I really enjoyed Double Forte, which I read some time ago. I’ve recently found audio books an excellent way to make time pass when doing chores and got this one. The characters and the easy, pleasant descriptions of life in Gus’s house, his interactions with members of his family, and the overtones of suspense appeal to me. This isn’t edge-of-your-seat action but a steady threat that sometimes comes to the fore, sometimes hovers below the surface—perfect for listening to over several days. I even cook more so I can listen. :-)
Lazar’s writing is smooth and easy to follow without being simple. The story is rich and the subplots add depth. The characters are (mostly) people you’d like to spend time and be friends with. Gus, the protagonist, is a strong family man with many facets--a quiet hero. Siegfried is a wonderful character, Harold is portrayed quite well, and the others are clearly drawn and stand out as individuals.
Overall, the narrator did a decent job, but to my ear, he made Gus sound like a man in his late fifties, older than I think Gus is. He also mispronounced a number of words, and in some of the tense situations, I thought the dialogue sounded too casual and laid back. Still, it was an enjoyable performance and I’d recommend it. I’ll listen to it again sometime.
Aaron Lazar is such a good, prolific writer, I wanted to see how he does it. He mixes his personal story and his own trials and errors with solid advice for writing, making it much more interesting to read than a simple how-to book. His common-sense approach combined with accepted and proven practices is well worth reading (or listening to). Lazar's writing reveals his philosophy about life as well as his attitude toward his stories, and his conversational style translates comfortably to audio.
His output is amazing to me, but I hope he keeps the books coming. I'm looking forward to more of his novels.
George Kuch's rich, easy voice is a good fit for this book. I enjoyed listening to him; his matter-of-fact manner works well with Lazar's ideas on writing and life in general. Kudos to both of them!
Until now, I've only read Aaron Lazar's Gus LeGarde novels, which I really enjoy. Essentially Yours is a departure from the quiet, family-oriented LeGarde, but it's well done and held my interest from the beginning. Lazar delves into the mystical properties of essential oils in a knowledgeable way, and the suspense ratchets up as the mystery progresses.
The story held a number of surprises, from the plot to the unusual characters.
Hannah Seusy's clear voice provided a variety of emotions, from amusement and chagrin to fear and sympathy, all without overdoing anything. Good job!
Polly Iyer is one of my favorite authors. I read this book a couple of years ago and had forgotten many of the details, so I got the audio. I still love the story and the characters--it's not often you can feel any sympathy for the bad guy, but I did in Mind Games. Diana and the other characters are believable and likeable, and I found the plot just as exciting and full of twists and turns this time as I did the first.
Ms. Druyor's narration is excellent. I never had difficulty separating the characters, and thought she created a great villain as well as the fascinating heroine, Diana Racine. The narrator really touched me at one point when a character had reached her limits and thought she was dying. (You'll know when you hear it.)
I highly recommend Mind Games, both the book and the audio.
I read this book more than a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I got the audio--so glad I did! Playing with Poison is just plain fun, and narrator Caroline Miller brings exactly the right touch of dry skepticism to Jessie Hewitt’s voice. Miller's voice and the author’s tongue-in-cheek wit are a great match. Her interpretation of the other characters is very good, from matter-of-fact Wilson Rye to the sweetly dim Candy Poppe, and “Geez Louise” is spot on. I found myself laughing out loud more than once.
One of the things I like is that though the heroine is well aware of others’ flaws (and her own), her remarks and treatment of her friends is always kind. She cares about them and accepts their quirks and foibles. Jessie is someone I'd like to know.
I didn’t remember the villain, and once again I didn’t figure it out until late in the story. I’m looking forward to more of Ms. Blackburn’s stories and to Caroline Miller’s narration. Kudos to both!
Aaron Paul Lazar is a fine writer, and his richly detailed story easily takes the reader back to the summer of 1964. Most of the historical details are familiar, and the songs bring back memories.
Gus LeGarde takes a big step toward becoming the man he is in later books, a character I love. He and his best friends, Sigfried and Elspeth, are spending the summer at Gus’s grandparents’ cabins in Maine, along with a mystery visitor traveling under the name “Mrs. Jones,” whom Gus befriends. Mrs. Jones has suffered a tragedy, and Gus’s ready sympathy and understanding help her through a bad time. The scenes with Mrs. Jones are among my favorites.
A girl Gus glimpses in the woods captures the young trio’s attention and sets them on the path to risky adventures and a mystery. As the summer progresses, tragedy mixes with simple pleasures, and Gus becomes aware of some unexpected adult experiences. The tolerant, realistic way the adults around him handle things, and Gus's own reactions help shape the man he'll become.
Narrator Erik Synnestvedt handles the different voices well, making it easy to distinguish them. He conveys emotions believably and without overdoing them. I really enjoyed his reading of some of the same characters in Don’t Let the Wind Catch You and was pleased to find him narrating this book. I highly recommend Tremolo: Cry of the Loon for reading or listening.
Ring of Lies had plenty of twists and lots of danger and suspense. I really wanted to know what would happen next. Even though I sometimes found the heroine a bit frustrating (she's not too bright or what I'd call "spunky" but not stupid either), she was still likeable and probably realistic for her background. I cared what happened to her.
The narrator handled the different voices well and expressed emotions and reactions clearly without overdoing it. There were a few British words and pronunciations that should have been American, but there was never any doubt about the meaning and it didn't bother me.
I enjoyed this audio performance and recommend it to suspense and romantic suspense fans--very entertaining story.
Aaron Lazar is a skilled writer who weaves the details of reality into his stories; his characters are people I'd love to know. Gus LeGarde is one of my favorites, and his love for his family and genuine kindness shine through--a good man who takes care of those who come into his circle.
The lovely singing voice added to the story and provided welcome breathing room to the tension-filled plot.
Sigfried stays true to his character, which is wonderful, and I loved Cindy and the others. Their personalities are well done and each is unique and distinct. Camille is the most layered character, with new facets and secrets revealed as the story unfolds.
Robert King Ross's laid-back voice kept some of the scenes from descending into melodrama--he was just right for this book.
The story held my attention from beginning to end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it. I'm looking forward to my next Lazar book.
Both the story and the narration were excellent. I enjoyed the details about art, the insight into the workings of the Vatican, and the Israeli and Hezbollah political information. The story was fascinating, and I like the author's explanations at the end of what was true and what he'd imagined.
The narrator was terrific. I hope to hear more of his work, and I'll listen to this again sometime.
The audio was just as compelling now as the book was when I read it a couple of years ago. I’d forgotten many of the details. Polly Iyer, one of my favorite writers, knows how to get into a character’s mind and let you share the emotional journey. The plot takes many surprising turns, with events both pleasant and tragic, that keep you wondering what’s next. The characters, especially Reece, are deep and complex. The settings are rich and convincing, taking you there, and sadly, the tragedies behind this story are real. This is a book to keep and reread or listen to again.
In the beginning, I had difficulty accepting the narrator’s slightly breathless style, but as the story progressed, either he adapted or I did. I’m so glad I persisted. Fred Kennedy handled the emotional scenes masterfully, and one with a dying character brought tears to my eyes. I won’t give away what happens, so you’ll have to listen to figure out which one, but you’ll know. I especially liked his portrayal of some of the minor characters, such as Sheriff Payton and the bartender in North Carolina. Well before the end, Mr. Kennedy earned his five stars.
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