I was elated to discover there was more to the Forsyte Saga. This, my first foray into the sequel trilogy, did not disappoint. We follow the story of Fleur as she navigates a marriage and the London "modern set" with her true love far away and lost forever. Can she make for herself a place in society that will satisfy, now that passion is irretrievable? And her father, Soames, stands at risk to lose his fortune in a business scandal. I liked this well enough to go on to the second book of the trilogy, The Silver Spoon, which I also recommend. For Forsyte fans this is a definite thumbs up!
Ray meditates in the woods. Ray goes on a road trip. Ray sleeps in the train yard. Ray goes on a hike with his buddies. They talk a lot of pseudo eastern philosophy bull. They go back to a shack. Everyone gets drunk. Everyone gets laid. By the same Barbie nympho doll. Ray goes on a road trip. Ray sleeps in a train yard. Ray goes home and Momma cooks for him. Ray meditates in the woods. Ray goes on a road trip. Ray meets up with buddies. They talk a lot of pseudo eastern philosophy bull. They throw a party and get drunk. Several women show up and wish they could have sex with Ray's friend. Ray goes on a road trip. Then Ray climbs a mountain. More pseudo eastern philosophical BS. The end.
I get that this was very influential in 1958. That millions of young men thought this footloose lifestyle was some kind of statement about individualism and freedom. But boy, it just reads like BS today. And if you've read On the Road already, this is a pale duplicate only with eastern BS thrown in to try and make it mean something. Which it doesn't. It doesn't mean anything except Kerouac didn't like women or working.
Kerouac was a great writer. I wish he'd been a better man and given us better material. I am totally done with him now.
The narrator was great.
I am a big Wodehouse fan but this is not one of his best novels. Still, it's an enjoyable story. It could have been lifted to be even better had the narrator been any good. Inexplicably, the producers went ahead with a narrator who can ONLY do funny old men voices. Thus, the young men sounded like old men, the young women sounded like old men, the Americans sounded like old British men, as did the servants, you get the idea. This was such a problem that I literally could not figure out which character was speaking during many of the scenes. I really cannot understand why the audiobook was allowed to be released in this condition.
With so many great books out there which I have yet to read, why should I work hard to plod through the slow pacing and long, dull conversations (some of which are thinly veiled de Lint sermons on how badly women are treated) ? The characters aren't interesting although they could have been. I didn't care about their problems. I couldn't even get interested in the one supernatural character that showed up early in the narrative. And, to top it off, the narrator was bad. Kate Reading made her female voices too high and her male voices too low. Irritating. I am sorry I paid for this book. This was my first de Lint and my last.
This is considered one of the finest novels of the early twentieth century. The story and characters are suffocating - slowly killing each other and themselves - and we readers - through their idleness and pointlessness. However, and this is an enormous HOWEVER for anyone who is interested in HOW novels are written, I have never seen such an exquisite example of moving backwards and forwards in time to construct the story and characters. I may read this again and again just to see how Ford did it. It is simply brilliant.
Scott is not one of my favorite writers although I love 19th century literature. However I had promised myself to read this book some day and I did enjoy it. The performance was very good and the story is fun. But it is a 19th century person's view of an action story - melodramatic by our standards, with stock characters.
I did not know this book would take me through the Nigerian civil war when I bought it. But I am so glad I learned about it through this stunning story of an upper class African family that eventually found themselves on the losing side. The story is well written, beautifully narrated, and delivers the war gently. No clobbering with gruesome gratuitous violence and no battle scenes. This is simply the experience of a few individuals who lived through it. I loved the characters and especially the twin sisters whose difficult relationship is finally healed because of the war.
The performer did a poor job with female voices and accents. The story is fun but not especially scary and certainly not original. The author tried very hard to draw a parallel to Shirley Jackson's iconic Haunting of Hill House and it back fired on him - by trying to do something that good, and failing, his story suffered by the comparison. I did enjoy the unlikeable characters who competed with each other. Had the performance been better I would have upped the rating simply for the light entertainment factor which is sometimes all I want.
If, like me, you've been missing the real Stephen King, he's finally reincarnated in his son, Joe Hill. I don't know about you, but I loved Stephen King when he wrote supernatural thrillers many years ago. Sadly, in recent years he's been getting duller and duller. Although his writing is still masterful, his content is ho hum. It is astonishing that his son has developed into an equal craftsman - great characters, great dialogue, great plot. But Joe has great ideas for scary stories and we haven't had a good chiller from his dad in decades.
This story is fabulous and creepy and fast paced and wicked fun! Kate Mulgrew renders a stellar performance and you simply cannot shut it off. I listen as I commute and I find myself lingering in the car because I simply have to know what happens next. Hill can create a bagful of terrifying monstrous bad guys and keeps piling on the danger until you can't stand it anymore.
I must also recommend Hill's "Heart-Shaped Box" which is the ONLY horror novel that has actually scared me in three decades. Not kidding. Nothing scares me anymore. But Hill did it when no one else, including King, could.
I cannot wait for more Joe Hill. And I would listen again to anything Kate Mulgrew narrates.
I love 19th century literature and purchased this because the description called a the "greatest narrative novel of the early 1800s.." But holy cow! This was incredibly boring. It just describes a rag to riches life of an angelically perfect man. There is no depth to the characters, no plot tension in the story, no real drama. I had to go read what the critics say about this novel and have learned that it is important because it describes the social and economic shift from agrarian landed gentry as the economic power base, to the middle class manufacturer. So I get why the readers of the time found this an important reflection f their society. But it is simply bad literature by our modern standards. Also, to make it worse - much worse - the reader is awful He has a gruff old man voice and cannot capture the necessary youthful voices. Everyone sounds 60 years old. Bad. Just bad.
I can't think of one good reason to put this subpar work into audiobook form. I love Willkie Collins but this was really boring. Not even close to the masterfully suspenseful style we learned to love through Woman in White and The Moonstones. I think Collins was paying homage to Ann Radcliffe - the creator of gothic suspense - because it emulated many of the elements in her works - renaissance Italy setting, an evil priest, a mysterious presence, thwarted lovers, etc. etc. But this does not work. Moreover the performance was terrible. The narrator used American accents for French and Italian people, and could not create differentiation between young females. Made the heroine sound about six years old. Very bad.
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