I don't know what possessed me to buy this book, other than the fact I thought Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was brilliant (and of course that is the one book Audible does not have). This book is so far from brilliant it is not funny. Told in the drawn out, overly descriptive style of Dickens the story within a story is basic and boring. What makes it worse is that the narrator has no gift for story telling. What I mean is when the boy in the story is telling the story of the fairy (at least I think its a fairy) he still speaks in a clipped, one sentence monotone- as if the first sentence has nothing to do with the second and the second nothing to do with the third. It's like listening to the same sentence over and over. What a shame.
Like some of the other reviewers I found this one by accident. Though It was not terrible overall and I did enjoy the narrator, to me there was no one real point of the story. Was this a scary zombie-ish book? One about relationships? Dealing with death? I couldn't figure it out. It went off in so many different directions that the main plot line was often lost. If the author had stuck with the main idea, that the dead must be tended and keeping them in their place, and had not gone off into the whole stupid Mr. Charles and the world of the dead section, it would have been a really good book.
I bought this one because I am a huge fan of the vampire books. I found myself wondering whether this was suppose to be a quirky modern take on relationships or a bodice ripper (and I hate that term) in disguise. If I had wanted to buy a romance novel I would have. Okay, I get it. Werewolves are hot and sexy, but geez, this volume read like a porn film. I am NOT a prude in any way shape or form, but after the scene in the front seat of the car I found myself annoyed. If she could have toned that down, brought in more of the local characters it would have been a winner. I love LOVE LOVED the characters and wanted to hear more about them, not just grunting and thrusting.
The others were right, there are some laugh out loud moments in this book. I found it funny, light, very very creative. The character reminded me of an undead version of Stephanie Plumb, from the Jane Evanovich novels. The only thing, if I had to pick something, is that it got a bit tedious at the end. I heard "what the hell" one too many times. Totally worth listening to if you are in the mood for something fun.
I don't know if it was the narrator, or the book itself, but the entire thing was a depressing mess of the same theme- war is horrible, death is horrible, life is horrible- over and over and over. Nothing EVER good happens to the main character until the epilogue. I get that not every book has to be happy and peppy, I get that the Civil War was horrible, I just didn't need it told to me over and and over. Kimberly Farr's narration was slightly nasty and off putting. I doubt I'd ever buy another audio book with her as narrator. On a positive note- I did learn things about medical care during the Civil War that I did not know (assuming they are true) and it gave a very clear, stark picture of what being in the army was like. My hearts go out to those who died, even if it was so long ago. Their suffering must have been hell.
Very interesting, full of facts I didn't know about the founding of New Amsterdam. I did find all the details about politics in Holland to be a huge snore fest, though I understand why it was included. It was at its best when describing what the island, and the surrounding areas, was actually like during the period. I wanted more social history though and less politics! More of what they ate, what they did for fun, what they wore. But, given the source for the book I understand why it unfolded the way it did. A worthy read though and should be included in early American history courses.
It was the first book I'd ever listened to that I was totally shocked when I heard "the end". I didn't want it to end. The narration was beautiful. I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table right there with them. It made me laugh out loud several times. Being born in the south, but moving up north when I was very young, it gave me a new and profound understanding and respect for the people who lived through that era. I've recommended it to every woman I know. Keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel....
Because if you do, this book will not help you at all. There is not one uplifting thing to be found. Full of cliches and a predictable story line of a typical southern plantation. It makes you wonder how many bad things can happen to one group of people without going insane? Apparently this family can take much more than I ever could because it's one bad thing, over and over and over again. Just when you think something good is coming...guess what? Bam. Bad. The main character must have hit her head on a rock or something because she's as stupid as a rock. I found myself yelling out loud towards the end of the book. Skip it unless you want to be depressed.
Though overall I enjoyed the book I could have done without the trip into fairyland. It was like mixing Girl with the Pearl Earring with the Wizard of Oz. The villains aren't as bad as some others have made them seem. To be sure they are bad, but if you know anything about the history of the 17th century they aren't anything that can't be documented. It did help listening to the author's interview at the end of the book to explain why the fantasy part was in there. I was thankful though, after hearing her say that the fantasy section was originally longer, that she dropped it from the book. The ending was also very abrupt. I would listen to the author's new work as well, but am hoping to stay put in reality this time, so to speak.
This was such a wonderful little book to listen to on a very long road trip. It made you feel like Ms. Austen was in the room with you, sharing a good giggle and some juicy gossip. Fiona Shaw is amazing making the novelist's voice come to life. Two minor points I did not like- it was abridged and the letters are not in chronological order, but more 'theme' than date. It made it hard sometimes to understand why she was talking about something that was going to happen that you already heard had previously happened. Other than that I'd listen to it over and over.
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