I decided to order this book because I needed a mystery, but could not take another book filled with sick, twisted serial killers and depressed, heavy smoking, hard drinking detectives. I love mysteries and while The Jo Nesbo's of this world write a great book, I just had to launder my brain and cleanse it of the horrific images and circumstances dreamed up in novels like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, etc.
Enter Miss Silver. Well written cozy mysteries, with a terrific look at 1940's and 1950's England and the comfy tea, toast and flannel which accompanies the era. The mysteries are not so easy that they are solved early on: the plots are clearly drawn and the characters introduced in such a manner as to make them familiar. The narrator, Diana Bishop is PERFECT.
What I can't figure out is why the BBC or Masterpiece have not taken these stories and turned them into a series! They keep re-making Miss Marple (who I do love) every ten years or so until I could practically recite A Pocket Full of Rye – why not try something original and use Miss Silver? There seem to be more of books to utilize and the stories are wonderful!
Anyway – this was my first and I found you do not need to start with book one. The Key was an excellent mystery combined with a little espionage and lots of great village flavor. I immediately ordered another Miss Silver and have almost completed that as well. Thankfully, my spirits have lifted and all thoughts of gruesome serial killers have fled my mind!
William Boyd is an amazing story teller. I found "Restless" a few months ago and read it on my Kindle. I wondered why I had never really run into Mr. Boyd in my reading travels. I tried a sample of "Ordinary Thunderstorms," but because of my crazy schedule (I run a part time art craft business in addition to working full time) I could not carve out time to read this on the Kindle. I hesitated downloading this Audible addition because the overall rating was only 3.6 stars, and so I vacillated for several months. All I can say is DON'T HESITATE.
This is so well plotted and cleverly told. It is a great suspense novel. It is not formulaic. I also enjoyed it because while it does include some violent illusions, it is not overbearing or gratuitous, the plot moves along swiftly and neatly, almost like a puzzle falling into place. It is also, as other reviewers have pointed out, a fascinating study on the nature of identity. The characters are all fleshed out and Mr. Boyd had imbued all of the primary characters, even the bad guys, with sympathetic human features, no one is a cardboard cutout.
I disagree with those who feel the ending is abrupt. This book allows the reader to savor the experience and continue to think about the possibilities. I highly recommend this book - I will now download Restless and his other offerings. I hope Audible will record all of his books!
The narrator was superb! His voice was perfect and his character delineation is subtle and never overbearing or grating. All in all - a fantastic use of a credit and perfect Audible experience!
I read this book years ago when it first came out. I remembered liking it, so when it came up for The Daily Deal on Audible, I bought it to re-read (listen) since the series is about to preview on Starz. As I listened, I could not figure out how I made it through the last time! I am 23 years older and my brain must have really matured! It is too long and could have been so much better if she had concentrated more on the mystery of trying to reconnect with the future. The book is 33 hours (!!) on Audible and needs to be 16 hours shorter! I must have skimmed the book for the highlights back in 1991 which made the story move along - I apparently skipped to the parts worth reading because the plot and premise are compelling and I remembered quite vividly some of the parts of the novel that moved the story forward. This is definitely an easy read in terms of quality of writing. It is better than a typical romance novel, just not literary fiction by any means. I did watch the first part of the new series and it did make fun TV watching. I have come to the conclusion I have outgrown this type of fiction.
A very fun, short listen. I love this author and his book The American Boy. I also enjoy biblio mysteries, and this one is enjoyable. I could see this as a book.
Alison Larkin is a delight. She was perfect and the main reason I kept going. The story begins quite deliciously. The sightings and hints of ghosts have great promise, but we never hear of these initial ghostly appearances again. The actual haunting seemed heavily influenced by special efffects in Hollywood movies, which was a shame. It was easy to figure out who the ghosts were and this took away from the chilling effect. I also think the main character's stoic, resigned, not very scared acceptance of her situation was over played. The children were creepy. However, as I said at the beginning of this review, Ms. Larkin was delightful and perfect so,I kept listening. She makes the credit well worth it.
I would like to begin by saying, I finished listening. This book is fine enough entertainment. However, there was something slightly annoying about the book and I have been thinking about it in order to write this review, trying to distill what irritated me about "The Accident" and this is what I have landed upon:
The author's writing style has what I would liken to a verbal tick or twitch - he has a tendency to write in laundry lists. I don't have a specific quote but he tends to go off on list like tangents (this is my own example) "she drove down the street, by the lawns where the kids played, with the lemonade stands and the the sprinklers and the yard men raking grass clippings and the ….. " these lists go on and on. And it happens over and over throughout the book. I think this is lazy writing. Also, these lists all seem have a judgmental tone to them, in fact the whole book seems to be judgmental of having an affluent life style in general. New York is portrayed as soulless, the publishing industry is hopeless, everything is grim and the people greedy, card board cutouts.
As for the characters - I did not like anyone in this book. They were either two dimensional or just irritating stereotypes. The book feels like a grown up Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys with an edge. Part of this may be due to the narrator. While she has a nice voice to listen to, I can't quite decide if it is the writing style that made her voice sound pretentious, or her reading style that made the writing sound pretentious. There is a whine in there somewhere.
I figured out what was what plot wise very early on. Yet, in spite of all this, I finished. Writing this review a day later, it does feel a little like having eaten a meal of Chinese food, it leaves you kind of empty afterwards. So, if you want a kind of quick, fun-ish, implausible corporate spy sort of story to listen to on your trip to and from your beach house, this might be a good choice. However, I don't think I will choose another book by this author.
Expectant. Youthful. Attraction.
The description of the the alums lining up on graduation day reminded me of my daughter's graduation from a similar school. One old alum is described in Madeline's mind as a 'bog person" and it made me laugh out loud. Since I attended college during this exact time period, the book felt very nostalgic. I think he captured the era, the late 70's early 80's perfectly.
I adore David Pittu. I avoided reading this book due to the mediocre reviews it received. What a shame! Yet, I loved David Pittu's reading of the Goldfinch SO MUCH, I decided to try this one just because I enjoy him so much. He reads Northeastern charachters so well and I enjoy his interpretation of women more than so many other male readers. I love Mitchell's voice and Madeline's mother.
"What if Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett really weren't meant for each other after all..."
I loved this book. I loved it more than Middlesex. I think many of the tepid reviews are a result of intellectual jealousy and bias. I found this book to be incredibly thought provoking and the author's ability to convey the inner turmoil and intellectual struggles of young, newly graduated twenty somethings was moving and something I found myself remembering about my own post graduate experience. I am an amateur Victorianist myself and great lover of Jane Austen, Eliot and Trollope. This novel is perfectly constructed as a 'marriage plot" novel. It reminded me at times of Middlemarch. The twist comes at the end and is quite real and very human. I also loved the refreshing exploration of spirituality the character Mitchell indulges in. It was not gratuitous in the least. I really did enjoy this book and listened to it in two sittings.
Layered, detailed and heartbreaking
Freya realizing she had fallen in love. It was a nice moment.
I tried to read this book and found that listening to it added all the levels of emotion that are necessary to understand all of the characters.
The end. This is the ONLY mystery I have ever read that made me SAD and made me cry. Usually, mysteries are designed so that we are somehow able to absorb the deaths. They do not really move us because the important characters are somehow protected from harm. This mystery is all too real.
A deeply moving mystery. Susan Hill is a wonderful character writer. She is so careful and methodical, gradually building to the ultimate crescendo. It is like a piece of music. Those who can't face being discomfited by the cruel realities of crime should not read this, but I was completely absorbed.
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