Suspenseful, perflexing, frustrating
When Piriot came forward with a rather complicated explanation of how the murder was committed.
Dave Suchet does an excellent job in bring Christie's characters to life. He did an excellent job this him and I'd rate this performance up to his usual standards.
It's a book that moves rather slowly, I definitely would not say I was on the edge of my seat at all times--but the plot unfurles like a flower blossom opening until it is fully in bloom.
I enjoyed this book a great deal, but I don't think it's one of the best Piroit Mysteries. It is unusual in that it has rather long court scenes, which is different in a Christie mystery. The ending was rather complicated and I actually had to listen to it twice to fully understand the relationships of the people involved and why the crime was commited. The herione falls to pieces in the end, she was not particularly sympathetic or empowered, she kind of let events overtake her in the name of unrequited love. By contrast the young woman in Christie's Sparkling Cyanide seemed to have it more together and the ending of that story easier to grasp. Die hard Christie fans won't want to miss this book, but if the listener is only an occasional Christie listener there are other books she wrote that are much better.
I have had a love/hate relationship with Stephen Kings writings over the years; I either loved or hated many of his books and TV miniseries. In this case Mr. King takes us back to the 1970s in a mystery/horror tale about a young college student struggling to come to grips with the loss of his first love. Mr. King's 70s are a bit anachronistic as he mentions things that either were not prevalent or hadn't been heard of in 1973. Devon Jones, is a bit too sensitive and effeminate for my tastes as the big hero of the piece, and the carnival talk he learns as he works at the Joyland Amusement Park sounds a bit clichéd'. I really couldn't decide if this was supposed to be a mystery, a horror story, or a coming of age story. We have the usual King potboiler cast of characters, the sensitive youth, psychic handicapped child, a somewhat lack-luster psychic who goes around giving Devon dire warning that he doesn't heed, and the ghost of a murdered woman who lives in the haunted house of the park. The performance of the reader was very good and I certainly don't fault him for my mixed emotions about the story. If you are expecting big chills you're bound to be disappointed, but the mystery part of the tale is entertaining without the help from the paranormal part of it.
Final analysis: Joyland is somewhat of a hodge podge of the types of things you've come to expect in a King novel--if you like his usual stick, you'll like this, if you're kind of over the formula than skip it. It rather fails as a mystery novel or a supernatural one--it's a book that didn't know exactly what it wanted to be when it grew up.
I would reccomend this book to anyone who wanted to know the true history of Highclere Castle, although I wish that the family history had been followed through to the present day.
I discovery of King Tuts Tomb was probably the most memorable moments.
I've not listened to any other McCaddon's performances, but I felt this was a very good one.
A self determined woman makes a difference in her world.
If one is looking for a tintalating tale of family intrigues and scandals (like the TV Downton Abbey) this book is bound to dissapoint. At best the only resemblance between the Carnarvons and the fictional Downton Abbey family is that Lord Carnarvon married into money and the house played a part in rehabilitating soldiers during "The Great War"--but the resemblance ends there. Any provokative tales about life "below stairs" are effectively side stepped, probably owing to the fact that the ancestors are still employed at Highclere and people don't want their family scandals brought into public view. What this book is, is basically a time capsule of a period of time when the great families of England still held almost of fuedal rule over the common people, and people lived lives of opulence even against a changing world.
I would listen to these books again, Crooked House was a typical Christie of that time period--and it was comforting in that it was more familiar. Endless Night was very different, and one of her later novels. I think Christie gets more grim as she progressed towards the end of her life. She was daring in many ways the way she pushed the envelope from mid way through her writing career onwards. Endless Night would have made a perfect Hitchcock film as nothing is as it seems to be.
There was a lot of suspense in Endless Night, but it was more subtle than overt. Crooked House was suspenseful in that even though the story appeared to be wrapped up at one point, you knew that it just couldn't be over yet, it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
He is probably the best Christie reader I've ever heard and he really brings the characters to life.
Yes, the stories really kept my attention and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
Both books have a lot of misdirection to prevent the audience from being able to figure out who the actual killer is. Endless Night had much more than is typical in a Christie novel, it also took it's time for the plot line to unfold. This book isn't one filled with a lot of overt thrills, it's more subtle and psychological. It is sometimes difficult to figure out what Endless Night is actually about--is it a romance, a tale of supernatural terror, or a mystery? It's not clear who the bad guys are either. I find Endless Night difficult to characterize other than to say that it is a bit unsettling. Be forewarned, it is a bit creepy, and not what you'd typically expect from Christie.In contrast Crooked House was much more typical for Christie and rather reminded me of Hercule Poirot's Christmas and The Hallow. There was something comforting in that as I had listened to Endless Night first and was rather disturbed by it. Not that the ending of Crooked House does not it's shock value--but I think the shock was easier to bear.Sometimes I wish Agatha Christie had written a really good story of supernatural terror--but that wasn't her style. These two books seem to compliment each other well. I would, however, listen to Endless Night first and then Crooked House--first you'll get the shock and then the familiar comfort of the type of thing you'd expect from your favorite mystery writer.
I would reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys Brittish Mystery novels.
Georgie, the poor girl just couldn't get anything to work out right for her.
It has the quality of a fine radio drama.
Sometimes it's not good to be Royalty.
I loved this book and will purchase the other in the series.
Exciting, suspenseful, and entertaining.
The plot kept me on the edge of my seat in that it was really difficult to guess the identity of the murderer. There were many exciting plot twists.
Fraser always does a great job with Poirot himself, his performance of the master dective is always spot on.
At Christmas Time never take anything for granted.
A must for any Poirot fan, many unpredictable developments. This book tends to follow Christies formula less than others in the series.
I would listen to this book again because it was very well performed and I've always found that listening to Poe better than reading the printed work.
My favorite story by Poe is "Fall of the House of Usher" and Rathbone does a great job bringing the stories to life.
They read the stories at a rate of speed that made it possible for Poe's rather odd style and vocabulary to be better understood.
I would take the poor tormented soul from "The Raven" out to dinner to help him cope with the loss of fair Lenore.
The problem with this book is the lack of titles at the beginning of the stories and poems. The publisher should add a narrator to state the title of each segment so that the listener knows what story or poem is being performed--perhaps with some creepy background music to set the mood. The audio quality could also be improved.
Five Little Pigs ranks among some of the best audiobooks I've listened to.
The story was very suspenceful with a great twist at the end.
Mr. Fraser always does a good job with characterizations, listening to him read a book is like listening to an old time radio show, the book comes to life.
The ending was emotionally satisfying.
One of the best of the Piroit mysteries, Christie really grew as a writer as she developed the character. Piroit developed from a Sherlock Holmes knock off to a detective with a distinctive personality who ended up being quite unique in the annals of detective fiction.
I would reccomend this book to anyone interested in the life of Carole King and the pop music of the 20th Century.
Not only did it give details about King's life, but a snapshot of the music industry in a very turbulent time in our country's history.
I liked the way she would break out in song when discussing various musical pieces.
I was particularly moved by an explanation of domestic abuse that King described during a dark period of her life.
Although very long, this book kept my attention from beginning to end, anyone who love's King's music is sure to find it entertaining and informing. I will warn the reader though, if one is looking for a lot of detail regarding King's friendship with James Taylor, there seems to be pieces missing.
The best part of this book were the colorful characters and dry humor. The worst part was that it isn't really a legitimate collection of ghost stories. Although the titles of the stories offered start with "The Ghost . . ." most of the stories are simply colorful Victorian romances and humerous sketches.
The Haunted House has not turned me off to other books in this genre--which I would consider Victorian Romance--what turned me off was that I I feel the title and the vague framework that Dickens tied it all together with was misleading. I was expecting really scary stories, like Dicken's "The Signalman"--but the book failed to produce that type of tale.
The narrator was my favorite character.
This book is worth the listening time if one is aware of what type of book it really is--namely not a collection of scary stories--but rather a collection of witty Victorian sketches.
If you like books like those written by Jane Austin and the Bronte Sisters you would probably be pleased with the selection offered here--but if you want bone chilling tales of terror you definitely won't find it here and would be better off with an Edgar Allen Poe anthology.
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