I am a Georgia Beers fan, I have read several of her books and enjoyed them immensely. That is probably why I was so disappointed in this read. The characters didn't develop fully for me, mostly coming across as one-dimensional, self-centered and not very likable. I wasn't sure which pairing I was supposed to be rooting for, with the one semi-sympathetic character losing in the end in more ways than one.
But the greatest distraction for me was the narration. The deeper or masculine voices were done with a weird, scratchy affect that ended up sounding like Danny from the Shining saying "redrum." Lines that seemed to be part of a normal conversation were delivered with tones of anger or seduction that threw off the whole story. I found it really hard to get involved fully in the story when I was so put off by the narration.
Maybe, or I may just stick to re-playing "Beyond the Pale" over and over.
Not rehash jokes from his standup albums and try and twist them into to new tales from his daily life. Between this and the sympathy I began to feel for his kids and his neighbors, I found myself vacillating between disappointment and rage by the end of the book.
I expected more
Jim Gaffigan, selfish dad
I have been a huge fan of Jim Gaffigan's work for years and was really, really surprised how much I disliked this book and started to dislike Gaffigan. He tries to paint a funny picture of life with a big family in a tiny NYC apartment but instead it came across as sad and selfish. On top of that a lot of the comedy was gleaned straight from his comedy albums, which I despise and find incredibly lazy. I've already paid for that joke twice, now I'm paying again. If you are going to do that, package it as "King Baby Deluxe Directors Cut Edition" and let me decide if I'm such a Gaffigan nerd I'm going to buy all versions, don't disguise it and dupe me into purchasing.
I think this audiobook will suffer from people comparing it to the movie. The movie story had very little to do with the actual novel. While the movie eventually reached classic status, the story and character development veered wildly from King's vision, quite notoriously and controversially. The movie is fantastic in its own right but should stand alone. If you are looking for an audio version of the movie or Jack Nicholson's performance, you should give this a pass.
That being said the novel is a tremendously gripping and horrifying read, bringing you along as the characters are more and more absorbed by the forces at work. The centerpiece is the hotel, and King paints an amazing picture over the course of the book, giving the Overlook a back story, a personality and a voice. Campbell Scott does an admirable job capturing the myriad of voices and emotions. A very tough assignment given that he not only has to portray a woman and child, but inner voices and distinguish between lucidity and madness. His performance did not take me out of the story at all and that is a tall order in a suspense piece. I enjoyed every minute listening to this book and when listening at night was truly scared at times.
I tried several times to get through this book but just could not see the appeal. The humor, if it was there, seemed dated and along the lines of an old Dilbert cartoon, but without the funny. If I had any interest in what was being said, the disgusting, phlegm-y, throat clearing every 3rd sentence would have been enough to kill it for me. Un-listenable.
I listened to this on a long solo drive down the eastern seaboard and it made the time melt away. Something fresh and new about her approach which I found both entertaining and appealing. The honesty in which she shares her lifestory is engaging, relateable and very funny. She's a smart girl who doesn't play dumb, but uses a natural naivete and interest in pop culture to acheive her interesting brand of humor. I really enjoyed sharing her world for a few hours.
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