This is my first Sophie Kinsella book and it was very enjoyable. This is not anything that is going to challenge you as a listener, but sometimes I have to take a break from my usual thrillers and heavier fiction and just listen to something that's just plain fun. This fit the bill perfectly.
This is definitely more mystery than mystery thriller, which I'll admit I tend to prefer, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised by the sheer mass of dialogue in this book. That's OK and of course there was lovely character development (I'd expect no less from "Robert Galbraith"), but I sort of think it's "cheating" when the characters know information that the readers don't. I want to have the same chance of solving a mystery as the characters in the book, but if I don't have the same information I can't. I think this probably speaks more to my preferences than it does to quality of the book, so I'll just chalk this one up to good writing that's maybe just not for me.
I have to say this is one of the more bizarre premises for a book, but it was so much fun. I can handle a little bit of swashbuckling and sea stories, but Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey are always a little more technical than I deem to be "fun." But a story with foodie pirates? I love it. Even though one would imagine the food on ships to be somewhat lacking, I found myself getting hungry listening to the great descriptions of the meals put forth by the protagonist (minus the bread made with a starter that he wore on himself to keep warm).
This was just a sweet little book with a charming main character. It's not particularly deep, but sometimes you have to shake things up a little and listen to something that's just fun, and this fits the bill.
Some reviewers don't care for the narration, and I understand that not all voices are right for everyone. However, I've listened to several books read by Jayne Entwistle and I quite enjoy listening to her. Her voice is unique, but it is truly her voice, not her "trying to sound like an 11-year-old" as one reviewer said.
Let's not try to overanalyze this, shall we? It's hysterical. Fans of Stephen Colbert will probably appreciate the humor in it more, but anyone with a funny bone should get a giggle (or at least a broad smile) out of this. Tom Hanks is a wonderful reader (how do we get him to read more books?)
I enjoyed parts of this book immensely. The whole part of the story that takes place in France is quite lovely. There is a fair amount of setup in the beginning as other reviewers have mentioned, but I didn't mind that. What was incredibly irritating to me was that we had no conclusion. It just ends and if you want to find out what happens, you need to wait for the next book. What editor decided that was a good idea? I don't see how frustrating readers/listeners endears them to you. I was all set to give this a four-star review until out of the blue it ended. I doubt I'll be back for future books as I'm a tad bitter that I invested almost 25 hours of listening time for little payback.
This is far from Connelly's best work. Way too many things that just happen to come together and you can see the end coming from a mile away. But I could have stood all that and probably bumped this up a star if it weren't for the narrator who has one of those cheesy voices that made it seem like the guy from the Old Spice commercials was reading it.
I rarely write reviews simply for lack of time (if I had the time to write reviews I'd read more books instead of listening to them), but this book moved me to write one. It really shouldn't be missed.
Alfre Woodard does an amazing job narrating McFadden beautiful prose in this story that is at times so horrifying you will find your jaw dropping and will have you rooting for the central figure.
This book is so good it's one I'll probably go back and read. It deals with an important time in our country's history and intersperses real historical figures in with fictional ones.
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