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The Descendants | [Kaui Hart Hemmings]

The Descendants

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex is a recovering drug addict.
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Publisher's Summary

Now a major motion picture starring George Clooney!

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. His thrill-seeking and high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat racing accident, and will soon be taken off life support.

The King family can hardly picture life without their charismatic mother, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them - and spurs them into surprising actions.

©2007 Kaui Hart Hemmings. All rights reserved. (P)2010 BBC America Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Matt's journey with his girls forms the emotional core of this sharply observed, frequently hilarious and intermittently heartbreaking look at a well-meaning but confused father trying to hold together his unconventional family." (Publishers Weekly)

"[An] audaciously comic début novel.... Hemmings channels the voice of her befuddled middle-aged hero with virtuosity, as he teeters between acerbic and sentimental, scoffing at himself even as he grasps for redemption." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (790 )
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4.1 (685 )
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Story
4.2 (681 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Donna MENAHGA, MN, United States 04-17-12
    Donna MENAHGA, MN, United States 04-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I expected"
    What did you like best about The Descendants? What did you like least?

    The narrator was fine. I just did not enjoy the story. I thought it would have more story of the descendants of Hawaii.


    What was most disappointing about Kaui Hart Hemmings’s story?

    I would have like it more if were a historical fiction-but it is a contemporary story.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-14-14 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It was alright, nothing special"
    Would you try another book from Kaui Hart Hemmings and/or Jonathan Davis?

    Probably not. I didn't think this was particularly interesting. I didn't like how the story / internal monologue would hop around through time and in and out of the main characters mind, this made it hard to follow at times. The reader probably could have done a better job at differentiating the two, but maybe not. I thought the movie was actually better than the book.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jonathan Davis?

    He is not my favorite reader, but not the worst either.


    Could you see The Descendants being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, the movie is better than the novel in my opinion.


    Any additional comments?

    Only read it if you already like the author.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrea 04-25-14
    Adrea 04-25-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Can't stand the narrator"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I can't stress enough how awful this narrator was. I have listened to hundreds of books and I have never come across a single one that was this horrible. His basic narration was okay, but his inability to do anything resembling natural dialogue actually ruined the book for me. There were points (several of them....every couple of minutes for the entire 7 hours) where I actually had to turn down the volume so I wouldn't have to hear him try (and fail miserably) to sound like a teenaged girl.

    This book took me over a month to listen to because I dreaded his voice so much. Honestly, do yourself a favour and just read this book if you are interested in it. But don't waste your time and money listening to this narrator. You will not enjoy it.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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