Small southern towns are not always sleepy—particularly in Larkspur, Mississippi, where homes burst into flames and lives crumble. It is the suspicious death of a young woman that costs premiere plastic surgeon Dan Foxworth his surgical dynasty, his life, and that of his wife. Devastated by the loss of both parents and unable to meet a bitter grandfather's expectations, Sher Foxworth tries to save an elderly woman from her burning home. Suddenly the accidental hero, his life is turned upside down by disturbing twists of fate. To dig his way out, Sher makes a deal to wear a fireman’s hat and remains the hero. But it is the philandering, wealthy trial lawyer Cordell Pixler who collects the enemies. Many in the boiling southern town seek revenge against Pixler—some because of sex and some because of money—and it’s a race to see who nails him first. Points of Origin was awarded nationally in Southern Fiction by the Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards and is the second novel by Darden North. The audio book is narrated by Fred Wolinsky.
©2006 Darden North (P)2014 Darden North
“Points of Origin... heart-stopping, spellbinding ending ... haunted me for days after closing the cover.”-(Reader Views)
“I devoured (it) ... uncanny character development along classic southern lines.”-Kathy Spurlock, Executive Editor, (The Monroe, LA News-Star)
“North reminds readers that things are not always as they appear.”-(The Clarion-Ledger)
Yes the intricate story the author weaves is filled with subtle twists and turns that a second listening would undoubtedly uncover more details.
There were several scenes with Sher and his Grandad that were particularly moving, but the story of his parents leading to their stayed with me.
Although the southern accent was a little heavy in my opinion Fred did a great job of putting just the right amount of emotion and depth into each character.
I think this book would best be consumed in a single sitting. A car ride or other situation where you can listen without distraction.
Without giving anything way this is a storing of the collision of several lives. The author spends the first few chapters setting in motion the events that propel the rest of the book. I wasn't sure where he was going at first but once the story took shape it was hard to stop listening.
This book is hard to categorize, but it definitely kept my interest throughout. It is not really a mystery, though a lot of mysteries unfold. It is not really a romance, though several romances are central to it. It is not really a thriller, though it is full of excitement and twists and turns. It is the story of numerous lives in a small Southern town, that interconnect through various twists of fate, with each ripple in one person's life creating a tidal wave in another person's life. Before you realize it, you get drawn into the lives of these people, and become a fascinated voyeur.
The narrator moved the story along with perfect pacing and emotion, and created a unique voice and personality for each of the characters. It really brought the book to life! The audiobook version is definitely worthwhile, as the total is greater than the parts.
This book was marked as a thriller/mystery. To me, it was not a thriller at all. There were a few mysteries throughout the book, but more like a southern fiction novel. This is a story of numerous lives in one southern town, how they all collide and how little things that one person or multiple people do ripples throughout many other lives. It is an interesting book, but don't expect a thriller.
Fred does an excellent job of narrating the story. I have listened to him before, but this is the first time I've heard him do a southern accent. It was a little strong to begin with, but smoothed out pretty quickly and was quite enjoyable to listen to!
Hot southern revenge
Any Greg Iles novel
The narrator's diction and cadence are easy to follow, although the southern accent he assumes is more typical of a South Carolinian than a character from Mississippi, the setting of the novel. The book has many characters, both male and female, a challenge for any narrator but the writing assists the reader in following the dialogue.
For me there were many powerful moments in this novel. Two that come to mind are when the plastic surgeon realizes his mistake with the young girl and knows he is powerless to reverse it and when Sher Foxworth visits his grandfather, finding him talking to squirrels that his grandfather calls by name.
The ending caught me of guard but did not leave me hanging. I hope there will be another Sheridan Foxworth novel and look forward to more work by North and Wolinsky.
interesting quirky characters
At first, I didn't particulary like Mr. Wolinsky's southern accent, true it was southern sounding just not Mississippi southern sounding, was able to get used to it before book ended
When Cher raced to save Mrs. Artchesell and Dickens, a turning point in his life
I travel a lot and listening to Points of Origin on Audible was great! Very convenient!
Active lifestyle so audiobooks fit in with nearly everything I'm doing.
Yes, definitely. The mid-section and the narration were really the better parts of the story. My least favorite part was the beginning to about 5 hours in, and the ending. At about 5-6 hours into the story I finally decided it was starting to get interesting and had a much better flow. From here and up to the time of Simmons getting caught in the shed by the female officer after the fire started, I was anticipating a rather exceptional finish, but then the author just "fell asleep at the wheel."
With all the tediously detailed events in the beginning that had me wondering whether or not to continue, and the interesting mid to near finish of the story that kept me listening and waiting for the big finale, to dump the ending in that way was rather sad. It was as if he got tired of writing and just wanted to get it over with.
Without a doubt...the ending, which was surprising but a dismal failure the way it was written.
Although the variety of voices was not top-notch, it was decent; Mr. W's thick southern accent was a great addition to the story but makes for harder voice range distinction. I think narration of stories (at least most of them) provides a better pace as well as a more emotional tie to a book.
I actually think a movie would be better....they wouldn't have all the superfluous details and could fix the ending.
There were several very good parts to the story actually....the fire and dog rescue, Sher's remembrance of his parent's and grandmother's death, the meeting of Sher's grandfather and new girlfriend at the party. Even the description of the M's fire was pretty good.I think the author had a story with great potential but he and the publisher just dropped the ball.
Mystery author and forensic handwriting examiner
Points of Origin is not just one story, but reminiscent of the movie, Love Actually—a complex group of stories that eventually weave an intricate web that takes some concentration to unravel. The book was not what I expected, but once I understood that it was more a mainstream literary tale of a tragic Southern family and their ultimate triumph than a mystery, I was willing to go with the flow and see where it led. As each character’s contribution to the story unfolded, my curiosity heightened about the part they played and I became more and more drawn in. Darden North is a terrific writer who took large amounts of narrative and multiple points of view and made them work.
As someone recently transplanted to the south, I enjoyed the novel's "extreme" southerness. At the same time, it was overbearing and the author's voice exaggerated. I enjoyed the first-person narration; the narrrator's voice had nice clarity and rhythm.
Sure! The story was entertaining, engaging, and surprised me a few tirmes.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
This is most likely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”. This book is just not my “cuppa tea”. While I enjoy a good murder mystery/thriller/suspense this one just bugged the ever loving crap out of me. I was ready to DNF after the first hour, if it was not a review book I probably would have. I think what made it more difficult for me is the narrator; the “southern drawl” he tries to give the characters, Sher in particular, just seems so unreal that it made it difficult to listen to. And it took forever to get to the point; I kept going back to the blurb wondering if there was a mistake. The amount of detail and background before getting to the actual point was frustrating, extremely repetitive and honestly most of it was boring. I found Sher’s flashbacks and then jumping back to the present times very disjointed and in some cases incredibly confusing, and I found Sher to be a very bland character with the exception of trying to save the person from the fire…..there was nothing very memorable about him in the first 6 hours of the audio.
I think the biggest problem is that out of 12 hours of audio the first 6 hours of building the eventual connection between characters that bring us to the point of the story, the one you think you are getting when you read the blurb. After the first 6+ hours the story does pick up and is a bit more interesting but then comes the ending which while a bit surprising seemed rushed and could have been wrapped up better.
Fred Wolinsky did an okay job with the narration, I did not enjoy the southern accent at all and felt it detracted from the story, but would be willing to try something else by him.
If you like your story to meander, with side stories and the minutest detail you will most likely love this story, and there are several positive reviews, but as I said in the beginning this was just not my cuppa tea.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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It needed some editing as there was plenty of repetition. Also, there were some minor discrepancies that made these pot holes in the plot line.
The fire fighter stuff was really glossed over. And half the book was set up for the arson mystery. That's a long time to wait for the main mystery to appear.
He did a good job with the male characters. But with the female characters, nearly all of them sounded like little kids and it was difficult to differentiate between them.
Yes. I really liked the relationship between Sher and his grandfather. Those scenes were the best in the book and a few were even poignant.
Sher (short for Sherwood or Sherman, I forget) Foxworth grows up in the deep South in Larkspur, Mississippi. His grandfather has money, like mansion-size money, and his father was a successful plastic surgeon for a number of years. The first half of the book meanders through Sher’s early years and his family, his constant lack of attention in school, and his relationship with his grandfather. We know that Sher’s parents are out of the picture, but it’s not until much later in the story that we find out why.
I know I might be in the minority with this book, since it won an award or two, but I felt that it needed some work in several areas. First, it is very repetitive in some areas and this made the book longer than it needed to be (and potentially boring). As an example of the repetitiveness, I will point to a scene where Sher and his girlfriend get pulled over for supposed reckless driving. It takes ~20 minutes to get through this scene where Sher goes over again and again, verbally with the cop and in his own head, all the reasons he shouldn’t be ticketed. There are several scenes where this happens.
About half of the book is set up for all the good stuff you read in about in the book description posted on Goodreads, etc. If you read that blurb, then you know that eventually Sher joins a fire department. But this doesn’t even happen until 3/4 of the way through the novel. So the arson mystery is lightly touched on here and there but not really investigated until near the end of the book.
There were some discrepancies, places where a characters words or actions contradicted what they had said or did prior. I don’t know if this was something missed during the final drafts or left in and the explanation for the discrepancies were not made clear. For example, one of Dr. Foxworth’s plastic surgery patients came in for some fat removal and boob job. He also decides to give her a butt lift. As such, he has to draw the correct incision marks on her rump before she goes in to surgery. She is awake, aware, and not drugged when he does this. There was a whole discussion among all the characters involved. Later on, after surgery, the patient claims she didn’t know she was getting a butt lift. So, discrepancy? Or did the author plan to add in a bit about how the sedatives gave her a little memory loss but then forgot to do so?
Since the fire department stuff and arson mystery are part of the book’s description, I feel I can talk about them (even though some might feel they are spoilers since that all happens near the end of the book). Sher does a stupid thing at one point, running into a burning building without having called 911 or alerted a neighbor, etc. He has no equipment and no training at this point. Afterwards, Sher is regarded as a hero and invited to join a fire department. He eventually does so and goes off to firefigther academy, which takes up like 3 sentences. Sigh…..This could have been one of the most interesting parts of the book and instead is 3 sentences. Also, his fellow firefighters don’t beat the habit of running into burning buildings without backup out of him, which is what would happen in real life. Instead, he is praised by the fire department. So, I found that whole part (a crucial part to the plot) unbelievable.
OK, I just gave you 4 paragraphs of stuff I didn’t like. I can tell you I did like Sher’s complicated relationship with his grandfather. His life started off privileged and happy, with parents and a grandfather. But when his father’s surgery practice takes a decline, they have to live in the poolhouse at the grandfather’s estate. Depression and failure affects all, even the privileged. Still, I didn’t feel too bad for the Foxworth’s at that point. Later, when Sher’s parents are no longer in the scene, his bond with his grandfather grows, even as he struggles with college. I found these scenes concerning Sher’s family to be some of the best written in the book.
The ending was a surprise, but it also felt rushed. It came so quickly that I actually relistened to a few minutes of it to see if I had missed something. While the twist was welcome, making sense as it did, and giving me a bit of a surprise, I felt there could have been a little more to the wrap up to explain things.
The Narration: Wolinsky’s narration of males in this tale were good, each one being distinct. He carried out a believable Southern accent for the characters that required one. However, nearly all of his female characters sounded like little kids, and many of them were not discernible from each other. I have listened to other books narrated by Wolinsky and they are well narrated. Perhaps this was a book he narrated earlier in his career.
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