Charmingly witty read. Written in the amusing voice of Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, this little mystery unfolds like an i...moreCharmingly witty read. Written in the amusing voice of Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, this little mystery unfolds like an intricate origami sea monster gone horribly wrong. But the story itself is hardly important. Listening to Lemony Snicket tell a tale--ANY tale--is a cotton candy treat of the the English language.(less)
The Book Thief is hauntingly, painfully beautiful, yet tragic and squeezes the heart until it throbs red. Absolutely beautiful prose throughout--despi...moreThe Book Thief is hauntingly, painfully beautiful, yet tragic and squeezes the heart until it throbs red. Absolutely beautiful prose throughout--despite the German expletives. The narrator's voice (Death) is stunning, unforgettable, darkly magical. Markus Zusak has written here some of the most creative and fantastic metaphors I have heard since Ray Bradbury.
The story of the people living and dying in Nazi Germany has been told in many ways over the years, and it's important that the world never forgets, that history does not swallow up the truths of that time. The tales we see usually see follow Jewish characters all the way to the concentration camps. But The Book Thief delivers an utterly unique picture of tiny moments in a young Germans girl's life as she survived for years with foster parents in a small town outside of Munich.
The images of Liesel's life(view spoiler)[ from thieving exploits with her best friend Rudy to hiding a Jew in the basement to surviving a bombing that kills everyone on her street but her (hide spoiler)] are at once sparkling dreams and shivering nightmares, all told using stark details that both shine as blinding sunlight and darken with suffocating pitch.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
SO FUN. That's all I can really say. :-) Okay, maybe I say a little more...
The Lightning Thief is a fantastic adventure story with little twists and t...moreSO FUN. That's all I can really say. :-) Okay, maybe I say a little more...
The Lightning Thief is a fantastic adventure story with little twists and turns (albeit predictable ones) that follow a whimsical, lighthearted glowing thread of alluring, magical tale-telling. The writing is not mind-blowing, but the storytelling is absolutely delightful.
The first person narrator's voice, Percy, is natural, witty (in a teenage boy kind of way), and quite entertaining. He's a fun character to follow, and I was endeared to him right away.
I highly recommend the audiobook of The Lightning Thief, which is read by Jesse Bernstein. His voices, intonations, and inflections make the story absolutely come alive.(less)
I've heard so much hoopla about how amazing Dekker is as a writer. Sadly, after Black, I found myself asking, "Um...what's the big deal?" Still, I giv...moreI've heard so much hoopla about how amazing Dekker is as a writer. Sadly, after Black, I found myself asking, "Um...what's the big deal?" Still, I give him props for imagining an interesting allegorical world and creatures that help colorfully illustrate (presumably) the Garden of Eden.
Most likely, the biggest problem with Black is that the "real" world competes entirely too much with the "dream" world and then the dream world just keeps on winning the fight. Also, Tom's erratic jolting between a blasé "I don't care" attitude to "the fate of the world depends on me!" are rather preposterous and eventually tiresome.
Still, Dekker leaves us with a doozy of a cliffhanger at the end of Black, so I feel compelled to at least give the next book, White, a chance via audiobook.(less)
By recommendation, I experienced The Night Circus as an audiobook read by Jim Dale. The prose is magical, and the descriptions can only be described a...moreBy recommendation, I experienced The Night Circus as an audiobook read by Jim Dale. The prose is magical, and the descriptions can only be described as decadent and delicious. The characters, paired with the wonderful voices Jim Dale gives them, come to life with accents and special ways of speaking their dialogue.
However, my 4-star rating reflects the audio book only. The story pacing itself is not one that would keep my attention in book form at all. I like action and suspense and even many of the magical and atmospheric elements, but The Night Circus is fraught with long conversations, introspection, and poetic asides--all jumbled in a broken timeline that folds back in on itself. All those things can be fun when performed by a talented reader, but they are not the kind of things that would keep me turning pages. This would have been an abandoned book for me if not taken in an audio form.
As an audiobook, it is delightfully whimsical yet dark--a lovely combination. Jim Dale does an amazing job telling the story verbally.(less)