The author of Predator traces the story of George Russell, Jr., a bright, young, popular black man whose thirty-year psychological unraveling led to a shocking killing spree....
Summer, 1979: A dry, hot vacation stretches before Rachel and her younger sister, Patty - the daughters of a larger-than-life, detective father and the mother whose heart he broke....
Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet by taking portraits of schoolchildren....
When it was first published in 1998, At Home in the World set off a furor in the literary world and beyond....
The tales in I Will Find You will shock you like the best horror stories - divulging insights into the actions, motivations, and proclivities of nature's most dangerous species....
The best-selling author of Labor Day returns with a spellbinding novel about friendship, family secrets, and the strange twists of fate that shape our lives...
Iowa housewife Tracey Pittman Roberts seemed to have it all, but beneath the happy facade was a woman who used lies, manipulation, sex, blackmail, and even murder to serve her own selfish ends....
A personal look at a crime of passion describes an FBI agent's successful career, family life, and extramarital affair that ended in murder, and the guilt that drove him to confess....
Everyone thinks they know the story of Milly Dowler. Haunting headlines about the missing schoolgirl splashed across front pages. The family's worst fears realised when her body was found....
The Party tells the story of two married couples who, in a single evening, will come to question everything they thought they knew about each other....
In 2011, when she was in her late 50s, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. This is their story....
In 1985, two friends left their suburban Detroit homes for a hunting trip in rural Michigan. When they did not return, their families and police suspected foul play....
In 1967, during the time of peace, free love, and hitchhiking, 19-year-old Mary Terese Fleszar was last seen walking home to her apartment in Ypsilanti, Michigan....
Early on a May morning in 1988, Laurie Dann, a 30-year-old, profoundly unhappy product of the wealthy North Shore suburb of Chicago, loaded her father's car with a cache of handguns....
In the summer of 2003, the Houston suburb of Clear Lake, Texas, was devastated when four young residents were viciously slain. But when a killer came knocking....
An appetite for unspeakable violent acts led Randall Woodfield to cruise the I-5 highway through California to Washington, leaving a trail of victims along the way....
Detroit mortgage broker Mark Unger adored his wife Florence and their two young sons. But after a decade of marriage and increasing financial trouble, Mark's life began to slowly unravel....
The minute the school bus carrying Nate Chance and his little sister, Junie, pulls up in front of his family's farmhouse, Nate can tell something's terribly wrong....
On Mother's Day night, 2004, award-winning fourth grade teacher Nancy Seaman left the Tudor home she shared with her husband of 32 years in the gated community of Farmington Hills, near Detroit, Michigan, and drove in a driving rain storm to Home Depot, to purchase a hatchet. Three days later, police discovered the mutilated body of Bob Seaman - a successful auto industry engineer, softball coach and passionate collector of vintage Mustangs - in the back of the family's Ford Explorer. As the shackles were placed on her wrists, Nancy Seaman asserted that her husband had been beating her, and she'd killed him in self-defense. At her trial, two radically different stories emerged.
One of the couple's sons, Greg, testified that his father had been abusing his mother for years. The other, Jeff, testified for the prosecution, charging his mother as a cold blooded killer. Joyce Maynard's chilling work delves beyond the events of the crime itself, to explore the lives of an American family who seemed to have everything. Her exploration of the story led to a year's research in suburban Detroit - but the story she found there will take the reader to the Depression-era farm country of Illinois, the working class neighborhoods of the auto industry in its heyday and even, surprisingly, to a Baptist church in burned-out downtown Detroit.
Along the way we meet a Transylvanian forensic pathologist, a beautiful young prosecutor, an old-school police chief, a television news crew hungry for ratings, the softball scorekeeper mom accused of carrying on an affair with the murdered man, and her two shell shocked teenagers, still reeling from the death of their beloved coach, and a mother who has to tell her daughter why her favorite teacher won't be in school any more. As in Joyce Maynard's previous books - including To Die For, based on a true crime, and her best-selling memoir, At Home in the World - Joyce Maynard's themes here involve family secrets, ...
A married school teacher drives to Home Depot on a rainy night and buys the hatchet she will soon use to kill her husband.
Interesting story, right?
No. It's actually really dull. I began listening to the audiobook because I wanted an answer to the question, "How do couples get to hatchet murder?". (I'm still not sure.)
I kept listening to the audiobook to answer the question, "How and why did Joyce Maynard write such a lousy book." That, for me, became a much more interesting mystery.
Here's what I think: Maynard knew fairly early on that she had no angle on the story and no affinity with the people involved, but she had bills to pay and was reluctant (as anyone would be) to eat all the time she'd spent researching with no payday. So she did what writers do - she put words on pages. What to include? Everything.Want to know what game the five year old daughter of the woman who now lives in the house where the murder was committed was playing when Maynard finally got the owners to agree to let her see the place? It's in there! Along with an account of every unreturned phone call and every interview request refused.
And there are lots and lots of those. Virtually no one with anything to say about the murder wants to say it to Joyce Maynard.
Desperate to convince people to open up, Maynard keeps sending the dittohead sportsfans she's trying to win over copies of her books. She wants them to believe (and to believe herself) that she will elevate their story with the power of her prose.
"Get away from my Escapade," say the sportsfans. They suspect she might be an elitist, feminist, liberal*.
And they're totally right.
If Maynard can't see or comprehend that the car enthusiast, sportsfans she's writing about DON'T READ, there is no way in hell she could ever tell this story. I mean, she can forgive the hatchet murder thing, but "Faulkner who?" blinds her to their humanity.
In other words, there is a class and culture disconnect in this book you can't believe. Maynard can make no judgment about anyone, or come down on any side, because she's judged everyone. She just can't admit it. She sounds like an earnest teen coming back from the retirement home saying, " Awwwww. Those old people were so sweet." She might as well be writing about Ewoks for all the depth and variation she's given them.
But that's just me getting something off my chest.
For the book, I thought it was dull-- all detail, no organizing prinicple or insight. Not captivating for either the characters or the deed. Go nowhere long.
For the narration - Appropriately midwestern. Good, workman-like job that doesn't call attention to itself. I've no idea why anyone would have a problem with it.
*Not that there's anything wrong with being an elitist, liberal, feminist- I do it all the time :-)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
The first half was interesting, but the second half sounded like "blah-blah-blah" almost all the way though.
Sounded like she had to stretch out the book to make it longer by talking about her frustration, and the trials and tribulations of getting anyone to talk to her.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This book was a real disappointment. The cause is clear: Maynard couldn't scrape enough information together to write a real book about the Seaman murder through her reporting, so she pads the book shamelessly by injecting herself into the story. The book becomes a tale about how no one will talk to poor old Joyce, who plods from rejection to rejection while relentlessly comparing her crazy behavior during her own divorce to the murderous impulses of Nancy Seaman.
A less egotistical author would have pulled the plug on the endeavor once realizing she didn't have enough information to fill a book, or at least switch gears and use her work to write a long article for some magazine. Sometimes things just don't work out. Maynard instead chose to waste our time in the mistaken belief that a description of her reporting process and own emotional state is what people really want to read about, or have any interest in.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Interesting subject matter, but poorly written and horribly read. Too much self injection on the part of the author. The reader sounded as though she was speed reading the material to herself for the first time . . . rushed and lacking proper intonation. Big disappointment!<br/>
This book deserves a better narrator!
Janey Ivey sounds like she is reading from one of those horizontally scrolling banners one sees at the bottom of television news shows, complete with hesitations, mispronounciations and misplaced emphasis as she waits for the next syllable to appear before her. Add to that her attempts to 'brighten' her narration with forced enthusiasm as she describes towns, celebrations and such...it sounds like she is reading a children's book rather than the story of a murder.
The story itself was interesting, but it was too much to bear listening to it poorly read as I was trying to concentrate on my long highway drive. As it was written this was a somber account, but this version didn't flow well and I couldn't settle into the story. It was simply too hard to mentally edit what I was hearing so that it made sense and drive at the same time. I think I will download the printed version and 're-read' it.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
ok. the story was ok but too much time spent on talking about how the author could not get in touch with this person or that. or mentioning the fact the convicted person, nancy, did not answer calls at least five times. <br/><br/>just tell the story of the murder and the family relationships. all the other stuff is white noise.
What other book might you compare Internal Combustion to and why?
i don't know. i never read a book where the author spent so much time talking about the research. meeting this person or that instead of talking about WHAT the result of the conversation was only. i found this to be boring.
What three words best describe Janey Ivey’s voice?
way too fast.
Do you think Internal Combustion needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
i would like to read a book where the story was told about the story of the family only, not how the author was catching planes or going here or there. it ois not supposed to be about the author.
Any additional comments?
this could have been an interesting story. or at least more interesting with out the unnecessary details about research. ann rule never does books were she talks so much about her actual part in writing the story. if the author left her unnecessary remarks aboiut meeting this or that person for coffee it would have been a great book.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
In the end the book became tedious. I made it to the end, but don't think I really enjoyed this book, although the beginning was more interesting.
If you’ve listened to books by Joyce Maynard before, how does this one compare?
I read almost every book of Joyce Maynard, but this was my first audiobook, though I have downloaded all of them. They are still waiting to be listened to.
How could the performance have been better?
The narrator sometimes had a voice like fingernails being scraped down a blackboard. Also she sometimes forgot to breathe in between sentences.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
I was a bit disappointed by the story. I prefer her books: After her, The good daughters, To die for and Labor Day
Any additional comments?
My favourite audiobook The lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan was not surpassed.