This book picks up as the 3rd in Locke's story, but at the same time, it features interspersed stories of Locke as a boy and teen, back with Chains and the gang. It's great to see Calo and Galdo again, and finally Sabetha! Lynch does a good job of juxtaposing the two narratives so that the arcs of the stories match.
However, I didn't give it the 5 stars that I gave the last two.Some parts seemed a bit long. Lynch includes a big part of the play that Locke and his gang perform. He probably had fun writing that, but it slows down the action. Also there are new mysteries introduced and left hanging, so I hope we don't have to wait a long time for the next one.
Michael Page continues to be outstanding as the narrator.
I received this free in exchange for an honest review. I got about 4 chapters in, which was mostly exposition. It was a bit clunky, as in characters telling each other things they would have known, but if someone like Wil Wheaton had been reading it I'm sure it would have been fine. I could not stand to listen any longer.
I couldn't believe this book was released with such a strange style of narration. I thought maybe it was just me, but now I see several others commented on it. The narrator emphasizes the end of every sentence, like "We need more informaSHUUUNNN. We'll get it toDAAAAY" It sounds like Valley Speak, and it happens all the time, for every character as well as the 3rd person parts. Generally characters aren't very differentiated and the style is speaking is sort of flat, Longer sentences, even those that are supposed to be in conversation, sound like someone reading a textbook, not someone speaking normally. That isn't great but would have been tolerable without the other quirk.
I'm sorry I wasn't able to review the book for its writing. Maybe I'll pick it up in print someday. Obviously some listeners weren't bothered by this style. I'm not sure the sample would have helped. It took me more than 5 minutes to realize how odd it was, but after that I couldn't pay attention to anything else. I've sometimes experienced voices or accents I didn't care for or that were dull, but in 30 years of listening to audiobooks, I've never heard anything like this. Where was the editor/producer?
The narration really makes this book stand out, with the distinctive accents and mannerisms of the Indian characters. If you like the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series, you will probably enjoy this as well. I laughed aloud many times as the detective, nicknamed Chubby, who is helped out by his mother, always called Mummy, defies the unending bureaucracy and hidebound traditions of India.
I did wonder whether Indians would find some of the characters and situations to be stereotypes but I was too busy having a good time to think about that long. Sam Dastor was excellent and I'll be listening to as many more books in this series as I can find.
Professional detectives who are also senior citizens are rare, and characters like Arthur Bryant are rarer still. Brilliant, intuitive, socially inept, and eccentric, he has the perfect foil and partner in the steady, popular, attractive John May. The story starts at the end of their career and revisits a case from 60 years before. The London Blitz is a perfect time to carry out all sorts of crimes, since people go missing daily and law enforcement is stretched thin. It's fun to see our heroes meet as very young men. The mystery itself is pretty farfetched but that's always the least important thing to me. I like a memorable setting and great characters, which I found here. The narration is very good and I'll be listening to further installments.
I love Regency romances but I have to sort of pretend that they are not in the actual 19th century England, but on some other planet. On this planet, there are lots of handsome young noblemen, all the servants are happy and loyal, and no one ever gets a toothache, let alone smallpox. The men are strong but also sensitive, doting on their children and respecting independent women. There are modern sensibilities toward the handicapped (never called cripples, morons, or other names that would have been used without thinking), gay characters and characters of different races. In this book, the modern terms "depression", "disability" and even "organizational skills" are used.
All that said, I greatly prefer this fantasy world to something more realistic like Outlander. I read these books for escape (it's even the title of this one!) and I want some elegance and a reassurance that nothing really awful will happen. This one is rather light on plot, and I didn't realize that there was a novella attached. So I thought there was going to be more to the story, when it rather suddenly ended.
The narration was quite good and Rosalyn Landor did the Welsh accents well, although at least one name wasn't pronounced correctly.
I often joke that I stay away from books labeled "gripping" and "chilling". But after the first 2 installments of this series, I had to immediately listen to this one. At first I was disappointed that the action moves forward about 10 years, but Carmichael is back along with his adopted niece, now grown up. It really shows "the banality of evil", as persecution of Jews and other "terrorists" is just a common part of English life along with endless cups of tea and the presentation of young debutantes to the queen.
It's a very powerful series and John Keating does a great job relating Carmichael's story, as a stoic and professional man who has unseen emotional depths. Some parts were quite terrifying and If I had been reading this in print, I think I would have been compelled to peek ahead to reassure myself, but with audio, you have to stay on for the whole ride. I'm glad I did!
It's easy to see how similar kinds of oppression and manipulation of public opinion could happen today in the U.S. - or already are happening.
I'm impressed that Jo Walton can write well in so many different genres.
This is a sequel to Farthing, and is followed by Half a Crown. It occurs right after the first book and features Inspector Carmichael. The other part of the story involves the theater world, which in some ways is a metaphor for all the acting and pretending and shams in this alternate history. It's quite gripping and I had to instantly go to the 3rd book. The narration is excellent, not over the top, just letting the dramatic events speak for themselves.
It's astounding to me that Jo Walton can write fantasy (Among Others), faux Victoriana (Tooth and Claw), and then turn around and write a country house murder/political thriller with the added twist of being set in an alternate Britain that made peace with Hitler. The ordinariness of the beginning adds to the scariness of creeping totalitarianism. And although the setting is the 1940's, the debate about restricting liberties to protect the country from terrorism is very relevant. Both narrators were very good, which I can't always say. I immediately started listening to the sequel.
I've read all the Molly Murphy books in print so this was my first audio of the series. I thought the narration was fine, though the story was mainly a lot of name-dropping and cameos by famous artists. I happen to enjoy reading anything that takes place in Paris, so that didn't bother me, but some things were pretty far-fetched. For instance, learning French as a schoolgirl some years before does not mean one can carry on complex conversations with natives. I'm sure I'll keep reading the series, but in print where it's faster and I can skim over the background material. But if you've been following the whole series on audio, you probably will like this. Daniel isn't around to get in the way for once.
This is a bit like Into the Woods, showing you what happens behind or after the "happily ever after" of fairy tales. Bronson Pinchot's narration is what really makes it special and adds to the humor.
In A Cat Was Involved, I was confused by Chet and Bernie meeting when Bernie already has an ex-wife, whereas other books conflicted with that. This story clarifies the time line of Bernie's personal life. Not much suspense in this one, but nothing cheers me up more than hearing Jim Frangione as Chet.
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