I love Bryce Courtenay's books and especially enjoyed The Persimmon Tree. Unfortunately, I wish I had left this one on the shelf. It's as if Mr. Courtenay was told to weave some more "modern" topics in his books. This one has it all: environmentalism, sexual dysfunction, breast cancer, superhuman woman and greed. I imagine that he Googled "current issues" and picked the top 10 and made a game of including them all in one book. The whole story is simply ridiculous and the book is very weak compared to his other books.
Humphrey Bower is such an exceptional narrator that I'm convinced that he's the only reason I was able to finish this book.
DOn't let this book turn you away from Bryce Courtenay. Every other book I've read I have enjoyed, especially The Australian Triology.
Absolutely. I grew up in Bassett and left as soon after high school as I could get away. My parents did not work for any of the factories (a nurse and a teacher) so I really didn't know anything about the businesses or people portrayed in the book. For me it was a story about any of a hundred factory towns (furniture or otherwise) all over the country. The truth is (and always will be) that unskilled jobs will always transition to the low cost provider. It's how JD Bassett got his start in the first place. The other truth is that some businesses are run well and some aren't (just as the Enron employees). This is a well researched and written tale that is a great example of both of those truths.
For me it was very touching to know the story behind the naming of my middle school, Mary Hunter.
Of course it's "Little John", JB III. My Mom and Dad remember him being referred to as "Little John".
It could be any business in any town.
Beth Macy did an amazingly thorough job of researching this book and told a very compelling story that I believe was fair from all sides of the tale. She didn't seem to impose her own personal or political views which allowed me to analyze the story and come to my own conclusions. That's a hard thing for a writer to do and I really appreciated it.
I really tried to listen to this book. I eventually trudged through the first installment but found I was avoiding listening to books because I couldn't bear to try to get through the rest of this one. I usually love historical novels like this but it's as if the author was incapable of editing ANYTHING out of the book. It is unnecessarily long and tedious.
The narrator was fine, the problem was the material.
Complete disappointment that I wasted a credit on this book.
I love history and I especially love learning history through a narrow point of view, like a biography. This is a fascinating biography of a banking empire. There were parts where it dragged a little but I think that there were simply periods of time where the bank wasn't as influential or interesting as other times.
I would compare this to Titan, also by Chernow.
Robertson Dean is an outstanding narrator and kept the story interesting throughout.
This book is for completely loyal Baldacci fans. I have read most of his books and I enjoy them. I especially love the Camel Club series. This is the second Will Robie book I've read.
The book was disappointing because it seemed completely formulaic. The story line with Jessica's personal life was completely frivolous and didn't really add anything to the story. The rest was simply implausible and simplistic. No one invites trained assassins on vacation with their children and trained assassins do not sit down with teenagers to give advice. Big events happen in this story but the preparation for them is mostly skimmed over and "oh look, we got out, mission accomplished now what's next?".
Ron Mclarty did a fine job but I didn't think that Orlagh Cassidy was a good fit. Jessica is an assassin but the voice is that of a young woman that you meet at the coffee shop and talk about dresses and shoes. She's a fine narrator but I don't think she's a good fit for any of the female characters in this book except for the president's daughter.
I was completely disappointed with this book. It feels like the writer is tired of writing. Maybe he's hired ghost writers just to keep up with demand. I know that people will buy his books simply because his name is on the cover. I was just glad that the book ended and I could move on.
Probably. It's a good read. It got off to a weird start. I particularly thought that Jenna's behavior was very weird but was never suspected. But once I got into the second half of the book and, particularly, the courtroom scenes it was completely enjoyable. It was easy to tell who "did it" from the beginning but the ride to get there was very interesting.
Oscar, of course!
There wasn't anything "moving" about the book but there are some hilarious and clever courtroom scenes.
I know this book got great reviews but I just couldn't get into it. It was a slog to get into and after about 5 hours I just had to give up. The narrator is fine but I found the story not the least bit interesting.
I wouldn't read another book by this author but I'd listen to Robin Miles anytime.
Robin Miles is a true professional. She did a great job. I only got through this book because of her narration.
A lot of rolling eyes. This story has been done over and over. Everything about it was cliche. Why does every older black woman have to be overweight and sound like she didn't make it past 5th grade? The daughter is a weak character who is almost middle aged and still can't hold her own life together. She cleans rooms in a motel in Mexico. Where did she get the money to rent or buy and SUV? Why is she so hung up and hateful to her mother over one slap she received as a child? I got slapped my my mother when I deserved it. I learned, got over it and moved on. Why does the author need a trip back through generations to slavery to deal with being slapped as a child? The whole story is a collection of one cliche after another. There are no truly unique characters. We've seen all of these characters before and read all of the stories before.
If you like stories of slavery and the South, read The Kitchen House. It's much better.
I really enjoyed the narration and would listen to another David Pittu book in a heartbeat. I'm not so sure about another book by this author.
I so wanted to love this book especially give the glowing reviews but it just wasn't to be. I don't have a problem with characters with drug problems or other serious character flaws but don't try to make them also portray characteristics beyond any possible capability of such a person. She made the 13 year old Theo, who can barely put one foot in front of the other, into someone with the introspection of someone who has lived a long hard life. He's way too immature for that. At times the character is so stoned that he can barely talk and yet he's able to function in school and at home. There's no way that this character made it to adulthood with the drugs he took and the way he stumbled through decision in his life. Also, the dog lived an unbelievably long time. The book just got way out of hand. It needed some serious editing.
The narrator is excellent and is what kept me in the book to the end. He has an ability to put you right in the moment with the character even when the moment is absurd.
The book has a good premise and a movie screenwriter could make a great movie from it. Screenwriters know how to edit to get the essence of the story.
No, I agree with everything Mike for Mesa had to say except that I found the narrator's use of mimic to be really annoying. I agree with Judith that it was tedious.
Kissinger is a very interesting person but no one is interesting when you tediously slog through the events of their life. So much could have been edited from this book and you would still "know" Kissinger. Although, I agree with Mike that the author seemed to have it in for Kissinger and purposely shown him in the worst light possible. That surprised me after reading Steve Jobs and Einstein. In fact I picked this book only because I wanted to read something else from Walter Isaacson.
He mimicked Kissinger, Nixon and other main characters. I don't know why but I found it to be really annoying. It was as if he was mocking them.
I would not read another book by Clive Davis. I thought the narrator did a fine job. He couldn't fix the problems with this book.
No, I love autobiographies and have developed a specific love for autobiographies of people in the entertainment industry.
I didn't love the book but I didn't totally hate it either. I just had to take it in small doses. There were bits of information but this book is all about him and the great things he did. He apparently never made a mistake, gave nothing but great advice and wasn't very personally connected to his artists. It was more of a history of contracts than a history of artists and relationships with artists.
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