This was so disappointing! I bought this book for vacation listening, including a 5-hour drive, because many of my favorite authors contributed. Ridley Pearson's start-off story was mediocre and the next six went steadily downhill. The last few stories we listened to were just painful to get through, thanks in no small part to the narrators' over-the-top reading. We "threw in the earphones."
I love Brigid Quinn! And Judy Kaye does a masterful job of making her real. This is a story of a retired FBI agent, a "woman of a certain age", recently married and trying to keep it all together after a, shall we say, unfortunate mishap. It's also a great who-dunnit. Ms. Masterman gives us action, suspense, and all the other goodies in all the right places. I can't wait for more from this duo.
I am a huge fan of Thomas H. Cook. I find his works, usually, engaging and thoughtful. This was one of his early works, perhaps before he developed the style I have so come to enjoy. Mr. Cook typically gives us some hint of mystery or disaster to come; there was none here. This was just a very long, rambling account of a sister's life told through the eyes of her older brother. And it was not an interesting life, either! This amazingly boring account was not helped by the narrator. I'm not sure if that's his normal reading style or if he was trying to emulate an 80 year-old-man or if he was trying to for a perceived style of speech through the early part of the 20th century. The result - for me - was Forrest Gump without the accent. This is the very first Thomas Cook novel I have not found to be excellent. I would recommend his work in a heartbeat, just not this one.
What didn't?! I like Tami Hoag, or at least did. I like Kirsten Potter when she reads other authors' works. This work, though, didn't work on *so many* levels. Ms. Hoag gives us a main character who displays stupidity with every action. I had no sympathy or empathy for her at all and when things go all wrong, as you know they will, it's no one's fault but her own. The living child (15 years old, really??) is an immature, simpering brat. Sadly, there is way too little presence of Anne or Vince Leone, characters who were so good in the other Oak Knoll books. Ms. Potters' reading for most characters and the ACTION is over-enunciated and over-dramatic. Way too much verbal punctuation for my taste. And, finally, my pet peeve, when there are only two children, there is not an "oldest" or "youngest."
Okay, I admit it: I can’t get enough of Jackson Galaxy. This is one of those rare books I will listen to over again. He writes and reads this memoir straight from the heart and no other narrator could have done justice to his words. Jackson’s memoir recounts his beginnings and growth as a cat behaviorist while battling his many addictions. His story is humble, straightforward, and never wallows in self-pity. Here is a man who came face to face with the bottom, over and over again, and pulled himself out of it. While he was doing so, he discovered and nurtured his calling to help troubled cats and their guardians. His cat Benny was with him all the way, not only teaching him but becoming that rare animal with whom he established a lasting bond. I can relate: I had a cat who saw me through my “get my ‘stuff’ together” years and I, in turn, nursed him through several life-threatening illnesses. That cat will have a special place in my heart until I die. Even if you’ve never experienced that kind of relationship with an animal, you’ll appreciate this book, and even more so if you have.
If this were the first book I experienced by Tana French, I would probably not buy another. Since I started the Dublin Murder Squad series with "Faithful Place," which was excellent on all points, I will stick with the series. This book was overlong and, during the last third, I was just hoping it would end soon. The story was very good as was character development. The author surprised me with the perpetrator(s) of the crime. The reading was skilled and also my biggest complaint. Rob Ryan, the character telling the story in first person, is Irish but was raised in British boarding schools and speaks with an "upper crust" British accent. Steven Crossley delivered Ryan just right, but then delivered the dialogue of ALL the characters in that same accent. I would have preferred Rob Ryan to at least imitate the Irish accents of the other characters and I blame the producers and directors for a poor judgement call. But that's really a minor complaint. All in all, the book was worth the time and kept me occupied for many 45-minute treadmill sessions.
I have no doubt the content of this book is valuable, and I'll be finishing it in hard copy. The author-reader's delivery was just awful and, for my own sanity, I had to stop listening. Simple words were mispronounced (i.e., "picture" was spoken as "pitcher"). Cadence was choppy. Intonation was flat. But the last straw was the author-reader's announcement of "New Heading" at every transition. Even now, I cringe thinking about it. A more skilled reader would have been able to make those transitions without offering the listener a roadmap.
The only reason this book is getting three stars from me is because of the great narration by Dion Graham. If I'd been reading hard copy, I wouldn't have finished the book. It began with great promise and I was very excitied - good plot, great reader. Then the author went on long, boring, rambling accounts of political movements from back in the day, and labor union issues, and all sorts of other stuff that really didn't add anything to the plot and only marginally added to character development. At least half of this book could have been edited out. By three quarters in, I just wanted it to be OVER. And don't be fooled by the comparisons to Dennis Lehane and Greg Iles, two authors I love. Attica Locke is not even close.
This was a BIG disappointment, not even close to "Heart-Shaped Box." Many of the stories seem like ramblings in someone's journal - very little structure. None was spooky, scary, creepy (insert your anticipated gost-story adjective here).
The reader makes this audiobook painful to get through. He overacts the parts like crazy. He takes whispered parts literally, causing a lot of volume adjustments while driving. I kept waiting for him to blow his nose or otherwise get over his nasal congestion. It never happened! As a result, his diction is terrible. "B" words start with an "m" sound. (Cows were "mauling." Context suggested that they may have been "bawling" but I can't be sure.) End-of-word "t"s are accomplished with a throat closing rather than tongue and roof of the mouth. And he has an overall lazy approach to making words distinct. "At least" sounds like "aleast". You get the picture.
Some customers evidently enjoyed this book, based on the collective rating (3.5+ at this writing). MY recommendation is to use your credit for something else.
This was not what I expected. Like many novels about 9/11 by familiar authors, this was largely a departure from the author's other work. The story is explained in the last 15 minutes; I'm just not sure I like the explanation. What this does have in common with other Jess Walter novels is his ability to give his audience pause. The reading by Christopher Graybill is spectacular. Listen til the very end and then decide.
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