I dislike giving negative reviews but this book's description gives the impression of real dark dread. Not so. More like an after-school special with bad words and a sex scene. I really wanted to like this book and given all the good reviews, I thought I would... For one thing, the constant reminders this took place in the 80s was heavy handed and annoying because they were poured onto scenes that did nothing to add to the story - simply serving as yet another overbearing reminder that it's 1984. Second and most unforgivable, the monster speaks (bummer) but it's not just that, it's a massive verbal info dump, explaining his plans right in the first chapter of the book.
At the start I made the adjustment that I would simply ignore that the author named the main character Timmy and made myself beleive that it would not be an indication of how the rest of the story would unfold, but it is. Come on. Timmy? Were it not for the clumsily written sexual opening to the story and a few F bombs here and there, this would be a children's book worthy of "Goosebumps".
Last, the narration is fine. In fact the timbre of June's voice is soothing and appropriate. But when it came time to do the ghouls voice, it quickly turned into a circus. Imagine your grandfather reading to you the story of the Jack and Beanstalk and you'll get the picture. Worst of all, whenever a point of tension, suspense or drama came around his words would come out of his mouth in a stilted Shatner-esqu pace that became difficult not to focus on and ultimately made me want to chuck my iphone into a corner and stomp on it. This audiobook does not get my recommendation and I feel sorrow at the loss of my $14 which I'll never see again...
I listend to it all the way through so it kept me in my seat painting hours which is what I needed to accomplish but the description had me hoping for more of a Southern Gothic flavor with the Ozarks and the dark family history. The ingredients were all there: the characters, the setting, the backstories... but it's not in the writing. I didn't feel any sense of atmosphere or dread. I Wasn't looking for horror but I can't explain without sounding like a pretentious jerk. It just didn't feel as 'dark' as I was hoping for considering the selling points in the description and title.
I kept finding things to do like going for extra long walks or washing the dishes [my husbands chore] so I could keep listening. I purchased it based entirely on the ratings not at all interested in period pieces but I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Never heard such a great narrated performance and given the amount of characters, accents and the time period, it could have gone horribly wrong. Instead it was perfect and so believable.
The story is an A1 murder mystery [I usually hate mysteries] set in a time when supernatural beliefs were the norm. The characters are all so complex and I miss them already. I can't say enough. One the best I've audiobooks I've listened to.
This might be a good book for someone interested in architecture or deeply interested in how the World's Fair came to be.
I was interested in a story about HH Holmes that did not dwell on the gore so I thought this might be a good one to shed some light on the historical perspective and how it came to fit together so - terribly with him and his 'murder castle'. The story is sprinkled with Holmes' story during the World's Fair but so far [I'm struggling more than 1/2 through] it drones on and on and on in painfully minute detail on the ups and downs of how the fair was built, down the very bolts that hold the buildings together. Even if Holmes was not part of the story, anything else to break away from monotony of architectural and details would have provided some balance. Some nice bits of history here and there but I'm afraid it was a yawn for me.
Yes. I don't like listening to audiobooks twice but theses characters were given such realistic motivations and personalities that I'm sure a second listen would reveal a few more details.
To me, the book was about the nuances of what makes a person good and/or evil and the characterizations illustrated those very clearly. Narrator was top notch too. Each character had their own distinct way of speaking and she went from one to the other flawlessly which could have easily gone sideways given all the different vernaculars and intonations.
Jackie [I think that was her name]. I hated this character but from the performance, I got a clear picture of who she was and who she wanted to be but wasn't. This character used a lot of slang and again is one of the characters that could have been over done but Bentnick did it with restraint.
Amber. She's a better woman than I'd have been.
Highly recommended. I had to pace myself and not listen to it in one sitting. I saved it for time when I had to complete a painting which requires something to keep me in my seat.
This is a good, well written and very nicely narrated story. The characters are fleshed out to a medium degree but kept my attention. It does have a "made for tv" feel about it [yes I know it's a book]. The style of writing conveys no sense of horror however. A huge disappointment for a book that invokes Lovecraft lore. Still a good listen if you're driving or going for a long walk. Moves quickly, decent mystery and has lots of action. If I were more into SciFi I'd be less critical of the lack of 'horror' and probably would have given this one more star.
I love when an author reads his own work and I do love King's voice so 5 stars for narration. This story is not one of my favorites of Kings. It may be that I couldn't personally relate to the protagonist - a 40 something widower, though I did feel sympathy for him. What turned me off was that the only female character was - to me - depicted as a damsel in distress. Pretty, blonde, smart and a single mother who lights up rooms and everyone [all men] has a crush on her. Whether it's latent jealousy on my part or not, her character is grossly unrealistic. The scene where she's dancing on a frisbee finally forced me to put it away for a whole week before picking it up again to finish it. Unexpected ending, that was good.
The story focuses on the author's voice rather than on Gacey's deviant psychology. It is fascinating to see the 'why' and 'how' the author would set about doing what he did, putting himself in such a vulnerable position and how it as all accomplished. I did expect there would be more in terms of unearthing Gacey's own background. Instead, there's a LOT of lingering on the sexual and violent nature of the murders and not much to shed light on why Gacey might've been the way he was. I'm no prude but there was so much graphic detail that I skipped through much of that, not out of squeamishness but out of boredom. Again the author's story and his mind set is fascinating to read about.
The narrator has a stilted quality but somehow fit the voice of the author and did like the reading quite a lot.
I'm not one for stories whose characters are mostly cops, FBI agents and detectives but for what it was it was a good one. If I'd based this solely on my particular preferences [I prefer a much darkly rooted mental sensibility a la Deliverance or We Need to Talk about Kevin] I may have given this a 3.5. The southern setting and creepy set up [arachnids, a serial killer and the deep south] is was attracted me to this story as I've been looking for good modern southern gothic. The setting, story and characters were all there but it did not have the deep seated eeriness that I was looking for. However, I did get the creepy crawleys and had a good few nights of bad spider dreams! Gardner weaves a fine story and if you like a good mystery this'll do ya.
On a scale of 1 to 10 it's a 9.75.
The book that comes to mind with this question is "We Need to Talk About Kevin" because both authors share a candid insight into taboo subject matters between mothers and children and other blood relatives - at times delicate, at times pretty brutal. They seem to understand that people aren't either good or bad but both and are able to articulate it well.
My favorite scene was where Camille's mother explains why she wasn't able to love her.
Ahhmm.... "Familial legacies knows know bounds" I dunno...
Gillian Flynn is my new favorite author. After listening to this one I went straight for Dark Places which was extremely satisfying and then on to Gone Girl which I am still listening to. Flynn's Southern Gothic style invokes such atmosphere and beauty. Initially when I read the story lines of each of these novels I was turned off as I am not a fan of detective stories which is what the description called to mind. But the first two minutes of each one had me hooked and none read like "who-done-it" crime stories in the least. Even if you do figure out who "did it", you come away with so much more than that. You also come away with a full understanding of your lead character as she [or he] is figuring out. Narration was pitch perfect.
By the time I was 25 I'd read all a non historian could read on dear old Vlad. So the historical stuff I was already keen to, but the story woven around it was intriguing and kept it interesting. Awesome narration too. The problem is that it dragged terribly and toward the end the highly educated characters became pretty dense in connecting the dots. By the time I found out all I wanted to know and thought the book was done I saw there were 3 more chapters to go. Oh no! I'm there now and planning on playing it at double speed to finish as fast as I can because I am bored but want to know how it ends.
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