No one in book club finished the book. Despite high reviews (NY Times, Washington Post) every one of the voracious readers in my book club stopped reading it - myself included. You know that guilt you sometimes feel when you don't finish something you started. I didn't feel that guilt. There are too many better books out there to read.
Why didn't I like it?
1) It was a wandering and rambling trail of thought without an apparent plot line in the spirit of "On the Road", "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and to a certain extent "Walden Pond".
2) I didn't care one bit for any of the characters. They could have dropped down the bottom of a well as far as I was concerned. It might even do them some good - teach those fancy, dreamy poets to live in the real world.
3) The book was also complicated by the Spanish words - It was harder for me to connect to the book and get the swing of it with all of the foreign names and words.
On the plus side - our book club's consensus is that the book wasn't 100% bad but we just didn't get it/ connect with it. I actually thought the racy sex scenes were the more intriguing part of the 2 hours that I listened to - the emotions of sexual wonder, desire, and exploration seems more real to me than discussions of young Mexican surrealist poets trying to establish a magazine.
The book starts off strong, full of quirky characters and capturing the uniqueness of Venice. I am a fan of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and it felt lovingly similar to it... in the beginning. But somewhere about 1/2 through the book, the author focuses on a major scandal and controversy and the book becomes "He said, She said". It reminded me of: 1) Holiday fighting with my family where ancient aunts bring up decades old grievances, 2) Junior High Girls spattering about just want Jenny did, 3) a kind of b*tchy commentary. If you choose to read, stop when you get into the part where a couple dotes on an aged, wealthy invalid.
My pet peeve is writers talking about how important writers are. I was totally turned off in the first few pages where the junior writer publishes a hit book and then becomes the talk of new york, recognized on the streets, and dates supermodels. Gag me with a fork. It might get better after this but I didn't stick around to find out. Too many other good books out there.
The compelling and unique storyline, expert writing, and top of the line narration collide to make one of my favorite audiobooks ever.
One of the best narrations I've ever had the pleasure of listening to in almost 10 years of listening to audiobooks. Usually I petter out on even the best books after 16 hours and have to slow down and take a break. But I went straight onto the second, equally delightful book and was completely bummed that the next one isn't out yet. It's very well written book - rich characters and plot line and as I mention the narration is devine. I love the different voices she uses - they are distinct and always stay this side of being overacted. well written, well produced as an audiobook. More please!
If you like gripping, well planned plot and developed characters including witches and vampires, and if you like your books suberbly performed - then this is your book. Normally after 16 hours I get tired of an audibook but I went straight onto the second book and was so disappointed when it ended. I would have started pacing myself if I had known the 3rd book wasn't out yet.
I managed my way through this period work full of over zealous manners and sensibilities. I was hoping for a much better and gripping mystery but alas I found myself wishing ill on the main characters for the book to end. I wish I'd stopped and switched to Jane Austin.
I picked this book out from a list of recommended chicklit beach reading and it was exactly what I was lookig for. Light, fun, and well written story. In addition the narration was perfectly done as well. Good story, endearing characters and not too deep.
After I heard so much about this series I was expecting a lot more. The writing could be formularic and clunky - I could predict outcomes chapters in advance. The best part was the personal history but the detective stories could use work.
It all started with getting weird looks from people on the airplane and I was shaking, wheezing, and crying while reading "Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea" Bawdier than Bridget Jones Diary. I love her obsession with midgets. I've recommended this book to multiple other friends.
A dark Swedish detective story..but less sensational than the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've past this book on to multiple other people. It has been a while since I've enjoyed the whole of a book so much. Gripping plot line, clever murder schemes (important for a murder mystery/crime novel.
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