©2009 Sara Paretsky; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
The first five hours of this audiobook find VI mawkishly wallowing in her memories. It's so boring I almost stopped listening. I'm glad I didn't. The book picks up steam in the sixth hour and Part Two speeds along in a satisfying manner. The ending was so good I even shed a tear, so I'm glad I persisted. But those five hours are just about half the book, and that's why, despite the stellar second part, I gave it three stars.
Perhaps more ardent fans of VI than I, won't find the first part as boring as I did.
The narrator is just OK. She uses the same voices for several characters, making it hard to understand who is saying what. Her voicing of Uncle Peter's temper tantrums grates on the ears.
I don't recommend this as a first read in the VI Warshawsky series.
the Gadget Queen
I think there are two books here -- the one that includes Vic's obnoxious, terminally perky, lying cousin Petra, whom everyone else adores (shades of All About Eve?) and the blissful portions of the book when Petra has disappeared (we hope never to return). I found the first part of the book so tedious, and then when Petra disappeared and Vic actually got to do some great investigating, I remembered why I love this writer and this series. The narrator only accentuates the novel's flaws -- her Vic is either calm or shrilly furious, with no nuances. Petra is a whiny Valley Girl, her father roars all the time (that may be how the character is written, but it's like being screamed at) and Lottie -- who must be in her 70s or 80s and is European -- sounds as young as Vic with an American accent. Bizarre that the reader is quite good at other accents and characterizations but doesn't bother to bring Lottie to life and makes the main characters maddeningly two-dimensional.
This is near the top. The quality of the performance and the depth of the characters absorbed me. I tend to listen as I am falling asleep and then have to back track when I wake up, so sometimes, I hear one part many times and never hear some parts. However, in spite of that issue, this was just tremendous. I recommend it for its depiction of Chicago, the South Side of Chicago, VI's mother, the family in general -- all of it. The story seemed a bit of a stretch, and that's my only slight negative.
Yes, the plot had me listening, but in the end I feel like it was a stretch.
The characterizations are intensified when presented in audio form.
Her upset over having her trunk torn through. I could really appreciate her feelings about her Mother and the dress.
The depiction of the homeless guy is wonderful also. Read this if you like in-depth characters. I think it helps to have read one or more others of her works.
Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.
While I can't say I was really bored listening to this book, I can say that I wasn't overly stimulated either. This is a mystery novel where the detective doesn't really solve mystery but more or less stumbles on the solution. The protagonist, VI Warshawski, isn't particularly likable either, so this wasn't a particularly satisfying listen.
This is a good book made better by an excellent, excellent reading. The narrator has a very easy-to-listen-to voice, and gives a masterful performance.
Speaker, Coach, Author - in Reno, NV (A GREAT place!) I've been an avid Audible fan for several years. Listen on my iPhone many hours each week.
I think I've read (listened to) all the VI Warshawski books and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The narrator does a super job of many different voices - and shows that narrating a book isn't just reading the book. Can't wait for the next one in the series (actually, I have already listened to the next one, but had missed this one somehow). So I'm looking forward to the one after that!!
It was classic V.I. Warshawsky - not the best but a good read. The narrator was questionable. I had difficulty distinguishing the difference between some characters, many seemed unnecessarily loud and what the heck happened to Lottie's and Max's accents? Weird.
I'm currently addicted to all things VI! I absolutely love this book and am eagerly anticipating the next one. VI has never been shy about expressing her feelings (and I assume Ms. Paretsky's as well). In this novel she continues to give her beliefs on all things--healthcare, race relations, etc. I don't agree with all her beliefs but she's not me and I'm not her and to me all that matters is her unending search for the truth! VI doesn't care about what is PC or whose toes she might step on that are way up the food chain, she is David and the world is Goliath and she will stop at nothing to just get the simple truth with out all the BS! This novel also explores deeper into her own family history which I feel is normally cut out of many detective novels. Learning about her family is very interesting to me and listening to her inner conflicts concerning this case made me put myself in her situation and wonder how I would feel.
If you are a true VI fan then this is another home run!
I'm upset at how much time Sara Paretzky spent on her political beliefs. In this book she reveals she is Pro Obama, Pro universal healthcare, Pro socialist government, and anti white and thats just the first 30 minutes. I've always been a big fan of V.I.. I even have the Kathleen Turner movie and thought she was a great choice for the part. But for this book i'll have to rethink my choices next time. I'll probably still buy the book because V.I. is a lively protagonist.
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