©2008 Tana French; (P)2008 Recorded Books
This may be the first review I've written on Audible (I'm a long-time listener, first-time caller). Both this book and its superb narration (by Heather O'Neill) were completely riveting. It may not impress devotees of crime fiction, since it does take liberties with the investigation at its center (at times rendering it a mere pretext for the psychodrama that is its real focus), but the creation of such densely wrought, moving, and frankly likable characters engrossed me as much as any more generically "pure" police procedural. Cassie Maddox is one of the most appealing protagonists I've come across in contemporary fiction. And the book is, simply put, astonishingly well-written. French seems to be in the business of world-making rather than crime fiction: she uses the Dublin murder department as the occasion for producing a richly imagined vision of contemporary Ireland, one as intricate and historically nuanced as that of her compatriot, the brilliant John Banville. (Ironically, Banville's own mystery writing--under the pseudonym Benjamin Black--cannot really touch French's for depth and wit.) Those looking for a whodunit will be rightfully disappointed by this book (as numerous reviewers have indicated); those looking for a gripping take on the psychology of deception and identity, and on the ethics of what people owe to one another, will be enthralled.
I read this authors first book and really enjoyed it. When I read the excerpt at the back for this title, I knew that I had to read or listen to it. This narrator was excellent. The scottish burr very authentic. Lexi/Cassie was a lovable and very interesting character. I really hope that there is another book about her soon.
This is a follow-up to In the Woods, which I also liked very much. In this book, as in that one Ireland is itself a character, and a very complex one at that. The mystery lies in the way French knots the characters together and then works at picking that knot apart. The solution is really a moment in which we see the characters for who they are behind carefully constructed personas.
Cassie is a wonderful narrator, with a rich and vivid voice, beautifully rendered by Ms. O'Neill.
Make no mistake, this is a literary mystery for those who thrive on setting and characterization.
This is a sequel to "In the Woods" I picked this first as I have trouble listening to male narrators do female voices. So far I have not found one who does not make all the female voices sound the same, and none in character.
However, I liked this one so much, I just ordered the other.
The narrator here is wonderful, and the complexities of all the characters unfolds beautifully.
Now that I have finished it, the characters as well as the authoress are still developing in my mind.
I enjoyed In The Woods and was pleased to learn Tana French had a new book out. Once again, I chose to listen to it. I wasn't disappointed. The voice is not Scottish, as another reviewer thought, but Irish, and the narrator absolutely nails every dialect she attempts. Wonderful reading of an exciting, well written story. For me, The Likeness called to mind The Secret History, as well as having relevance to French's last book, In The Woods. However, one needn't have read the first novel to enjoy this second one. A treat for readers of mystery, suspense and literary fiction alke.
The Likness is a great listen. I think it holds very true to life and does not end with every detail wrapped up in a pretty bow. The author leaves some things to your imagination. The narrator is absolutely the best a listener could hope for. I highly recommend this, especially if you have read In the Wood by Tana French. I am looking forward to the next release from this author. There are enough turns and twists to keep you guessing what is next, when you lay the book down.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
First off, let me say this is just about the best narration, ever! Heather O'Neill doesn't just read this book, she performs it brilliantly. Can't say enough about the importance of a superior narrator in enjoying an Audio version - and this one proves the rule.
As in her first book, Tana French has a fantastic story idea. Though the "everyone has a double somewhere" coincidence is on the improbable side, French's excellent writing skills deserve suspension of disbelief. The story unveils well, there's a lot of psychological complexity in the characters, and modern Ireland comes alive in "The Likeness."
I just wish this author had a little more of the editor in her, or that an editor insisted on a bit of tightening of the story. It's just too long for a really effective mystery. Although I actually found myself skipping through bits (and not missing anything plot-wise), I do recommend "The Likeness" as a very good listen, especially with this narrator.
I don't give out many five-star reviews. I just finished "The Likeness" and I really loved it. I think it far exceeds the story quality of "In the Woods," which I enjoyed very much. Part of it may be that I like Cassie Maddox (focus of 2nd book) better than Rob Ryan (focus of 1st book), but I think most of the credit goes to Tana's creation of Daniel. He is a very interesting and complex character, who I couldn't help liking a great deal. In the first novel, Rosalind was interesting, but I never liked her. So there ended up being a lot more conflict for the listener (me) in the 2nd book. I won't go into it any more as I don't want to spoil the ending. Suffice it to say, if you liked "In the Woods", you'll love "The Likeness". I rarely read an author straight through a series of three books as I usually like to mix it up with other authors in between. With Tana French, I can't wait to start her third book, "Faithful Place."
The Likeness is great, it kept me guessing and captured chapter after chapter just like "In the Woods". I hope Audible's customer service comes up with a way to warning me if Tana French comes up with another sequel. O'Neil is an great too. A must have.
I loved this book, the narrator, the plot, the writing, the characters. It was as good as the first one,In The Woods. I highly recommend it. The plot complexity, the imagery, the characters all combine to make a fascinating story that I had to finish. I wonder if Tana French will write another. I hope so.
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