On a dark night 30 years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound.
At the end of a long day, 16-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency.
These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author who Harlan Coben calls "an absolute must-read".
©2008 Kate Atkinson; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
Kate Atkinson is a gifted and completely original writer, and her work lends itself particularly well to being read aloud.
The beginning of this novel is both shocking and heartbreaking, and it's hard to imagine where the story will go from there. But don't let that deter you from continuing to listen. The story quickly moves into several complex, intertwining layers, all featuring characters who are instantly memorable and worth getting to know. Reggie, the teenage girl who is more or less at the center of the various plots, is smart, unexpectedly funny, endearing, and completely captivating, and the other characters (including ex-detective Jackson Brodie, who appears in other books by this author) are just as distinctive.
Ellen Archer is an effortlessly talented narrator, and I would not have enjoyed the book as much without her. She makes a valiant attempt to capture the various Scots, Irish, and regional English accents used in the book, and though she doesn't always succeed, her attempts add to the book's appeal. She is particularly good at conveying the attitude and spirit of Reggie, who might not be quite as vivid a character without the narrator's voice.
I've ignored people's recommendations of Kate Atkinson's work in the past, but now that I know what I was missing, I plan to read and/or listen to all of her other books.
If you've read (or listened to) Case Histories and One Good Turn, then When Will There Be Good News? is just what you'd expect from Kate Atkinson. If this is your first experience with this author, be prepared. Her characters and their predicaments will draw you in to the point where you'll find yourself sitting in the driveway or tuning out your family to find out what happens next. Jackson Brodie is back along with the string of misfortunes that have been plaguing him since Case Histories. In addition, we get better acquainted with DCI Louise Monroe and meet the ineffably persistent Reggie Chase. The mysteries in this book are compelling and, as always with Kate Atkinson, twisted together in ways that do not all become apparent until the very end of the book. When Will There Be Good News?, along with Atkinson's other Jackson Brodie books, are mystery thrillers for people who don't like mystery thrillers. The characters are as intricately developed as the plot line. The dialogue is natural, never forced. The endings are like good chocolate--satisfying, but leaving you wanting just a little more. The reader does a creditable job of managing a variety of British accents and both male and female voices.
Steven King listed this on his "Best Books of 2008" list and I borrow my title from his review. Reggie, the teenage heroine, is my favorite character, but all characters are wonderfully portrayed. There is a wonderful dog in the story and happily, the dog does not die! It is amazing how it all comes together in the end and quite satisfying. I had no problem with the narrator and thought she did an excellent job. I will be listening to her other books.Highly recommended.
The book is very enjoyable, but the poor narrator....
She has a lovely voice, and speaks beautifully, with pretty good intonation, but there are lots of accents in this book, often scots, and they wobble between scots/irish/australian/south-african and that within the same sentence and there is no consitency from person to person. It is a pity, because it is annoying and it does make it hard to follow which character is speaking.
I would like to hear her narrate something without the accents.
I've loved all of her books, but I've never fallen in love with her characters like I did in this one, especially Reggie. The ending was especially satisfying. As to the narrator's accent, I can appreciate those who are natives of the British Isles finding her accents irritating (I'm from New Orleans and readers who commit brutalities against those accents are maddening.) Non-Brits will surely enjoy Archer's narration, as I definitely did.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I love Kate Atkinson's complex characters and the twisty plots she creates. This was the first time I listened to one of her books and was too distracted by the narration to appreciate the quality of her writing. It's truly cringe-worthy narration. What a pity.
I started it once, couldn't get the gist of it or pick up on the the momentum so I said Id start again, give it one more try and stick with it. It was so well worth it.
You become so interested in the complexity of all the characters and how they intertwine, especially toward the end. fascinating..to me anyway,
I had NO objections at all to the reader. She really helped place me in the land of the characters. I'm not all that critical about the accents & dialects. I loved her voice and the way she read the story.
Now Im going to seek out more by this author.
I am British and I find the reading of this great book very irritating. The narrator is clearly American as her British accent keeps slipping, and her attempts at regional accents are terrible - the Scottish being particularly cringe worthy. She has a lovely voice and makes a brave attempt but on the whole Americans find British accents difficult so why not use a British narrator? I found myself waiting for all the slip-ups ('noospaper') rather than following the story.
This is a wonderful story that has been destroyed by the Reader. Anne Archer is a competant reader who is unable to give a realistic Scottish or Irish accent. Shame the story is set in Scotland with Irish and Scottish characters. Her attempts would be amusing if they were not so irritating.
The story itself is Kate Atkinson at her best. Complex themes are interwoven around interesting, believable characters in an enthralling plot.
Well worth the read, but it may be better to buy the book rather than plough through Miss Archer's narrative.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
. . . and a plethora of middling characters that come and go chapter by chapter, then you might enjoy this story. It features no good news. Death, despair, murder, arson, train wrecks, theft, drugs and more, in no particular order and with no particular effort to create mystery, tension or suspense. It was hard to stay with this meandering story because it took eons for the author to chain together the webs that made the characters meaningful to each other. That said, while I didn't particularly like the story, the narrator was excellent, using a wonderful Scottish brogue to define each character.
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