If you are considering this book because you loved Chopin's Manuscript, continue reading the other reviews. For as much as Chopin was a successfully woven story, this one is disjointed and unentertaining. The last chapter does a good job bringing together ALOT of loose threads but does little to save the entire listening experience.
This book is nothing short of stupid. I have long considered my words, wanting to be precise in my criticism in respect to the responsibility of a negative review. I can’t say this book is horrible, that would imply all components were failures, they were not. There was a thorough story line and a considered plot, it was just extremely dull. The characters were conceivable but were presented in such an unbecoming manner, at times even cringe-worthy. In all, it was just a stupid, boring story unworthy of the caliber of “The Knitting Club” trio. Someone had warned me it wasn’t as good as the trio, which I really enjoyed, but I never imagined it would be so dumb.
Definitely! I listen to so many books that I often revisit favorites.
The book is entertaining, what makes it great is the interweaving way in which the story is crafted. I can’t think of another book of the same quality which is crafted in the same manner with a light-hearted feeling.
It is a lively cast of characters and the challenge was significant; the narrator, despite horribly mispronouncing the Washington & Idaho regional names, brought personality to each.
I have read a number of "Young Adult" books, of those this is the first time that I felt the story was strictly for young adults, it does not transcend to an older audience as many others can and do. I would guess that young adults would enjoy the dark edge of this story, but I found it pretty over-the-top juvenile.
I doubt it; I don't relate her story telling but I take responsability for that, the book is designated as "Young Adult".
The narration was an excellent match. Much of the dialog is extreme teen talk and even hard to listen to, but it is presented in a believable teen manner.
Although a bit extreme, I suspect the dark side of this story is one that many true young adult readers would find intriguing.
One reviewer related this story to "The Secret History", that is a very weak comparison. That story had smarts, this one does NOT.
The backwards chronology of the story was exceptionally engaging and surprisingly a challenge to hold in the mind.
I loved the balance in this story. For every thought or notion there seemed a counterpoint, perhaps at a different point in time or circumstance all together, but it was there. And for the thousands of points, big and small, there was just one that really bugged me and I can't stop thinking about it and I can't stop wondering if it where happenstance or deliberate. I didn't like the moral character of the most cultural progressed person, the multi-racial scientist who helps with the salt. If everything seemed so progressive and balanced, why is the character of the future, the one with the most mixed social, physiological and political heritage the most annoying? He doesn't detract form the story at all, he is very minor, but it is a good indication of how so many small parts make up the whole of this story.
No, this is the first time I have heard her narrate a story. I was a little concerned when I read other reviews which disfavored her performance but I thought she did shockingly well! Her task was by no means an easy one! As to those who didn't like the Australian accent, the character was Australian for goodness sake, she was supposed to have an accent.
I didn't have an extreme reaction in turns of crying or laughing but I would say this story engaged my mind, my love of history, my proclivity to fairness in all opinions and ideas in an extreme manner; no other book has done so as well.
A friend recommended this book saying she had just finished it a second time. The "second" time was quite a recommendation in it's own right, any book read twice is a book worth reading once. I am certain I will listen to this book a number of times over the years.
I liked the characters, especially the secondary ones, but the story was seriously lacking in what I would have expected from SEP. It almost seems as if she can't really relate to this generation anymore and was more interested in political and social nano-points rather than a convincing story. Just the name of the main male lead, "Panda", indicates how far this story misses the mark. Having said that, it does follow the traditional SEP format which many of us enjoy. In regards to what I liked least, I would say the narration assignment was so way, way off that it was unsettling; which isn't to say the narrator wasn't good, she is very talented but she seemed far more mature than the voice of the generation depicted in the story.
I would listen to a story associated with the Chicago group of stories, but not any associated with the Texas group or this First Family group.
She is a very talented narrator and did an excellent job with the craft of narration but she is far too mature for this story; it was unsettling and awkward.
Just giving the male lead a real name would of made a HUGE difference! What was SEP thinking? Who thinks "Panda" is sexy, swarthy and yet still respectable at the end of the day?
SEP writes a great story, she needs to develop stories and characters a bit older than these she is holding on to, she can't relate anymore.
I chose the story based on a review which likened it to a puzzle, so I was anticipating a story in which the crux of the situation is never really known until the end; that was not the case. This is a story about two loathsome people relating to their lives together in a despicable manner, the puzzle being just how pathologically horrible they can undo one another. Regardless of being well written, there isn't a single engaging element to the people or the story, so as an experience it is flat and awful.
I should have followed my first reaction to the author's name, I could recall the book cover of "Sharp Objects" and a faint impression of having not really favored that story either but I couldn't recall the actual story itself, so I disregarded my instinct and fell victim to all of these positive reviews. So ultimately, I am most disappointed in having not followed my instinct.
No, absolutely not, which is why I am writing such a negative review. I don't make a habit of being negative or even writing reviews but this story was so awful I feel compelled to tell people. I chose this book based on a positive comment, there is a flood of positive reviews, and I think people should know there is a counter-balance of listeners who hated it.
The story was seasonal yet light and fun. You could see whare the story was going, yet the characters were real enough and engaging in their personalities and back stories, to make the journey a fun little listen.
I enjoyed the personailities of the characters most. I am very familiar with the setting, so I wasn't drawn into the descriptions as much as someone who would be creating the images in their mind. I would think for them, that experience would also be a delight.
I probably wouldn't search her out as I do some other favored narrators, but I wouldn't not choose to listen to a book she narrates simply because she is filling that role.
Seasonal stories don't need follow ups, especially light ones like this one. It's a perfect little holiday package, don't introduce overkill.
The premise of the story is the mystery of who will be the groom for the Christmas Day wedding, yet all components of the story, the characters and even the elements of drama are predictable and to be truthful, not very engaging. Therefore, little could of been done to make it better, what was there to build upon was weak and uninteresting.
I understand these authors are well known, well loved and have a devoted following, but I won't be joining the ranks, so my next book (ever) will not be one of theirs. I listened to
I have forgotten.
If you like any of the charcaters in Texas from other books, like "Lady be Good", then do not listen to this book. Nothing is worse than having favorite charcters trade their charm for hypocrisy. This is a story about an entire town forcing a woman into an undesired sexual encounter with a snake of man, just for financial security...wait, isn't that basically pimping a woman out? How could SEP made such a severe misjudgement?
This is a magical story, that much is true. Other reviewer's warnings regarding narration are equally true. I read the reviews warning how the narration dulls the experience but discounted them in favor of all the reviews regarding the story. Now I see how one can so effect the other, don't listen to this book, go buy a copy/check out a copy of this book and snuggle up under a duvet near a window and read it. The voices are irritating and don't seem in sync, it's hard to imagine a recording session where the characters were even in the same room in the same conversation, it's all a beat off. Let your own mind fill in the voices and your experience will be far better than listening to the one provided here.
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