This is Classic Crusie and it has been so long since we've had a single author book from her it was like drinking a cool glass of water ( or was it AmThis is Classic Crusie and it has been so long since we've had a single author book from her it was like drinking a cool glass of water ( or was it Amaretto, Andie perfers). I can't really tell you how many times I laughed out loud! This book is Funny.
The whole time I was reading this book, I couldn't help but feel the story was familiar. We had the creepy Gothic home, the weird Housekeeper, and the out of place nanny. The text mentioned Jane Eyre, but that wasn't it.
I was enjoying all the colorful characters too much for it to bother me. After all, I was happy to be back with all the Crusie hallmarks. I think the only one missing was the dog, and who needs a dog when you've got ghosts! Andie and North had already been married to each other TEN Years before, but it crumbled after only a year. And when Andie goes visits him in order to return 10 years worth of uncashed alimony checks( it is obvious these two aren't done), she somehow agrees to become a nanny to North's inherented nice and nephew. Hijinks ensues.
When North's brother Sullivan aka Southie enters the picture with a nosy reporter things get outrageous. She brings a medium and a skeptic. The the Ex-Mother in-laws show up to protect there interests and, their backstory is one I wouldn't mind seeing. As if two troubled children, a wacko housekeeper, three ghosts, weren't already enough the final guests arrive -- Andie's fiancé and North himself.
It is a volcano ready to blow and you will laugh and maybe even cry as this screw ball comedy works itself out. North, hasn't a clue about ghost, but Andie's in trouble so he's going to fix it. There is also a guest appearance from Gabe McKenna that makes you want to go back and read Fast Women (also excellent, it you haven't read it).
I really hope we don't have to wait 6 years for another one and I hope we will get to see Southie's story one day too.
The North and Southie and Lydia dynamic reminded me of Sabrina, but that didn't fit with the Gothic setting. Since the stories echoes where still nagging at me, I visited Jennifer Crusie's website and could have thumped myself. There on her home page where the words Turn of the Screw, well duh. This wasn't a mash-up like all the zombie/vampire + classic literature books that are out now. This was a modern retelling like Dean's Tam Lin, but with more out and out comedy.
The Many Deaths of the Firefly by Thomas Mullen is an amazing book. It is one of those rare titles where everything works. Starting with the outside,The Many Deaths of the Firefly by Thomas Mullen is an amazing book. It is one of those rare titles where everything works. Starting with the outside, it has a deep red jacket with a fedora clad silhouette walking towards the reader its trench coat flapping slightly. It has an intriguing title that makes you want to pick it up, and it is a hefty in size. The book is about a pair of Dillinger-esque bank robbers called the Firefly Brothers. As you read Mullen’s beautiful prose you settle into a non-chronological account of two men caught up in there own story. For this book is very much about story – the stories in the newspapers, the stories they tell each other (and the ones they don’t), the history and mythology of the era, and even the stories they can’t remember.
“…people need to tell there stories to place themselves somewhere solid in this great swirl…” – Mullen
Jason is the dapper one, as charmed as he is charming. He didn’t want any part of his father’s store and the two strong men butted heads. So, Jason took off to become a driver for a bootlegging operation. Sure it was illegal, but wasn’t Prohibition the real crime, seemed to be the thought process, besides he like the fast cars and the good clothes. Two jail stints and his father’s death, which haunts the book, escalated him bootlegger to bank robber. He honestly hadn’t wanted to get his brothers involved in what he did, but eventually he saw no choice, especially when it came to Wit.
Wit, the youngest Fireson, is rougher around the edges then his brother and not nearly so vain. He is on the path of anger fueled self destruction and Jason figures if he takes him along then at least he can attempt damage control. Together they have adventures galore and the next big score is always right around the corner. Jason tries not to think of the killing as his fault –self defense or an over zealous conspirator. He tries to reject the newspapers myth making and see himself as level headed.
But, little of this do you find out right away. See, Jason and his brother Wit are introduced to us waking up on cold metal slabs in a police morgue. They’d been killed and have the bullet holes to prove it. They know who they are, but not how they got there. The book bounces around in time telling you stories from various points of view. Some are from past, many are from the present and the all stitch themselves together nicely. Conjuring as if by magic, what it meant to live in that era, why people mythologies some criminals, and how these men found themselves in that life, even if they are not sure why they are alive.
“She wanted to breathe the brothers back into life with their stories.” — Mullen
Books like this one enthrall me. I listened to this one audio (purchased from Audible.com) even though I love the physical book. The audio production is superb. It is read by William Dufris whose voice I remembered from listening to a Richard K. Morgan novel a while back. He really breathes life into all the characters. The author talks about the phoneme of someone speech or there geographically dialect and Dufris keeps pace with it all. In the end The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers is a wonderful historical fiction that I’m sure my co-workers will get tired of me raving about. It is the kind of wonderful that makes me afraid that any clumsiness in my review will turn somebody off to it, yet I can’t just leave it at, “A Must Read!” ...more
a MUST read. I giggled all the way through this madcap comedy! It was priceless. I loved it and can hardly describe why, except for maybe the breathlea MUST read. I giggled all the way through this madcap comedy! It was priceless. I loved it and can hardly describe why, except for maybe the breathless pace that kept me rolling. ...more
This is an elegant collection of essays. Hurd will make you want to go out and play in the swamps, investigate the bogs, and find some way to expressThis is an elegant collection of essays. Hurd will make you want to go out and play in the swamps, investigate the bogs, and find some way to express it as eloquently as she does. This was a book with dreamy sentences and evocative words that bear rereading and investigation. ...more
At first I was a little leery about the reader on this audio book, but I eventually settled into it. I loved the way the book was written. I enjoyed tAt first I was a little leery about the reader on this audio book, but I eventually settled into it. I loved the way the book was written. I enjoyed the language as much the story. The word choice, world building, and quotable passages where awesome. I like that there was a creep factor in this -- the slow unraveling a woman's life. I like that the way it ends not just the climax of the action, but the personal resolve. This sort of hell-in-hand-basket, but choosing to make do feeling that suffuses the ending. I love all the colorful secondary characters. I've owned this book for years. I listened to friends tell me how good it was. I trust McKinley to tell a good story, but I just put it off. I am glad to have finally listened to it, and I may go back and read it just for the passages I want to copy out in my commonplace book. ...more
I don't think I'd have ever picked this book up except for the intriguing review that Books on the Nightstand gave it. They made it sound a bit like tI don't think I'd have ever picked this book up except for the intriguing review that Books on the Nightstand gave it. They made it sound a bit like that movie Don Juan Demarco with Johnny Depp and Charlton Heston. I decided I'd give it a try. I am very glad that I did. This is a wonderful story, part adventure, part romance, part tragedy. I didn't quite know what was going on, but I didn't mind being lead down the path the author had sketched out. This was a good story and beautifully written. I really recommend it. For me in was new and different. A fresh and beautifully story to clear the mind after too many mediocre books of late. ...more
Beautiful. Heart breakingly so at times. If you read one book of Tanka, this should be it. It doesn't give you the variety that excellent collection lBeautiful. Heart breakingly so at times. If you read one book of Tanka, this should be it. It doesn't give you the variety that excellent collection like Modern Japanese Tanka does, but it will move you. ...more