Colorado Springs | Member Since 2011
I love Ken Follet's epic historical fiction books and John Lee is an extraordinary narrator. If you have read or are thinking of reading Fall of Giants, you will enjoy listening to this interview.
I enjoyed this book very much. I worried that Koryta would be a one hit wonder, but he proved me wrong. This novel is intriguing, confusing and unpredictable. Added together the book is a hard-boiled, edge-of-your-seat, exciting mystery, I will read #3 very soon.
My daughter was assigned this book as part of her summer reading for her Honor's English class. I got to it first and spent two nights awake until dawn listening in wonder. I expected a murder mystery set in the World's Fair. It was so much more. Really there were two stories running concurrently. We did follow HH Holme and know what he was up to while living in Chicago. There was nothing gruesome -- Mr Larson writes about Holmes' machinations in a straightforward way. For me this mad it feel less sensational and I was glad for the writing style.
The other story interested me further. Following the preparation for, the buildup towards, and the financial consequences of the Fair was fascinating. It allows the reader to understand the culture of our home country at a time more than 100 years in our past. We meet world leaders, owners of the largest businesses, the father of a son who later be known as WALT DISNEY. But we also meet people that some might not recognize. FREDERICK LAW OLMSTEAD played a large role throughout the book. It was fascination t flesh out his life as I knew him only as the designer of Central Park in New York. Interspersed throughout the entire story are came performances. I particularly liked the the short moment shared between Pulham and Helen Keller.
i loved everything about the book -- with one caveat. Really more advice. Don't let your mind wander. You won't want to miss any of the hidden gems.
About two very disturbing people. The center of the book for me is neither Nick or his missing wife ... But their relationship. The book is extremely well-written. The author takes you back in time when Nick remembers moments with his wife or when she writes her journal. Then she flashes forward to the present ... The slow early days after she disappears. We see Nick floundering to convince the police that he isn't involved. And then we see him grasping desperately at his own theory about what happened to his wife. We watch as he seems to dissolve into himself, going a little crazy. And the whole time your horror at his wife's story grows. Eventually I found myself relieved to leave the insanity of these two people when the book ended.
Saying that you might think I didn't like the book. This isn't true. I found myself repulsed by these two people and their relationship. And that repulsion is exactly why I liked this book. It was a tight and gripping story about unlikable people.
But not much more. I hoped for more description of the PCT, more exploration of the things she learned over months of hiking, more analysis of the characters she met along the way... I really just hoped for more depth.
I admire her perseverance and think I would enjoy hearing her speak of this adventure. But I probably wouldn't recommend the book.
I wasn't sure what to expect of this book but based on a few reviews and it's beautiful cover art I spent a credit. I am glad that I did. While the plot doesn't delve as deeply into the culture of slavery in the 30 years before the civil war, it does explore some of the personalities of the era. We got to know the spoiled child of the wealthy plantation owners, the slave forced to act as a mistress to her master, the lady of the house who knows nothing other than things which occur in the home, and the slaves who work in the home. The author allowed me to develop feelings for Sarah, Belle, Emmaline, Theodora and Clarissa. She allowed me to feel disgust with Mr. Allen by giving me glimpses into his treatment of the women and girls around him. And eventually she allowed me to cheer for Sarah to run, to escape, to find a life outside of slavery.
I would have liked for this to be a longer book. One of the reasons I love the book Gone With the Wind is that it's length gave the author the ability to pull in so much more history.
The narrators of this book are superb!
I loved this book. It was a beautifully woven story of two people who survived the war in Europe which allowed us to see where their lives went over the course of 50 years. I would have given the book 5 stars across the board if only the author had given us a bit more payoff in the end. I want the rest of the story. These characters let me love them and cheer for them because they were interesting, intelligent, and completely imperfect. They let me feel the pain of the Holocaust and of war -- any war. And they let me marvel at their strength and humility. But I wanted the chance to rejoice when they found one another after a lifetime. Unfortunately the author didn't give us that reward.
So, I give it four stars -- only wishing for another few chapters which would allow me to give it five stars.
I read a handful of reviews and found them to be of little help because they were so up and down. But the book was on sale and the publisher's description was intriguing so I took the risk. I am glad that I did because I liked the story very much.
Is the plot far-fetched as other reviewers have claimed? Of course, but it wasn't hard to take the leap. If you watch the nightly news you will see that people are actually crazy and the most preposterous stories are not fiction. I found the tale believable enough. And, to be honest, when I read mystery novels I want to go for a ride. I want to question the story a bit. I don't want it to be jarring so as to take me out of the story, but I do want it to be a story I have imagined myself.
Is the lead character imperfect? Yes. And I love that. I don't enjoy characters who are too glamorous, too pure, too smart, too talented, too accomplished. I want the characters to be likable and detestable at the same time. I want to cheer for the characters and yet hate some of their actions. I want to have pity at times and respect at other moments. I want characters who feel real.
I will read more books by Mr Robotham very soon -- I am buying the second book in the series as soon as I finish this review. And I hope very much that Simon Prebble is the narrator. He was fantastic!
The last couple of Pickett installments almost made me give up on the series, but because I had pre-ordered this book I decided to give Joe, Nate and company one more chance. I am glad I did! In this novel Joe again leaves home but somehow MaryBeth and Sheridan stay involved in the storyline. And although I would like more of Nate, he was there and somehow his minor involvement felt more than minor. Same with Lucy and Missy.
The plot line was believable and intriguing. And Joe was less perfect than in the last book. It was nice to have the flawed, and genuine Joe back. He is much more likable when he isn't too perfect. Last novel he felt like a caricature; this time he is character. So much better.
I like the plot. However, once again Joe is the lone ranger -- only minor peripheral help from Mary Beth and an absent Nate. Joe has to fight the evil EPA and FBI alone. Characters become Caricatures when they are the lone "good guy" and show no vulnerability. In this installment Pickett is the only one who can negotiate a raging river and a canyon that nobody else survives. He is the only one who can get through a raging forest fire. He is the only one who can figure out why a rogue agent goes after a local family. He is the only one who can guide the DA to a conviction. Just Joe. All alone. Joe against the world and Joe wins again. It is boring and Joe is no longer believable or interesting.
I have enjoyed the Joe Pickett series -- particularly the novels that feature Nate Romanowski. He is by far my favorite character. So, one might expect that this outing would be my favorite of the series because Nate is the star. And I would hope for the same Unfortunately I don't quite get there. Nate is undermined in this book. His secrets are spilled and he seems like just another anti-hero in just another mystery series. He isn't unique in this book, and his uniqueness is what made me love him. I hope Nate reappears in the next book and we discover that there is much more beneath the surface that wasn't spilled all over the pages of Force of Nature.
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