Welcome to West Table, MO. Not to be confused with West Plains, MO. If you are from West Plains, as I am, it is easy enough to recognize many familiar sights. It is a thinly veiled attempt to conceal the source of the wealth of colorful characters in this novel. If you look it up on the map, it is near Dora (Dorda in the books) and is 17 miles from the Arkansas line. The only thing that has me stumped is Venus Hollow. I don't know if that is Koshkonong or Cooterville.
The book itself drew me in with the first rambling paragraph. I was hooked on not only the very vivid characters, but also the amazing way that Woodrell is able to turn a phrase and flip it from something mundane into a beautiful work of prose.
My only disappointment with this novel was the way one of his characters met their end. I guess I was not expecting this to be a murder mystery.
Having said all of that, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
This book, the latest in the Tales of the City series, is a trip down memory lane for its primary character -- Anna Madrigal. I have lived with these characters since I first began reading the series at the insistence of my lover in 1995. It didn't take long to fall in love with the residents of 28 Barabary Lane and all of the crazy connections and puzzle pieces as they plunked into place one at a time. Although they have all moved out and moved on, their friendship has withstood the test of time.
In this adventure, Anna Madrigal is reaching the end. She is 92 years old and is unable to walk easily by herself. Throughout the book, we learn many of the secrets of her life. She goes back to the Blue Moon Lodge in her mind and we learn how, in 1936, she left and never returned.
The familiar characters are here as well. Many of them play mere supporting roles, weaving in and out of the narrative to keep the story moving along.
Stories from the entire series are sprinkled around... It's not necessary to have read the rest of the series to appreciate them, but if you have, you will be thrown back to those events in your mind and will experience them all with a sense of nostalgia for the past. My favorite is Micheal's remembrance of dressing as Pan... It reminds me of old friends sitting around talking about the past.
I won't give any details away since that is half the fun of an Armistead Maupin novel, but suffice it to say that it was a satisfying installment in the TOtC series. Will there be others? Who knows? I hope so. Was this a final installment? If so, it is a beautifully written end to a wonderful series.
As far as Kate Mulgrew's narration goes, I can't imagine anyone (other than AM himself) being able to do a better job. She understands each of the characters and gives them a dialect here or a deeper voice there. Her narration made this a very enjoyable listen.
I recommend this title to any and all fans of the TOtC series.
I found the narrator of this book to be very good. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about his performance. The material, on the other hand, is a different story.
I find it hard to believe that anyone who is writing for a major gay publication would have never heard of the Bear community. I live in a relatively small town in Missouri and even I have heard of the Bear community -- and I first heard about it about 10 years ago. If this book were originally written in 1992, I might have believed it more and been more forgiving.
The main character of the book seems so out of touch that I found it hard to relate to him. Elements of the book were rather enjoyable, like the store that he went to work for after leaving the magazine. Other parts, like certain stereotyped personality types, tended to throw me off to the point of not finishing the book. If you are a bear, you might even find some of the dialog off-putting. Maybe I am missing something by not finishing, but I was hoping for something more from this title.
Does this mean that you will not like this book? After looking at many of the reviews on Amazon, I'm pretty sure that I am in a minority. I think that I may be more critical than most readers/listeners. You may like it, but if you were a friend of mine asking for my opinion/recommendation, I would suggest you give this book a miss.
As a gay man, I am always looking for books that enlighten me on interesting sexual studies concerning female sexuality. Call it research for my friends. This was an interesting book with several stories about different methods of sex research that has been conducted on the female. While it does not focus specifically on one aspect of female sexuality, its sometimes rambling nature had me distracted and thinking of other things. I am sure that to someone, it was very important information. For me, it was a "not so much" kind of thing.
There was amazing information in this book. Of note is the length at which many of the researchers go in order to properly identify the level of arousal in women. With men, it seems rather simple, but as proved once again that the female sex and sexuality is a very complicated and complex study. I was shocked to discover how very little research has been done in this field. It is definitely an uptapped field that will hopefully bear fruit in the upcoming years.
While fairly light reading (an effort to write on a clear and straight forward fashion is evident), I would not consider it fluff.
If you are interested in what makes women tick, this book is for you.
Let me start out with this: I liked this book a lot. The reason I gave it a 4 rating instead of a 5 is because of the way the narration was done. I know it was the same as all the previous books in the series, but it was seriously distracting the way some of the voices were voiced by different actors. I know what they were trying to achieve, but somehow it missed its mark. Another sticking point for me is that while some of the voices were voiced by different actors, it was not consistent all the way through the book. In some places, the main narrator would read the parts that SHOULD have been voiced by the actors. The effect of this is a jarring distraction to what should be a smooth sail through the story.
I will say that this book had a great storyline and the way a new hero was introduced was very well done. I didn't know what was going on and was actually surprised by the hero and their abilities. I felt like I was learning what was going on right with the characters. This is a difficult thing to successfully pull off and I was impressed.
I am not sure where this series is going, but I have liked it a lot and will continue to read them as they come out!
What can I say about this book that hasn't been said already? I would simply like to say that I am excited this book has moved out of the realm of stage-play and into the beauty of a true audiobook! FINALLY!!
I'm just going to say, right up front, that this book was probably not written by someone like me or for someone like me. I had too many women in the office tell me that I simply had to read this book and they think I will enjoy it. Well, I am here to say that I did not. In fact, I didn't finish it....
And let me tell you why...
It was not written for me. I am here to tell all the men in the world that this book is not written for you. If you know anything at all about alternative lifestyles and are open about sex and sexuality, this book is not written for you.
Sorry that I had to give it a bad review and pull the numbers down. I can't limit my reviews to just what I like, right?
Okay, so how do you write a review on a book about pregnancy written for men? I'm sure the author was thinking almost the same thing. So, what did he do? He made it fun. Unfortunately, I am not as talented as John Pfeiffer.
The author goes through many of the things that you might go through step-by-step. He throws in humor and makes it all about DON'T PANIC! His helpful hints have already given me a lot to think about and prepare for. He also gives practical advice on what is important and what is not important. (The book should have come with a handy PDF of important points and checklists!)
The narration of Mike Chamberlain is excellent. If you listen to the sample, you will know exactly what you are getting. He is perfectly matched on this one!
If you are one of the chosen few who are expecting, this book is for you!
When listening to a John Grisham novel, I often ask myself where he is going with it. This book was no exception, but I actually let my guard down and didn't see the end coming at all. It was comforting to know that he can still kick me when I'm not looking. If you like Grisham's novels, this one is worth your attention.
I enjoyed the world that David Kushner painted and enjoyed even more the way Wil Wheaton brought it all to life (he is an extremely talented narrator and if you have not listened to anything else he has narrated, you are missing out in a big way). I spent many lonely and bug-eyed nights playing Doom and its many sequels. I admired the way I could actually download a game and play it for free. I loved killing the demons and then being so hooked that I had to buy the whole game. This is what I loved about the first portion of the book: hearing about others and their experiences with the game. Then we moved on into the in-fighting and the clashes of personality. I was okay with that too. But when they got to the point where they split off and were no longer able to work together (big shocker for such big personalities), I kinda lost interest. I finished it, but often found myself daydreaming instead of listening. But, I will put that squarely on my own shoulders. I found myself psychoanalyzing these guys and trying to put them back together the way they were when they first started. I rooted for the lone programmer whose brilliance behind the keyboard drove the success.
I liked this book. It was a fun primer for the uninitiated (like me) in the story behind the rise, descent, and ultimate destruction of id!
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