I don't recall why I purchased this book, and when I got around to reading it the beginning made me wonder why I would have selected it. As I got further into it I realized I'd made an excellent choice. I like to mix my genres and this threw a nice curve into the mix.
The book was thought provoking and told a story that seemed more true than others that might be more morally judgmental or have a morally-satisfying ending. I like that. Nothing was easy about this tale and it makes me want to search out more Cash books.
Since the chapters were written as first person, it was a natural to use several readers. These narrators all did excellent jobs with their characters.
This book was misclassifed as a thriller; it is a romance novel. I was bored out of my scull. Oooh...his abs, oh, I have too much skin showing, ahhh, his big strong arms. Good grief, woman, get on with it. I gave it slightly higher marks than I should have because, the plot itself had great potential, but the writing of it was so bogged down in Lisa's never-endingly-analyzed emotions. A waste of a good credit - unless you like that sort of fluff.
When I began listening to this memoir, I became disgusted and enraged; I almost stopped a couple of hours in, but I kept at it and I'm very glad I did. Like many other people who've commented on this book, I thought of the parents as selfish and the treatment of the children as child abuse. But you get a little further in and you start thinking mom is bipolar and dad is a genius whose brain got pickled in the womb. This doesn't justify their behavior; it simply helps to explain some of it. They both had a screw loose.
Some people did not like Walls' narration. I felt that she read it much the way she felt it as a child. Again, it took me a while to come to this realization, but I think this helped make it feel more true.
I found it amazing that Rex and Rose Mary found each other. The life they created was normal for them, maybe not so for you and me, but it was their life and unfortunately their kids had to go along with it. Even if they'd sold the land in TX, They would have found a way to burn through the $ with little benefit to the kids. I do think, though, that Lori, Jeannette, and Brian got more from their parents in some ways than many of us do in "normal" families. My dad never gave me a planet. Maureen, on the other hand, came along too late to reap the good stuff; the parents were burned out by then.
Just as Jeannette's sociology teacher thought she knew it all, so too,do some of the "normal" people of this world. It does really take all kinds. Not everyone follows the same set of rules. I really appreciate Walls giving us the opportunity to see her world from her viewpoint, from her normal.
I first read Gone Girl to find out what all the hoopla was about. I had gotten 4 or 5 hours into it and couldn't stand it because the characters were such awful people in so many ways. I wrote a terrible review about Gone Girl at that time, however, I eventually went back and finished it and it was a terrific, different, story. I ended up liking it so much that I purchased Dark Places & Sharp Objects. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to edit that scathing review so I'm here to hopefully make up for it.
I just finished Sharp Objects and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was pretty sure I had it figured out half way through, but never think you're a step ahead of Gillian Flynn. She delivers. The story was laid out well, my only problem was with the timing. I may be wrong - it's hard to flip back in audio - but Curry sent her to Windgap for 4 or 5 days and it appears she was there from May through August. But that's a small issue compared to the whole story.
All her characters, including those on the periphery, are so well described that you feel you know them. Timelines are well kept. Emotions and inner turmoil are deeply felt.
Flynn, I apologize; please write another book!
It took all my willpower to stay with this book to the end. I did so in the hope that it would culminate in some sort of wisdom or impart some tips that would help. I did have to skip forward about 1/2 way through the wholly unnecessary Stanley chapter replete with murders and cannibalism.
The book blurb indicated this would be a useful book but it was really just a recounting of dozens upon dozens of behavioral experiments. O'Hare's narration of ultra-boring text made me think I was listening to Ben Stein (who can actually be funny). Baumeister was always referred to in the third person, so it seemed like Tierney must have done the bulk of the writing. Hopefully they will not all collaborate on a sequel.
In the end, I suppose there were a few semi-precious gems that made me think about my willpower issues and what to do about them but these could have been summed up in an hour or so - no need for eight hours of Baumeister patting himself on the back for being smarter than the average behavioral scientist, which is what he seems to be telling himself.
Grafton's stories have always been so well laid out, creating an enjoyable read. The short stories were ok but, being short, didn't have enough substance to show how Kinsey gets from A to B to Conclusion. But that's ok, too, because she made them fun - except for the one she abruptly ended without a solution.
What I consider poorly laid out about this book is that it is in two parts, the short PI stories followed by the bummer Kit Blue stories. I appreciate Grafton's wanting to tell the Blue stories, giving us an insight to her life, but I wish the book had been laid out in three parts (PI shorts - Blue - more PI shorts) so that it could begin and end on an enjoyable note. I found myself wishing it would just end already.
Misery can be entertainingly written; the best example being Angela's Ashes. I would have expected the sad Kit Blue stories to have more of a McCourt bent to the writing. I could imagine Kinsey finding a laughable or ironic moment if she lived Kit's life. But maybe Grafton needed Kit as a release to unload those sad moments. The choice was hers.
I will say that, after reaching Z, if Grafton starts a Kit Blue series, I don't think I could bring myself to read them - even if the fabulous Judy Kaye reads them.
Ok, it was a pretty good book, but not what I was lead to believe by the Audible blurb. Reading the synopsis, I expected a story that would be new, covering a subject not touched on before. I wanted to know what would transpire between these lovers after not just 60 years apart, but also having believed each other dead all that time. I wanted to know what they might say, what they might do, how they might feel, and what action they might yet take. The book did not deliver on any of this.
Instead it was yet another story of the horrors of that terrible time. Yes, it is a story that needs to be told and never forgotten but Lenca's exhaustive artistic descriptions became tiresome at times. Joseph's telling was much more heartfelt to me, though Richman did have him running on occasionally, too.
Considering the book as written, yes, it probably ended appropriately, but it ended where I wanted it to begin. I wanted what the Audible blurb promised.
It was on the best seller list and everyone seemed to like it so I selected this book. Only one other time in my 12 years of Audible have I gotten a book I just could not stand to finish. I stuck it out for three hours, but finally had to give up, though I would like to know what happened to her.
At first I thought it was Heybourne's reading that made it bad. He's so slow and drags out words like wwwaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrmmmmmmmmmmmmmm thinking it will convey warmth. Well, it doesn't; it's just a drag. Whelan's not much better; I could imagine her popping gum though it wasn't in the book. But then, maybe that was a lot of it...the book itself was so, so, cutesy every time it referred to something "shitty". And naming his sister , "Go"; give me a break. It went of on so many tangents at the least little drop of a noun, a verb, anything - it didn't take much. The story could probably have been told in 6 hrs if Flynn had stayed on point and Heybourne could have picked up the pace.
Eventually I threw in the towel. Glad everyone else liked it so much; it's just not for me.
I realized the main character was a young teen when I downloaded this book, but I did not realize it had been written for a children's audience. The 13 yr old came off sounding more like a ten yr old. Worse, it was read by Thomas as if he were sitting in a library reading to little kids. If Grisham wants to write stories for kids ala the Hardy Boys mysteries, that's fine, and this would have been an excellent one for that genre, but Audible should let you know that.
Grisham continuously slipped in definitions as if he were teaching Law 101 to fifth graders. Very annoying. Theodore Boone was a caricature of a young teen pretending to be a lawyer. The assistant principal asking him for advice for her drunken brother in law? Oh, c'mon! The whole thing was like watching an after-school special written for 10 yr olds.
In all, if it's a children's book, I give it 4 stars. I think kids would enjoy it. Without that caveat, as an adult I'd then give it 2 stars. So I'll settle at three.
I do like many classics but hadn't read any Faulkner in decades. So when I started Light in August I was ready for a really good read. Unfortunately for me, it was agony waiting for him to spit the words out, to please just get on with it. This is not the fault of the book, it's a fault of our times that we need quick answers, instant gratification, speed. Will Patton is the perfect reader for this work, but his slow southern drawl makes it even more tedious for those of us who don't remember how to relax and enjoy all the nuances in a well written book.
This book takes time, time that many of us just don't have. And if we do have it, we don't like to dawdle. Fifteen minutes to describe a printed sign is bad enough, but then to revisit it again has many of us shrieking, "Just get on with it!" Yet, it seems Faulkner is trying to get us to realize that there is so much more to small things than simply stating them. Just a turn of the head, or NOT turning the head evokes, illustrates, says so much that it takes him pages to relate it.
So, I have to say that it is a good book, but that I just wish I had the patience now for reading it that I had when I was younger.
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