©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.
Addicted to Audible!
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's been a decade or more since I read, let alone listened to, a VI book. What a great enjoyment this was! Excellent narrator - differentiated the various characters & seemed to have a good empathy for the tone & feeling of VI & the "central cast" that surround her. A wonderful way to start off the new year!
The narration was particularly difficult to listen to while portraying black characters. This narrator is not equipped to portray black characters, her over emphasis comes off mocking & disrespectful.😕
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