Two years after the events of Case Histories, which left him a retired millionaire with an occasional girlfriend in Julia, a former client, Jackson has followed her to Edinburgh for its famous summer festival. The incident of road rage he happens to witness sets in motion a chain of events that will pull a wealthy almost-widow, a timid crime novelist, and a female police detective into Jackson's orbit.
©2006 Kate Atkinson. All Rights Reserved; (P)2006 Hachette Audio. All Rights Reserved
"Atkinson hits the jackpot again, putting her skill with complex plots to excellent use, in a literary mystery infused with her characteristic quirk and verve." (Atlantic Monthly)
"[With] crackling one-liners, spot-on set pieces, and full-blooded cameos...this [is yet] another absorbing character study from the versatile, effervescent Atkinson." (Publishers Weekly)
"In One Good Turn...the deft and tricky British author Kate Atkinson shows again, in her inimitable bleakly funny way, how much easier it is to explain a death than to solve a life." (The New York Times Book Review)
I had picked up "Case Histories" last week and was absolutely mesmerized by not just the characters and mystery, but by her fluid writing and timeshifting narrative. While it was interesting to catch up with the characters from that story, this didn't nearly have the character development or cohesive storyline of the first novel, but that could be due to this only being available in the dreaded abridged format. The narrator is not nearly good as Susan Jameson, but he does a decent job (even if his default accent sounds like someone british trying to do a vaguely American accent, even though there are no American characters in the book.
I did not notice that this was abridged when I downloaded it. Having just finished listening to Atkinson's wonderfully vibrant Case Histories, I couldn't believe how dull the characters in this book were and how flat the story. Then I noticed the word "abridged." I checked out the full length book on CD from my local library, downloaded it and listened. You want to know how they cut an almost 11 hour story down to 5? They take out all character development. You know, the stuff that make you care about the characters? Their history, the things that allow you to become emotionally engaged...This is a great story and the narration, both the abridged and unabridged, are spot on.
I won't be fooled again. Avoid the abridged version like the plague.
Kate Atkinson is a wonderful writer and I've listened to all her other books. But this abridgement eliminates the richness of the writing, leaving behind only a fast-forward series of plot elements. Not worth the money.
Kate Atkinson never lets you down. Such clever writing, sometimes sad and tender and other times gets your heart pounding. The BBC television series that went with Case Histories is awesome too.
Listening during my commute, I found the story absorbing and the narration good. My only criticism is of the use of music between one section and the next. Neither the deft storytelling nor the effective narration needed the music, which I found mildly annoying.
I have listened to all of her other books (which I really liked) and this one was a disappointment. Story not as good and didn't really care for the narration. And hated the awful music tracks added to the beginning and ending of every chapter.
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