For someone who was "familiar with the drug scene" meth is and was a truly scary drug. What this substance does to people and communities is terrible but this book goes FAR beyond the obvious. The effects of government policy and blatant corporate irresponsibility do damage individuals and the author does an excellent job of making connections. I could not stop listening to this (much to the annoyance of my family). Don't miss this one!
I have to give the narrator props for this book. I have listened to so many audio books in my time that I can't even begin to count and those out there like me know a narrator can make or break a book no matter how good (or bad) it is. Robin Miles is so amazing. You completely lose yourself in the story and she bounces accents around without missing a beat. There is one character who naturally speaks with a native accent but tries to cover it up with a British accent. Miles is so good she can have an argument among characters who slip up with their own accents and she doesn't miss a beat (Download this book and you'll know exactly who I'm talking about). And you have to keep reminding yourself this is one woman doing all the narration. AMAZING. Oh, and the book itself, excellent. This is one of those occasions where a great story and a great narrator teamed up and got me to ignore my husband and kids for days. Do not miss this one.
Let me just say that I have really loved Jodi Picoult in the past and was really excited to see this on Audible. I have always felt Jodi went to great lengths to develop her characters and their stories. Unfortunately this book just went off the cliff. And the songs at the beginning of the chapters..... really, Jodi? I can sum this book up for you. Homosexual = Compassionate, loyal, loving, and honest. Christian = Hate-filled, oppressive, manipulative, liar. That's really what you need to know. The whole time I listened to this book I kept waiting for her to diverge from these blatant stereotypes, but she never did and then the whole thing got wrapped in 30 seconds in a nice, rosy little package. VERY disappointing, especially given her unique talent to give depth to people who aren't easy to understand (or sympathize with) in the first place.
I finished this audiobook a few hours ago and I'm still thinking about it. I'm an audiobook junkie (as my credit card bill will reflect) and listen everyday. This one is sticking with me, perhaps not in a good way, but I can't stop thinking about these characters. David Vann somehow has taken the most mundane situations and turned them into nail-biters. The funny thing about this book is you really don't even like most of the characters. I suspect this might be because I see myself in them and I don't like what I see. Caribou Island is a case study in the intensely difficult realm of personal relationships and he does not pull any punches. Also, Bronson Pinchot does a great job with the narration. It never pulls you away from the story, which to me is the best thing a narrator can do. Get this book. You won't be sorry. Or maybe you will be, but it won't be because of the writer.
From the very beginning the author admits that his point of view is skewed. His son has been diagnosed with a a mental illness and, in an attempt to help him navigate his disease, he sets out to examine the way our justice system handles the (my description - not his) "criminally insane". Although he describes horrific conditions, ridiculous laws, and inadequate treatment options it doesn't seem he offers anything in the way of solutions. What I took from this is, society should be more tolerant of incredibly dangerous and violent schizophrenics, and also be willing to provide them everything they need: food, shelter, intensive therapy and and endless combination of the latest drugs. Toward the end he seems disappointed communities fought having a ALF (assisted-living facility) literally filled with murderers in their neighborhoods. One resident killed an ENTIRE FAMILY! Despite that, I enjoyed the book and the narration was excellent.
I read the first book in this series and it took a bit of time for me to warm up to it. I decided to listen to this one and it far surpassed my expectations. The story is instantly engrossing and, as most Audible listeners know, the narrator can make or break the story. He absolutely makes it. I have listened to this non-stop and am about to download to next. Don't miss this.
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