Edward Rutherfurd's New York follows the lives of New York families from the days of the Dutch through post-9/11 Manhattan to give the readers a unique perspective on the history and people of the greatest city on earth. The city itself comes alive as perhaps the most important character of all in the book, and what could be slow and boring is instead fast paced and exciting. ER makes the intelligent choice to not dwell too much on any one event or period, but instead drops in at key moments and fills in the gaps quickly if necessary. Mark Bramhall's narration was excellent as well. I was somewhat skeptical going in but this is the best (serious) book I have read in months. At 38 hours or so it is definitely worth a credit.
Unlike Susanna Kearsley's other stories (The Winter Sea is one of my favorite listens), I believe this story is almost entirely set in the present with only vague references to past actions. I say "I believe" because the narration was so poor that it was hard to follow. The volume was inconsistent, phrases were mumbled or repeated randomly, and there was only 1 character with a truly distinguishable voice so it is difficult to keep everyone apart. Also, Barbara Rosenblat sounds like a 2 pack a day smoker, which is frankly unpleasant to listen to.
As for the story itself, I didn't find the characters to be particularly interesting, nor was I that interested in the "mystery"
I pre-ordered this story based on my love of The Winter Sea, but I think this book is definitely a pass.
I'm the first to admit that the premise is a bit hokey...a young adult book about a girl who writes thinly veiled Harry Potterish slash fanfiction...but remarkably it works. I think this book resonates so well because it tells the story of a girl who is having a hard time growing up and finding her away in a new and unfamiliar life. Transitions are such a natural part of life, yet for many people (including me) it is hard to let go and move on. I actually loved the fanfiction aspect as well. There have been a few cultural phenomenon recently (Harry Potter and Twilight come to mind) that can be difficult to say goodbye to. RR captured that level of devotion and relative importance so well.
At the end of the day this book feels like a warm and wonderful hug. I have recommended this book to several friends already.
The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite books of all time, but the narrator killed it for me. John Lee barely differentiates among the characters' voices, so while he has a very pleasant voice to listen to (fall asleep to), the 47 hours droan on and on. I was very disappointed.
Tilly Bagshawe could have had a decent story in there somewhere, but rampent infidelity and poor morals ruined it. None of the characters were particularly likeable, and I found myself not caring what happened. The narration was pretty good though, and I managed to finish it despite not particularly enjoying it.
Jake Gyllenhaal's voice is wonderful and melodic...perfect to fall asleep to. Unfortunately that's pretty much the effect that the entire book had on me. I couldn't differentiate between any of the male characters, and most of the time the women were no better. As for the story itself, I picked it up as one of those books I should have read in high school but skipped. I could have skipped it again. Thank goodness it was only 5 hours!
Some books start slow, but this was ridiculous. I hated the book until the last 2-3 chapters, and only then did I find anything redeeming about the main characters and the story line. If I hadn't been trapped under a sleeping baby I probably would have given up. Despite her rave reviews (and Audible's frequent "you might like this recommendation) I guess I just don't understand the appeal of Kate Morton's writing. I would definitely suggest skipping this book.
Is Something About You great fiction? Definitely not. But it is a well-written chick fic featuring an intelligent woman and an interesting mystery - worth a few hours of relaxation and enjoyment. The first 10 minutes of evesdropping on someone else having hotel sex is a bit off-putting, but if you can get beyond that the result is worthwhile.
I had such a hard time listening to this story. It reads like bad Sherlock Holmes fanfiction, with the author writing herself in as a perfect "Mary Sue" addition. He is one of literature's great characters, yet we are supposed to believe that he can be evenly matched by a young girl? Adding insult to injury, the narrator's Sherlock voice is annoying. I'm definitely skipping this series.
The Winter Sea was a wonderfully haunting romance straddling 2 time periods – modern Scotland and the Jacobite Rising of 1708. In modern Scotland the protagonist is an author who becomes inspired after visiting a castle, and begins to write a fiction-but-turns-out-to-be-true story of a love affair in 1708. The writing and narration were both superb and I found myself inspired to visit the real-life Slain’s Castle and walk the lands that she described. A fantastic listen!
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