Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2015
I was so thrilled with this book! I often get a hankering for a good animal story as usually they're so wonderful and inspirational. Following Atticus did not disappoint!
What I really liked about this book was that yes, it follows Tom and Atticus on their journey, but it also follows Tom as he discovers himself along the way and becomes who he's meant to be. And most of it is because of an adorable little dog, Atticus. (And I really love that one dog started it, Max, a dog that Tom was very leery of taking into his life but who radically changed it and showed him what true love is.)
This book is also about looking at the past, and realizing that people do the best that they can and that they are who they are. And Tom has to figure out how to love and forgive and live with the wounds that coming from a lonely family, living with an abusive and neglectful parent, have caused. Forget about climbing all those peaks, and those are great, but the real work is done in his heart.
I bought the kindle version of this also, and I'm very glad that I did because some of the prose is so lovely, so poetic, the descriptions and imagery are so beautiful and written with such insight that I'm looking forward to reading some passages over again. Truly well done.
This is a touching, wonderful book, well worth the listen, well worth the time. You'll love Atticus, you'll root for Tom. And you'll be tempted to check out their blog. I know, that's cheating, but I really can't wait for the next book!
I got involved with animal rescue after Katrina hit, was a nutcase by the time Rita swept through (even though I hadn't been there yet, but the images, my imagination, the extent of my caring about the horror were enough), and had full blown PTSD by the time I came back after two weeks in New Orleans helping out when the state was kicking out all out-of-state rescues. The place, ALL of those parishes, are dear to me. I HAD to get this book because the title: 1 Dead in Attic was pretty much something you saw everywhere (along with 4 dogs DOA, 3 cats DOA in Bathroom, things like that.)
I still grieve.
But I felt like I was given a little piece of "home," if you will, when I listened to Chris Rose's book. It's a series of his articles, all the happenings, all his thoughts, things that went on after Katrina, for over a year, the horror, the heartache, the struggles and triumphs. The depression and sense of loss. The rebirth (sometimes with meds needed).
I guess this might not be everybody's cup of tea. Katrina no longer holds the nation's attention, but it's a wonderful book in its own right, a touching one worthy of a listen.
And Bronson Pinchot? He has just grown into one of the most fearless narrators I've ever had the pleasure of listening to! Anger, exasperation, humor, tenderness, robotic depression, gentle love, all tones and expressions seem so easy for him to convey.
Wow to this book.
If you can weed through the flowery language, the endless adjectives and adjectives, you might find something here. I, however, feel that this was a waste of time. This had more the feel of a "reality check," which, okay, writers sure as hell need from time to time, but there was little wisdom offered in its place.
This is a very short work, not a lot of money, but still. The only thing worse than a waste of money is a waste of time. Save both of yours; go for a longer, more in-depth work for real education, real inspiration, real guidance.
Avoid the adjective/adverb exhaustion
First, let's just get the narration out of the way. I totally get twitchy about narration that drags, so I usually listen to all my books at x1.25 speed. This book, however, really shines at x1.50. The story becomes passionate, breathless, zips along and carries the listener with it. Lisbeth Kennelly gives a fearless and touching performance, and I have nothing but good things to say about her.
The book itself starts out with a Young Adult flair, I thought, but soon I began to pick up the universal essences from the narrative: loss, fear, loneliness, a need to belong. Things of that ilk. And by the time the two young protagonists, Hannah and Becky are "rescued," things really hit the fan, and readers of all ages will be able to relate to their dilemmas--how do we bend to society's will and still be ourselves? How do we let go of the best parts of our lives, do what's "right?" How do we live with grief? Very provocative.
Wonderfully written too. Nowra writes some gorgeous prose here. Sometimes metaphors and similes tick me off (Sorry, just have a "thing" about 'em at times), but this book is full of some really breathtaking comparisons. And I gotta say, one of the things I looooove about reading/writing, is that the written word can go ANYWHERE the writer wishes to take us. Love, loyalty, brutal betrayal, friendship, remorse, things that can never be forgiven; all surprises when handled deftly by a skilled author.
This is a great book (especially since it has tigers, and anyone who's EVER read a review of mine knows I think animals rock!), and the ONLY reason I'd be hesitant about recommending using an entire credit for it is because of how short it is, even though it's really quite a stellar work. If you're twitchy, wait for a half credit sale, Daily Deal, kindle bundle, whatever.
You'll discover your inner "beast" and will like it...
Jang Jin-sung starts the book with his life inside North Korea as a poet and quickly becomes disillusioned. Finally, he is forced, no options, to run for his life with a friend. "Dear Leader" gives a view into North Korea that only "Nothing to Envy" does more painfully, and every step of the way, we the readers, hold our breaths. Because we know, as Jang knows, as his friend knows, bad, bad, bad things will happen if they get caught trying to escape to China.
One of the things that I liked about this book, however, was that, through the doom and gloom, there were some mighty good people, willing to risk their lives (yeah, sure, maybe a couple of them asked for a pittance, but money or not, they were risking prison/death just the same) to help the young men out. So many times, books/stories of this nature have no bright spots. I was so happy to listen to people caring. I'm not sure that I'd have that kind of bravery when it came down to it, especially since Jang and everyone can NEVER relax; escaping North Korea is bad enough, but China is no picnic either.
You will bite your nails with this book. You will gasp with horror and surprise. You will pace as you listen (instead of doing things you need to do like, oh, say laundry 'cause the washing machine is too loud and you won't be able to hear the book over it...)
If you're looking for an exciting, enthralling, if appalling/horrifying read, "Dear Leader" definitely is it!
This is a jolly good book (wait, maybe jolly isn't the proper word for a book like this...?), but it's a bit over-dramatic. I don't for a second doubt the human rights abuses, the camps, the torture, the religious persecution; I think it came down to Kathy Garver's excessive snarling and growling of men/"bad guy" voices. And there are sooooo many of those that it throws the narrative and flow off.
But this is a good listen, an enlightening listen, and while I sorta had a knee jerk response when I discovered that I just purchased something that could be considered Christian literature (I know, I'm a narrow-minded toad; no offense to toads meant), I was quite pleased that the characters in the story lived their faith more than preached it. That's the way I was taught to live and I found it refreshing and inspiring.
While I thought the ending was abrupt at the time, after thinking about it for a time (and trust me, this book is good enough that you will truly think about it quite a bit), I realize that it ended the only way it could.
Read this book if you get a chance, but only as a Daily Deal, or a discount. Or do a kindle unlimited/audible bundle deal. This is a story that will get to you-if you're interested in North Korea/human rights/survival of the human spirit. Even love.
I kinda feel bad that I gave "Until I Say Good-Bye" the ALS good-bye letter 3-stars and I'm giving this precious little ditty 3.5, but it's like this, see? Susan Spencer-Wendel wasn't alone in her illness but Elizabeth Toya Bailey was.
It's easy to find joy, love, beauty when it's all around you because people you love are taking you places.
It's harder than hell to find it when you're immobilized by illness in a single room and can't even roll over.
I found so much wonder and joy in listening to this book; so much delight and humor. Raudman narrates with a growing curiosity, a liveliness, a sincerity that only the best narrators have. She does a really great job bringing the words to life and makes it seem as there is a (Ha!) growing friendship, I kid you not, developing between woman and snail.
When I listened to "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating," I couldn't help but think of Corrie Ten Boom and "The Hiding Place." When Corrie is imprisoned for helping hide Jews, a little ant comes to see her every day, and she sees the wonder in that, is grateful for that.
That's what really made my heart sing with this book. Someone finding wonder in something they might overlook otherwise, finding pleasure, finding grace.
And the only reason it's not a better rating? TOOOO much dry information. Really? Can you manage to make snail sex boring? Seeeeriously?!? I wound up blushing AND yawning...
But a charming book, all in all
This isn't a perfect book, but it certainly is a perfect experience. You loved seeing past the pain and terror of mental illness to the true genius that "A Beautiful Mind" portrayed? How about the beauty, the lyricism that came with "My Left Foot?" "Ghost Boy" comes from those depths, reaches those stellar heights, and you'll probably, if you have even a single sensitive bone in your body, cry before you've finished listening to this book.
What I love about this book is that Martin is by no means bitter, despite having every right to be. The years he's lost, the illness/debilitation, the abuse he's suffered—he'd have every right to hold on to these horrible, horrible things that have happened to him. Instead, he approaches every thing, every day as though he's breathing a hope and a prayer. This is not a negative, downer of a book and Pistorius is an extraordinary human being.
Years ago I worked with a severely-disturbed teen-aged girl with multiple impairments, no vision, and no language. Sometimes through the day and night, she'd jab her chest hard with her finger, over and over, while tiny tears trickled down her face, and of course, she had no words to go with this. I always wondered if she was feeling, or trying to say something like, "Me. I'm here." I'd hug her, but she'd still keep jabbing, still keep crying, and I'd wonder.
Now, after reading this amazing, funny, inspiring book by Mr. Pistorius, I feel like I can close my eyes and at least send out a little prayer to that girl (No, now a woman), and say, "Yes. You're here."
Thanks for the book, Martin
So basically, this book has pretty much everything in it. Which makes it okay; it does keep you fairly interested; makes you pick it up again after you've set it aside for a while. But it doesn't make it great. There's a lot going on, and I wonder if Repino didn't bite off more than he could chew because the characters, whether human, ant, animal, all are one-note. There's no joy here, no excitement, no passion. There's just a lot of action.
Okay, so I get it. This is going to be an action-driven novel. But whyyyyyyy (Yeah, I'm whining here)?!? Mr. Repino you've got this GREAT set-up for some memorable characters here! This could be a real treat of a novel! Instead, it's just a bunch of "animals" who behave/walk/talk/believe/have the intellect of people. I could've been reading a cheesy generic military thriller for all this was worth. Cardboard cutout characters
Instead? The only real life that's breathed into the story comes from Bronson Pinchot's reading (he's starting to impress me...!)
This book might be your style if you're not into character-driven novels, if you're more into action. But still. You might wanna hold off until it's on sale or something.
I still haven't gotten around to listening to Wool and the other better known works of Hugh Howey, but I did enjoy The Hurricane, and The Plagiarist was the perfect length and perfect price for me.
What a neat surprise, and what a great ending.
I suppose what I like most is Howey's ability to craft a character who is unable to connect to others (other than in a sims environment), yet we are able to feel so much for him. Truly, what a likable protagonist. The way he comforts the love of his life will break your heart.
And the ending! No spoilers, but what a great twist, deftly handled.
This is a well-written book, perfectly edited, the only drawback being some heavy-handed narration that you kinda sorta get used to.
I've REALLY gotta get around to listening to Wool!
What do you get when you take into your heart and into your home a dog that doesn't stand a chance? Devotion, Loyalty. Love without end.
And with service dogs, a chance to live a normal life.
So many of us take life for granted, living with occasional compulsions, flare ups of anxiety and fears, every now and then feeling disoriented, but there are those amongst us who are absolutely debilitated by these things. This is old news by now, but this book makes it real, yet again, gives us names, faces, emotions that are touching, and we wind up rooting for people who open their hearts and put their fates in the paws of the service dogs who save them. But really. What I like about this book is that it's such a chicken and the egg deal. Somebody saves the dog? The dog saves somebody else? That somebody continues to care for the dog? The dog continues to care for the person? Where does it begin, where does it end?
It doesn't matter, because it's wonderful, and so filled with hard work, faith, and hope that you wind up thinking about it long after your reading/listening time is over.
My only advice is to listen to it at x1.25 if you find Charleson's narration to drag. Even then, it's kind of slow going. Still, I enjoyed the emotion in her voice, and the tone, just too many pauses for my taste.
Wonderful book, great epilogue. Bravo to animal rescue and trainers!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.