her words, describing the hysterical self-destruction of a man from an eccentric family and how an equally eccentric woman saves him, are perfect. Her writing is like the smoothest chocolate melting in your brain. Every description and every word is just perfect. Even though I've read this book at least a half a dozen times, this audio book still had me grinning in the car.
George Guidall gives a fine reading, going at a pace that is perfect for the tone of this story. Its a perfect blend of sophistication and Norman Rockwell whimsy. This is one audio book I plan on listening to every year.
Not my favorite, but very memorable. I laughed a good bit and could see myself listening to it again in a couple of years. I like how the author jumped from family member to family member and often filled in the blanks in a Tarrantino kind of way.
Denise. She seemed to be the most sane of all the Lamberts. She was the relief of the reader that someone in the family had a sense of reality.
All his performances have been great so far. I still think my favorite is The Accidental Tourist which is no longer available from Audible. I'm glad I bought my copy when I did!
Not at first. It took me a few chapters for the book to grip me. By the end, I wanted to know how it was going to end.
If all you read are "clean" books and expect to love every character in every story you listen to, skip this novel. If you have a sense of humor and can appreciate the absurd and love good literature, I'd recommend this very dark comedy. Just like the script Chip wrote in the story, you have to get through a very challenging beginning to finally get to the good stuff which is the rest of the novel. I don't think Franzen wrote it that way by accident.
Better story. Better reader.
Written dialog that people in the way people actually talk. People not talking about trains every fifth paragraphs (not everyone who rides a train talks about trains for there entire journey.)
Way too earnest. Annoyingly so.
Agnes Joe. Just because of her annoying name...oh, and because she pushes the main character down some stairs for no apparent reason.
Skip this. It's amateurishly written and will not get you into the spirit.
I think this ranks among the small list that I'd actually listen to again. It was one of Stephen King's lighter stories. I enjoyed the characters and their relationships. It's a place that I'd love to revisit again some day. You feel the sense of nostalgia, even if you weren't around or too young to remember during the time period it's set in.
The murder mystery towards the end provided a little suspense. But since you know the narrator of the story survived (otherwise, how is he telling this in first person?), its not too suspenseful. It reminded me of a Hitchcock thriller.
The main character, Devin. He did a great job with the others, but Devin was the heart of the story and he did his voice in a very laid-back "let me tell you a tale" sort of way.
The Body 1973 at an amusement park.
I recommend this book when you want a pleasant story without a lot of violence or macabre. I'd put this up among his novels such as Duma Key. It's really about the relationships and friendships. You'll smile as you listen to it and might even cry at the end when it's over with.
I really loved this book. I decided to listen to it between bigger books as sort of a palette cleanser. Tim Curry is Lemony Snicket and a full cast reads the dialog. There are also nice sound effects and music so that it feels like a real radio play.
Unfortunately as I looked to get the other volumes, Audible has not licensed all of the Tim Curry/Full Cast versions of these books. It's disappointing to go from a full production complete with voice acting, sound effects and Tim Curry to Daniel Handler dryly reading his own novels.
So I will not be buying the rest of them until they can get all of the Tim Curry/Full Cast versions.
A pretty good read if you can stomach all the obvious Apple and IKEA commercials placed into the text of the book. Seriously, entire pages are dedicated to detailing what Salander bought at IKEA and all the different types of Apple computers (and their differences) inside the Millennium offices. The fact that Salander is supposed to be a master hacker and uses a Mac, is why this called fiction. :)
Seriously though, while it lacks the first books sense of isolation, it still sets up a pretty good mystery. This time the subject is slavery and the sex trade. Its kind of like Crichton in that you will learn a little bit while listening to this novel. Just don't expect the most inspired writing or dialog.
The reading, just like the first one is excellent. The reader handles all the voices extremely well and you will recognize all of the ones that have returned from the the first book.
Enjoyed the pulpy and light story of a Wizard P.I.
What I didn't like is James Marsters who sighs (into your ear if you are using headphones) hundreds of times while you're trying to listen to it. He also moistens his lips and makes all kinda of wet slimy noises over and over again.
Unfortunately James Marsters narrates all the books in this series, so I guess I'll be switching to the print versions for the rest of the series.
Recommending for the fun offbeat story. Not recommending this reading.
It took me about 10 chapters before I really could get used to Roy Dotrice, but by the end of it, I couldn't imagine anyone else reading this novel. He does a great job with all the voices, and with the tons of characters in this story, that is a lot voices!
Yes, it is long with a lot of descriptions and back stories and throw-away names. Fortunately you can take the story at it's surface or you can dive into this deep rich world with a fairly realized history.
This book, despite its very long running time (took me over two months to finish it), is obviously just the beginning of a much larger tale. It is a somewhat self-contained story about war and betrayal where the characters are obviously being manipulated by something much bigger.
As much as I see other reviews talking about it's abominable characters, there are also characters (John Snow and Arya) you will learn to like.
There's just a touch of magic in this volume, but only enough to plant the seeds that will probably be growing in the next novels in the series. The ending has me wanting to come back to the seven kingdoms.
Winter is coming! :)
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