"Delightful" is not the adjective, as stated in another review, that I would ever choose to describe this book. I finally found it so depressing that I stopped listening. No worries, it was too hard to suspend my disbelief anyway.
I am SO TIRED of books full of unlikeable characters. Is this the new trend? Between this and Defending Jacob it seems all the rage right now! The narrating is excellent, particularly "Amy", but didn't make up for a dragging and exhausting plot. And hating everyone just gets so old.
I'm a magical realism junkie and I needed a happy ending, and wasn't disappointed. I loved the herbal magic, the vivacious apple tree, and Aunt Evanelle. I also really liked how everything was wrapped up, even the author's sympathy for the old rival. This was, while reminiscent (to put it mildly) of an old favorite, a totally unique book. If you like Hoffman and Allende, you'll be happy. Listen to the audible version, you won't be disappointed.
I am not afraid to admit that I love these books! Obviously, the mythological basis for the stories is the magnet for me, but the action and adventure hold my attention. I find the narrator a little distracting at times, but he does a fair job. I do think the best narrators are the ones who don't act like they're reading a kid's book, of which Mr. Bernstein is unfortunately guilty.
I got this title based on the 80s context alone.. not a gamer or a fantasy addict, even if I have an appreciation for those things. I don't even think of myself as nostalgic. Ever. But this book totally grabbed me, and even if I was a little nervous about the fatalism and depressing backdrop.. I am now at the very end and I so don't want it to stop! Loved this book and found myself getting out the buds to listen to it while doing dishes and other non-driving activities (a first for me:). Ok yes, I am an 80s girl.. but the story is just so original. Really great job on the writing, editing and narrating. Seemingly minor details.. Rush songs or specific video games.. brought me right back to my childhood. There were just a couple of mispronunciations that I'm not sure were part of the story or not.. but they distracted the crap out of me (poseur, for example, is not spoken in the French sense when we're talking about 80s "posers"). Otherwise I think the narrator added so much to the story that I can't imagine (as with Tina and Bossypants) having to read this in print. It's that good.
Need a little comic relief? Then listen to this silly book. The narrator does such a great job, really well done.
Tina! You're too funny! Really enjoyed this, especially with her little sidebars. There were parts where I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard.
Took a chance on this one and was left dissatisfied. This story really drags and never fleshes out the characters I can only assume were introduced in previous books. I thought the part with the aging actress was very thoughtful and that is the only bit that I'm sorry I didn't hear finish, even if I'm not sure how it pertains to the story. Sorry, ya lost me.
It was nice listening to the interview with the author at the end and realizing that we really have made progress with at least awareness, although the awkward teen years never change and I'm sure are made even more so with a GLBTQ epiphany. I'm not gay myself, but I grew up in a pretty progressive household (I did not appreciate this at the time, but only later realized that not everyone's mother's dear friend lived with her partner, not everyone has the opportunity to experience drag clubs as a teenager, and that Madison, Wisconsin is a special place). Sensitive and very well done as a coming of age novel for anyone.
Apparently this is one of a series? Really? No thanks! I love George Guidall and everything, but even he could not save this one. And the gratuitous graphic violence was just nasty. None of this is realistic, much less believable. Le Carre this guy ain't.
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