If (like my husband) your idea of a good book is swashbuckling action with shallow, predictable characters you cannot relate to and will not remember an hour after you finish the book, then "Faithful Place" is not for you. This just isn't that kind of book. On the other hand, if you enjoy an extremely well-crafted story, with believable characters, a good mystery, a haunting love-story, and a realistic procedural that keeps you guessing while rooting for the "good guy", then it's a winner. Tana French's writing improves with each book she writes, and hers are on the very short list of those I will listen to more than once.
Few of the hundreds of books I've listened to have heartened and enthralled me as does Shantaram, and none has been a more perfect marriage of novel and narrator. I may have had to go "Down Under" to do it (says Br'er Rabbit from that briar patch), but in Humphrey Bower I have at last found the magical voice and incredible talent that for me finally fills the void left by the loss of the late and wonderful Frank Muller (though he can never be replaced).
The book itself is an amazing gem, that I know will always remain on my list of favorites, and I already don't want it to end. I am still in India, in my mind, and when I have finished Shantaram I will have a memory of having "been there" that is more vivid and well-remembered than most of my actual memories. Other reviewers have mentioned the best characterizations, descriptions, etc., and I couldn't agree more. I know these people, I know this place. And I congratulate Gregory David Roberts on a marvelous accomplishment and thank him for this wonderful gift.
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