Yes, I would absolutely listen to this book again many times! As a fan of history and all things Tudors, this has to be one of my favorite books written about the story of Anne Boleyn. Anne is one of my favorite characters in history because she is such an intelligent and strong female (that is how I like to think of her anyway. . .) I have read many books about her- both fiction and nonfiction- and I am constantly looking for books that provide a unique take on her story. This one is a winner! Even though it is fiction, it is a believable portrayal of what might have happened to Anne and her friend Meg. It is very well written and the author did an excellent job of developing the characters and transporting you to that time period. Even though I know the tragic outcome of what ultimately became of Anne, the portrayal in this book of her untimely end is the most emotional I have ever read and I cried while listening to it. I also enjoyed the narration by Charlotte Parry- but I am a sucker for anyone with a British accent. I could have listened to her speak all day and she did a terrific job portraying all of the characters. I love this book and I am so glad I found it!
I suppose the closest comparison to other fictional novels about Anne Boleyn that I have read would be to those by Jean Plaidy or Philippa Gregory. Prior to reading this book, I found those two authors to be my favorites in their portrayals of Anne Boleyn and other Tudor period stories. However, this book by Sandra Byrd definitely raised the bar for me. I found it to be more intelligently written and developed than some of the other fictional stories I have read on this topic. I would also recommend the author Allison Weir if you are looking for well researched, excellently detailed and entertaining nonfiction about the Tudor period.
As a history buff and lover of a good story, I would highly recommend this book- particularly to those who are obsessed with the Tudors and looking for a unique take on Anne Boleyn's story. I couldn't stop listening! I noticed on Amazon.com that this book is the first in a Tudors series written by Sandra Byrd and the next book, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, is to be released in June 2012. I am so excited about this and will most definitely keep reading. . .or listening. . .I hope they bring her second installment to Audible.
I have recently devoured all of Gillian Flynn's novels and, while I liked them all, I think this one is my favorite. Maybe because Flynn is a master craftsman of flawed characters (I prefer the real & raw). . .maybe because I grew up in the 80s, so all the references to this time (from Deondra's rolled up jeans to Iron Maiden) are a flashback to my teenage years. . .maybe because the murder mystery aspect of this book kept me continuously guessing and second guessing myself. . .I loved so many things about this book and found myself listening at every possible moment.
I'm not sure I can pick just one moment. . .and I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read this one yet. . .
This is a thrillride of a novel. . .yes, it is dark. . .so if you don't like that, go elsewhere. It is the story of two survivors of a family murdered and is told alternately in the past and present from multiple viewpoints. . .pretty much all of the characters are quirky and wierd, but at the same time, believable. . .you really get a good look inside the minds and lives of all of them. . . the buildup to the crime that is the focus of the story is incredibly multi-layered. . .parts of this book were difficult to listen to, but it was totally worth it! Very satisfying read/listen.
This book ranks high among my all time favorite listens from Audible. I read the book many years ago and decided to revisit King's legendary story with the audio version. I was NOT disappointed. This has to be one of the most thrilling and suspenseful stories I have read by King. It amazes me how he can keep you holding your breath while describing 5 yr old Danny Torrence staring at an old fire extinquisher hose wondering if it will come to life. . .only one of many such moments in this book. I just love how King's descriptions bring such inane things to life in a way that no other author could. In The Shining, he keeps you at the edge of your seat waiting for what will happen next.
Scott was a wonderful narrator for this story. He transported me right to the Overlook Hotel and had the perfect inflection for all of the characters from Danny to Jack to Dick Halloran. In fact, I thought his voice for Dick was perfect!
Loved this thrill ride and wish I would have downloaded the audio version sooner! This is a story that kept me up nights but was totally worth it. Also, as others have mentioned, the book is quite different from the movie. I have to admit, I do love the movie, but the book is so much more. It brings to light much more background of the characters and the story than a movie ever could. I am currently listening to Doctor Sleep, King's follow up to The Shining. . .loving it too so far. . .
I had high hopes for this book because Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors and I was interested in the story. Picoult has a knack for her extensive research in exploring interesting & unique subject matters and for psychological development of her characters. I am a fan of the true crime/thriller/detective genres and always interested in psychology, so I was curious about how she would portray a character with Asperger's. And while Picoult did as well with character development as her usual, the story itself became tedious and I found myself wanting it to be over with. I did like that different narrators were used for different characters and thought the narration was good. My recommendation would be to not read/listen to this as your first experience with Jodi Picoult. She has many other options that are much better such as Salem Falls, Nineteen Minutes or The Tenth Circle. I have read most of her books and this is the first one that I was disappointed with.
I was interested in this book mainly for the historical aspect of learning more about women's roles and experiences in the 1920s. And it did provide what I feel is probably a very realistic view of what life was like for women during that time while exploring the story of Cora Carlisle during her self exploration in New York City as a chaperone for the young Louise Brooks. In the beginning, I found myself slightly more intriqued in finding a book (either fiction or non-fiction/biography) about Louise Brooks herself. I kept getting annoyed with Cora--she was so judgemental and traditional and one-sided . However, as the story went on, she transformed into a different, stronger and more independent person. Her life took a variety of twists and turns with Louise Brooks always in the background as the catalyst. I also enjoyed the narration by Elizabeth McGovern, although her slightly British accent may not been quite right for this character from Kansas. Overall, this book was interesting and definitely worth a listen, but not one in my "favorites" category.
This book has always been one of my favorites. And let me clarify that I am not a fan of all of Stephen King's writing & have not read many of his books (I tend to prefer some of his older ones such as The Shining and Carrie)-- but I find this one to be a masterpiece. I did not hesitate to use a credit on this purchase and was pleased to be able to get the uncut version with the introduction by Stephen King himself. I think what made this listen most enjoyable was simply the fact that listening to it vs. reading it made the story and characters come to life in a way that is much more vivid. It just further enhanced the story that I already knew was amazing and I felt like I was there in the middle of it all. The narrator was excellent and I found myself listening in every spare moment I could.
With so many great characters, it is hard to pinpoint a favorite. King is a master at character development in this book- he provides enough back story on all of the main players that you feel as if you know them personally. I suppose if I had to pick a few, they would be the following:
Larry Underwood- who I enjoy as the "bad boy" who develops strength and sureness of himself in the face of disaster. I like the idea of someone with a troubled past who can break through that and become a better person.
Glen Bateman- I find his continuous sociological theories fascinating. It is as if his mind is always one step ahead of the game. I would love to pick his brain.
Harold Lauder- Yes, I know! And unlikeable as his character may be--King does a tremendous job of allowing us to see into the brain of a genius and a psychopath.
I haven't really commented much on the story within "The Stand"-- A simplified description is that it is a depiction of the survivors of a plague in the United States and how they work to rebuild our country. But it is so much more than that. There are so many layers to this story. It is a commentary on Good vs. Evil. . .it is about love and hate and fear and jealousy and so many other emotions that I could fill this page. . .it is a psychological character study. . .it is about the effect of the paranormal. . .it is simply one of the best books ever written. It is certainly a long book, but every second kept my attention. Just get it! Even if you are not a Stephen King aficionado, you won't regret this purchase.
I have to admit that I was really not interested in this book at first. But with all the hype and popularity, I decided to give it a try. All I can say is WOW! This is such a fast paced and entertaining listen- but also creative and intelligent. The story reminded me of a combination of Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Running Man with teenagers playing the main roles. There is a good bit of violence, but it is the meaning behind the violence-- not the violence itself-- that is the center of this story. It is a beautifully written, extremely imaginative and thought provoking story. Don't miss it! I couldn't get enough and have since listened to all three books in this trilogy (I downloaded each of them immediately after listening to the last)--very impressed. For those that want more, The Hunger Games movie is also edge of your seat excellent. Definitely not just for teens- I am in my 40s and loved it. My only complaint is that, while the narrator was good, she just wasn't quite a perfect fit for Katniss.
real, haunting, powerful
Frank & April Wheeler are really two of the most memorable characters I have encountered in my reading. The author allows you to see both of them in the most vulnerable ways throughout this book. It is like being a fly on the wall in the home of what you envision to be the "perfect couple" and finding out that they really do have flaws just like everyone else.
While Revolutionary Road is sad and dark, it is also simply beautiful. I am ashamed to say I had not heard of this book prior to watching the movie (which I also found to be exceptional) and I am so glad now that I discovered it. It is a powerful story that left me in a state of numb contemplation. It truly is a realistic portrayal of how people have so many dreams of what they want for their life only to get swept up in the mundaneness of everyday living and discover that many of their dreams will never be fulfilled. This is just one version of what can happen to people when they have that realization. Be forewarned, it is a bit on the depressing side. Nevertheless, I would certainly recommend it because it was an excellent listen and a story that is every bit as relevant today as when it was written. Just a side note- I find it interesting that the author uses the name "Frank" for the main character Frank Wheeler because this is such a "frank" literary account of real life behind the shiny image of 1950s suburbia. I wonder if he thought of that when he chose the name or it was just a Freudian slip?
I purchased this audio book based on the glowing reviews from other Audible listeners and also from a family member who loves this series. I love history and I was very intriqued by the element of time travel. I was anticipating a smartly written novel that explored Scottish history in a fresh way with a little bit of romance and time travel fantasy. What I got was a glorified romance novel with very little of anything else. I would have enjoyed this much more if the author had given us more historical development and more investigation of the time travel element. Too much of the book is spent on the sexual escapades between the main characters and the details of various fights and beatings. Honestly, I got completely annoyed with the main character Claire because I kept wanting her to continue trying to get back to her real life in the future. Meanwhile, she just continued to traipse around the Scottish countryside, alternating between sex with her new husband and various fights with those encountered on their path. This was just not what I was expecting from this book and I really didn't like it. In fact, I got to the point where listening turned into a chore and I finally gave up and never did finish it. The only redeeming factors and the only reasons I gave any stars in my rating were that the book is well written, for what it is, and the narrator was excellent. She is the only thing that kept me listening as long as I did. I would love to hear her narrate something else. I fail to understand why so many people enjoy this series because, to me, it was a waste of a credit.
I was really enjoying this story in the beginning and throughout the book. . .until the last few chapters. The characters are interesting and there are a lot of mysteries that are explored, BUT, as another reviewer mentioned, you get absolutely NO resolution to anything in the end. The end is very much a cliffhanger, but in an annoying way. This was very obviously done to entice readers into reading the next book in the series. And honestly, I do like the characters and the storyline enough that I probably will read the next one. However, I just really wish this book had not ended so abruptly.
My recommendation of this book depends on how the next book in the series turns out. . .I like the story and the characters and I think this author is developing a unique take on a rather played out idea. Although this book is marketed to teens-- and there are some scenarios in the book that are very much reminiscent of high school-- much of the story is intelligently written and I enjoyed listening to it as an adult. However, I cannot recommend this as a stand alone read because it just leaves too many things hanging. If the next book in the series proves to be more satisfying, then I would recommend this one with a caveat that the ending is not what you anticipate. . . we shall see. . .
I enjoyed the narration and thought Jennifer did an excellent job portraying all of the teenage characters. I could easily imagine her voice coming from the main character Maya-- much better than some books when the narrator does not sound at all how you would think the characters should sound.
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