I found myself pulled into this book from the start. Barbara Rosenblat is a first class actress when it comes to reading. I think she has an amazing facility with nuance and emotion. The story is engaging, and all through the story, I felt that I was watching a play unfold on stage.
The story itself is interesting, giving a somewhat different view of the holocaust period. The story weaves personal tragedy with tragedy on a tremendous scale, and manages to hold its own. There are so many delicate touches and details in the story that it's easy to conjure the scene in the mind's eye, as if watching it on stage in front of you.
Highly recommended book.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book as it got rolling. The premise was interesting, the main protagonist being quite the anti-heroic type.
There are a lot of coincidences and positive twists of fate in this book that help our unlikely hero along, but not beyond the realm of believability.
I thought the characters were quite well developed, and quite likable! And they meshed very well into a story that kept me interested and always looking forward to my next opportunity to tune in.
The narration was the perfect embodiment of the story. Excellent pace, and perfectly rendered, with each character played as a distinct and well defined individual all the way through.
I was surprised at the negative reviews of the narration of this book. I've listened to a number books narrated by Barbara Rosenblat and have always been impressed by her interpretations. Normally, I listen to books in the car, so possibly have not heard some of the "offending sounds" others have pointed out because of background road noise. But I think her performances are terrific. She has a way of creating a mood, a personality for the characters she reads. Subtleties in voice, in accent, denote and differentiate the characters beautifully. I have bought books she's narrated simply because she was the reader.
Now, the book. I have enjoyed most of the Temperance Brennen stories. A forensic anthropologist, Brennen is called in on cases where the mostly unidentifiable remains require extensive analysis and investigation to solve murder cases. There is thoughtful description of how these analyses are done, which I find fascinating. How anthropomorphic details like size,age, sex, etc. can be deciphered from clues in often very deteriorated human remains. The detailed police tactics involved in the case are also intriguing and interesting, because she describes enough detail to reveal the logic and rationale for how cases are handled. The story is convoluted, and engaging. I found I couldn't wait to get back in the car for my commute to listen to the next section of the book.
There are twists and turns in the story, and characters are revealed in such a way to lead you to wondering all the time how they fit together, and which is the perpetrator in this murder mystery.
Scenes are described with exacting detail, and given Rosenblat's interpretation, I feel drawn into each scene. Brennen's own relationships and inner demons are like a continuous undertone - a layer under the surface of the story that kept me intrigued not only with her job, but her life and relationships.
I think this is a good read, and I think Barbara Rosenblat is a great reader.
I had higher hopes for this book, based on the description. But I thought the advice was relatively common sense, and the book quite repetitive. Maybe for someone starting out in life, the pointers could be valuable. People with a natural curiosity, I think, already embody these ideas. They are natural for subjects you are interested in, but difficult for those which one might have to study, but doesn't really have an organic interest in.
Like many self help books, I guess a simple idea is stretched out to fill a book, and thus becomes overwrought with repetitive thoughts and examples.
Others might take more away. I felt as though most of it was obvious.
I stuck it out, but frankly, I couldn't wait for it to end.
I was supremely impressed with Louis de Bernières' writing in Corelli's Mandolin and Birds Without Wings. I was left somewhat flat by A Partisan's Daughter. While the previous two books carried me away, thoroughly engaged my imagination, and taught me quite a bit about history, this book never seemed to go anywhere for me. Maybe I expected too much from earlier experiences. Felt like it was little more than a way to pass some time. Unlike the earlier two, when this book was over, I didn't have too much to think about, or contemplate about the story, or about humankind.
A relationship slowly develops between two unlikely people, emotions slowly evolve clouded by unspoken words and unexpressed feelings. I won't reveal the ending, but I found it somewhat unsatisfying
An engaging story about the fight against bacterial infection - which only began with any meaningful success in the 1930s. The book provides an in-depth and interesting description of the "colorful" story about how the dye industry gave birth to the chemical industry - and ultimately helped conquer infection. The book provides insight into a lot of back story, related to the first and second world wars, patents, intrigue in the research community, and how Germany's chemical secrets and patents were plundered after the second world war.
A good listen if you enjoy history, industry, and science.
There were some pretty far fetched moments in the book, but overall, quite engaging. The book certainly held my attention, and I thought the narration was very well done. It was the kind of book that had me looking forward to being in the car to listen to the next installment. I'm afraid I thought the weakest segment of the book was the ending, but I won't reveal it.
I kept thinking I could tell where the book was going, but it would veer off somewhere else. I like that about a book.
An enjoyable book that weaves together tales of the Periodic Table. Not only does the book describe the order of the table, and it's development, but interesting anecdotes about many of the elements contained, such as tales of discoverers, of controversies, of mistaken identities (of elements), and very interesting historical facts. I really enjoyed reading about how the chemistry of dyes led to the first antibiotic therapies - the sulfa drugs, how radium was discovered, how elements combine, how they're separated. And about the whole competitive area of research that is centered around finding new elements! Who knew!?
The story-telling style makes it easy to understand and stay focused. That's important because some of the chemistry can be a little complex. But it doesn't bog down the book or the reader.
I found myself going to Google several times to find out more about the chemistry and the people described in this book.
I almost ordered a gallium kit off Amazon to make my own disappearing spoon! I still might. Who knew so much fun with chemistry was so within reach!?
I was rather disappointed in this book. The concept seems to be the creation of the universe - though not necessarily ours - by a creator. It is written in what I'd consider a simplistic style, and to my mind was designed to possibly reconcile the controversy between creationism and evolution. It allows for both, but it doesn't work for me.
I found too many internal inconsistencies that wore on me. Maybe I'm just too analytical, but without time, I have to wonder how there ccould be "elders." Without substance, I have to wonder how once matter is created, it can be used by the inhabitants of "the void," where nothing actually exists. Yet those inhabitants are able to see and hear and interact with the other inhabitants of the void (then maybe it's NOT a void, because discrete beings DO inhabit it), as well as solid matter.
I didn't like the folksy interaction of inhabitants of the void, and found the dialog childish and tedious. And the repetitive counting of time got pretty old and very annoying pretty fast for me.
There was only one short segment of the book where relativity - the existence of good only in relationship to bad, for example - made part of the book interesting. Otherwise, unless I missed it, I didn't find anything in the story that had anything to say, or made the listen worthwhile at all.
If you have a hard time accepting evolution vs. creationism, maybe this book will give you a context within which to consider both as peacefully coexisting. But even there, I'm not sure it has a lot to say of any real substance.
Found it childish. Not one of my favored reads, I'm afraid.
I didn't like the sound quality at all. It's muffled, which, combined with the somewhat flat reading, makes the story just drone on and on. The story goes into significant depth about the characters, but I simply gave up on starting the second of five stories. While the stories might be interesting, I don't recommend this audiobook on the simple lack of audio quality. You can get a good idea of it in the audio sample.
The concept of the story seems interesting, but ultimately, I was finding the details, coupled with the difficulty in hearing it just not worth the effort.
Certainly a clearer recording - that didn't sound like it was made on a cassette recorder 35 years ago. It must be a rather old recording, transferred from tape.
And as much as I've always liked Sam Waterson as an actor, I found his reading flat to the point of becoming a drone.
Only to try to return the book.
The recording quality is probably a disservice to the writing. Sorry to write such a negative review. I think this might be a book better read off the printed page than this recording.
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