Change keeps stalking Edward Stanton. He and his new wife, Sheila, have retreated to his small house in Montana after an unsuccessful attempt at operating a motel in Colorado. That failure has left wounds, especially for Sheila, and now they face a bigger challenge: pregnancy and impending parenthood.
Edward begins penning notes to the child (ever precise, he refers to the gestating being as "Cellular Stanton"), as he navigates married life with Sheila, who is unhappy and unfulfilled in Montana; a work partnership with his friend Scott Shamwell, whose own life is teetering; and the emergence of a long-buried family secret, and the effect of this revelation on his relationship with his overbearing mother.
Even as Edward's world expands, he must confront questions about whom to let in, how much to give, the very definition of family, the fragility of hope, and the expanses of love.
©2016 Craig Lancaster (P)2016 Craig Lancaster
I have LOVED all of Craig Lancaster's novels (can imagine Ed questioning why the same word should be more meaningful simply because it was typed in all caps). This installment was a HUGE (there I go again) disappointment simply because it felt like just that: an installment. "Blah, blah, blah...this is what would happen if our couple were to get pregnant and we would introduce some more characters for future installments." As much of a fan as I am, I will read reviews before downloading the next "Edward" (where they obviously lead with the new daughter and her coming to terms with the mildly odd dad). There was nothing "new" here (as opposed to the first Edward, which was magical). Dare I say it: almost boring. If you have not read any of the previous books in this series, don't do this one (it assumes you know and love and understand the main character from previous novels...otherwise he's simply annoying). If you have read the previous books, prepare to be underwhelmed.
Loved the book. Full of Edward's unique views of his world and of course humour that make Lancaster's first two books such a joy to read.
I understand that Luke Daniels wasn't available for this audiobook and David Otey does do a great job... But it took me a good few chapters to get used to the change in readings styles. I ended up mostly reading this book instead as I feel he is unfortunately not quite up to his predecessor.
If Daniels is ever able to come back to read this I would definitely buy it even though I have this copy and a kindle copy. And of course I hope if there is a 4th instalment and we see a return to Daniels' fine work. We can hope...
Practicing Idealist, Dabbling Realist ;)
It's been a while since I listened to books 1 and 2 - so the change in narrator has no effect on me - and David Otey did a great job with the narration.
I love the idea of writing a story in a letter-to-someone style. I think the Screwtape Letters were my first introduction to this style of story telling, and there is a very intimate feel that is enhanced with this style of writing.
I loved this installment of Edward's story. I don't know if there will be another, but would certainly listen to it if there was.
For anyone else who enjoys people-based stories with this style of writing, I recommend The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel and Pie Society audio book. It too is a book about human beings, how they relate to each other, and also has quiet humor throughout.
If I ever stopped reading long enough, I might be able to write. For now though, I'll just keep reading.
I do believe each book gets better. I laughed out loud in parts and teared up in parts. The author does such a good job with the character development that I wish they were real and I could meet them personally.
Yes. The vocalization of Edward and Sheila and the other characters enhanced my enjoyment of the book. Edward's growing ability to open up to others - a remarkable evolution of the main character - comes across so well in the narrator's voice. Edward becomes warmer and more tuned into his emotions as the story develops.
Edward, of course! Craig Lancaster's depiction of Edward's autism in the earlier books (his need for structure, his difficulty with relationships and his resulting anger) makes the character's development in this third book truly remarkable. We readers are pulling for Edward all the way! Sheila and Scott and Hugo are all authentically drawn. And then there's Edward's mother, predictably self-centered but not entirely unsympathetic. To sum up, Edward has a terrific supporting cast.
David Otey's delivery of the dialogue - or rather, the letters to the "kid" - was superb! Along with excellent diction, he has the ability to allow the characters to talk in a conversational, down-to-earth voice. Both Edward and Sheila open up about their own experiences and their anxieties and hopes for their child, and this vulnerability is respected in Otey's delivery. The humorous bits are handled well, too. It must have been hard for the narrator to refrain from chuckling at the "diet soda and Viagra diet" or the scene when Edward gets drunk. Both humor and pathos were delivered believably and well.
I would take Sheila out to dinner. She obviously loves Edward deeply but probably has some frustrations she would likely air. I don't think there would be a lack of conversation over dinner!
Thanks to Audible for making the audio version of Edward Unspooled so easily accessible and technically excellent. I'm certainly recommending it to my friends.
Edward is delightful
Should have stuck with the original narrator. Luke Daniels was so, so, so much better. But, I did like the story
I took me months to finish this book. I loved Luke Daniels' performance in the first two books. This book was much more flat and tough to get through. The performance needed more depth especially since Edward is evolving quite a bit in this story.
"AMAZING. AWESOME. BRILLIANT"
I thought this was going to be my least favourite Edward book. The first two had been so fantastic, how could any author keep up that level of magnificence. Boy was I wrong. I have laughed out loud, I have wept, I have sobbed, (loudly and with a great deal of snot). How does he do it? Craig Lancaster is a genius. I have learnt more from Edward than I ever did in school. A truly wonderful emotional roller coaster of a ride. There simply aren't enough superlatives, and I do not possess Craig Lancaster''s eloquence or exquisite turn of phrase. I not only highly recommend that every single person read this book, it really ought to be on the national curriculum. My heart is broken that this is the end of my journey with Edward. But he, Sheila, Scott, Hugo, Raj, Kyle, Donna and even his parents and Jay Lamb will remain in my heart forever. Thank you Mr Lancaster, I salute you and bow to your brilliance. 5 stars doesn't even begin to touch what this book deserves. Writing at its best.
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