Yes. I am a big fan of Pat Conroy's novels and this memoir, though self-serving, gives additional depth to his novels. Having said that, he's not a very likable person.
It was extremely interesting to me that while he has spent a lifetime attacking his own abuser (his father), he supported and excused his sister's abuser (their mother). No wonder she hated him--I would have, too.
I can't say I loved it. Maybe because I have always imagined Pat Conroy's voice to be more like Nick Nolte's in Prince of Tides. It took me a while to get used to it.
I can see it, but I don't it should be made into a movie. He's hurt his family enough. This memoir is supposed to be the one that puts his relationship with his father to rest. Making a movie of it would make a lie of the premise of the book.
This book is full of delightful characters, with Dr. Siri leading the way. What fun! I plan to give this to a friend as a gift.
A good friend of mine used to say "watch out for bruised and bleeding," meaning someone who is still in too much pain from the last heartbreak is not a good candidate for a relationship. It's hard to say more without giving too much away. I do think the author effectively used vulnerability as a motivator for more than one of the characters.
Several characters, especially the ADA and the judge, were one-dimensional and unbelievable.
Several reviewers have said the ending was predictable and obvious. I don't usually spend too much time trying to figure out the twist, so maybe that's why I missed it.
I didn't love the narrator--too earnest.
It was a good "read"--not great, but good. I recommend it.
This was a good story and a good read. I would have liked to give it four stars.
But the author doesn't trust the reader to get the point. He hits the reader over the head with it, over and over again. It's like the Holocaust (boink!). It's like making the Jews wear a yellow star (boink!). It's like the WWII Japanese internment camps (boink!). It's like racism (boink!). It's like homophobia (boink!). And then I read an article he wrote and he also says it's about autism.
By doing this, he disrespects the reader and adds a falseness to the story. He's not black. He's not gay. He's not Japanese. He's not autistic. (I don't know if he's Jewish, but even if he is, he grew up in America and never had to wear a yellow star!)
It's always risky to tell a story not your own. But, hey, that's what fiction is. But then just tell the story and trust the reader to make her or his own connections and comparisons.
The narrator was okay, but not my favorite. He only had one alternate voice other than Cooper's and it was rather annoying.
I only give this book one star, because I can't give it zero stars.
This book is filled with thoughts and imaginings that the author cannot possibly know occurred. He cannot possibly know what happened in the final conversation Michael had with his uncle. He cannot possibly know how Michael or Mary felt when they were three years old. He has invented his version of Michael for his story. When I began to wonder how he could possibly know these and other things, I went to the internet and found that a number of Michael's friends have objected to the invented darkness that the author created to foreshadow his later life and death.
The author should have stuck to Philomena's story.
As a memoir, this is fake. As fiction, it is melodrama. I do not recommend this book to anyone.
This book was compelling from the start. It was an original premise; young adults with no job prospects turn to kidnapping.
I thought the title "The Professionals" was interesting and ironic--though I don't know if the author meant it to be. It seems that every character in the book, though a professional in her/his "field," got into trouble by acting un-professionally.
People who like their characters and plots to be simple and predictable.
Not sure. It needed a better book.
This is the first book I've read from Pelecanos. It will be the last. Is there any character that isn't a caricature or stereotype? Could it be any less predictable? I don't think so. A good mystery writer should first be a good writer.
Not sure yet.
I might recommend the book, but I can't recommend the audio version.
Never. Besides the monotone, which I could take, his voice speeds up and drops at the end of nearly every sentence. Combined with the Australian accent (which would ordinarily be an asset to the audiobook), this makes the narration very difficult to understand. I'm constantly having to back up, sometimes several times, to understand what he is reading. It's hard to enjoy a book when it's this much work.
Not sure yet.
This is a spy novel like Hershey's is fine chocolate--okay, but a pale imitation of the real thing.
It was gimmicky, like the middle school game where one child asks another a series of questions with one-word answers, then makes up a story that incorporates all the words. Maybe it makes sense, maybe not. But everything that happens--even seemingly irrelevant details-- show up in the end.
The best parts were the short stories that Tom wrote--and be sure to pay attention, because like everything else, they will show up in the end.
Oddly, the book wasn't boring, even though all the main characters were boring and unlikeable (except for Shirley, who was a hoot.). Once I realized that there was no "there" there, I stopped waiting for anything substantial to happen and just listened to the narrative. This was actually pleasant, since the writing flowed well and the narrator was excellent.
Every book doesn't have to be a great book--and this certainly isn't. But if you quickly give up that expectation, it's a good read--like a Hershey's bar.
Yes. It is extremely compelling. I normally listen to audiobooks on my commute to and from work. But I found myself making time to listen when I was at home.
I'm not sure. The only likable character was Officer Boney.
The ending, I think. It seems that many otherwise really good novels fail at the end; they get wrapped up too neatly and/or are unbelievable. While there were several possible endings, I thought this one was truest to the nature of the characters and their sick and twisted relationship.
Definitely, though it is way too long to be able to do so.
The narrators were perfectly cast.
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