Stephen King’s latest novel has been receiving some major accolades. The New York Times named it one of the top ten books of 2011, making it one of th...moreStephen King’s latest novel has been receiving some major accolades. The New York Times named it one of the top ten books of 2011, making it one of their top five fiction books. That kind of surprised me until I listened to the book. It really is that good.
Now, I’m not a huge Stephen King fan. I’ve only read about half a dozen books out of the gazillion that he’s written. I found the longer works that I’ve read to be kind of convoluted and in need of serious editing. I must admit that this one doesn’t seem to suffer from the confusing ramblings of “The Stand” or “Under the Dome”. I think the biggest reason the story holds together than those other giant novels is that King uses a first person perspective that keeps him from going off on tangents. Also, because most of the story takes place from 1958 through 1963, the pop culture references are historic rather than easily dated. Despite it’s length, it kept me engaged and I couldn’t stop listening.
The audio book narration is excellent. It’s not over-dramatized, yet it’s also not horrendously dry. The narrator individualizes each character without making them cartoonish. I highly recommend the audio version, especially since it doesn’t involve holding a five-pound hardback. (less)
Any book that has me reading when I really shouldn't be reading deserves five stars. I had a hard time getting anything done for two days because I ke...moreAny book that has me reading when I really shouldn't be reading deserves five stars. I had a hard time getting anything done for two days because I kept wanting to get back to this book. I really felt connected to Christine and was totally shocked by the ending. It was creepy on so many levels. I can't say much more without spoilers, so I'm just going to recommend that everyone read it.(less)
I’ve tried to read Jane Austen several times and just couldn’t get very far in to her work. Perhaps if I had started in my pre-teen years, around the...moreI’ve tried to read Jane Austen several times and just couldn’t get very far in to her work. Perhaps if I had started in my pre-teen years, around the time I first read Louisa May Alcott, I might have been a die-hard fan. However, my first attempt was in my twenties and I just didn’t like anything enough to make it all the way. I’ve felt quite negligent in this regard because Miss Austen is so popular now. She has many admirers and copiers. I so often hear books described as “Austenesque” but only had the vaguest sense of what that meant. Therefore, when I happened upon an audio download of Pride and Prejudice read by one of the finest female narrators with whom I am familiar, I purchased and downloaded a copy. Kate Reading’s delightful narration led me to understand the charm of Miss Austen.
While Austen did use so many of the now-familiar romance novel tropes, she did it in a way that still seems fresh despite two centuries. I found her style to be quite humorous. Upon the commencement of the story, I already knew where it was going to go. There are no such things as spoilers when it comes to a 200-year-old novel. What did surprise me was how little I knew of the story despite all I had heard. It was quite a charming romantic comedy and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. Perhaps it was meant to be read aloud.
Now that I understand Jane Austen, I will attempt at some time in the future to read another of her novels. I am so fortunate as to have several Barnes and Noble Classics’ editions on my Nook that I acquired at no cost due to a generous giveaway the had this summer past. However, it does behoove me to read some books that are more current first as I cannot write or talk like a 200-year-old woman for much longer. (less)
Hounded by Kevin Hearne turned out to be much better than I expected. There's so much urban fantasy out there these days and it often seems cookie cut...moreHounded by Kevin Hearne turned out to be much better than I expected. There's so much urban fantasy out there these days and it often seems cookie cutter. Honestly, there wasn't anything special about the protagonist, Atticus O'Sullivan. He's a 2000+ year old druid who is indistinguishable from many other urban fantasy protagonists. He's got the requisite werewolves, vampires and witches in his retinue. What makes the book special is his mind-talking dog, Oberon. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the stuff Oberon said. He loves movies and Genghis Khan. He want's a harem of French poodles and sausages are his favorite food. I loved the way the Luke Daniels voiced Oberon's character. He made such an enthusiastic doggie.
I probably should only give this book 3 stars, but I enjoyed the narration so much that I added an extra.(less)
Two credits. I had been anxiously awaiting the release of The Children of the Sky and totally planned on getting the audiobook because the ebook was t...moreTwo credits. I had been anxiously awaiting the release of The Children of the Sky and totally planned on getting the audiobook because the ebook was too expensive. Then, it turned out that the audiobook was two credits on Audible. I hesitated for about one day. Then, I saw that it was narrated by my favorite narrator, Oliver Wyman and I caved. Wyman is absolutely wonderful and giving each character a unique voice and I have yet to hear a male narrator who does a better job at voicing women and children. He was the perfect narrator for this book.
Okay, Vinge's story was really good too. It's a sequel to a book I read several years ago, but it was completely unnecessary to re-read the first book. He did a great job of jogging my memory of events in the previous book without relying on heavy exposition. The story's pacing was excellent. It was a long book, but it never dragged.
Definitely worth two credits, if you're on the Platinum plan.(less)
There is no way in heck anyone will convince me to continue with this series. It's boring beyond belief. The audiobook narrator is good, so I will loo...moreThere is no way in heck anyone will convince me to continue with this series. It's boring beyond belief. The audiobook narrator is good, so I will look for more of her work. However, I won't be reading any of David Weber's books anytime soon. The only reason I gave this two stars is that there were a few good scenes in it. It's too bad they were so short and so spread out.(less)
One of the great things about having a Nook is that there are frequent sales of incredible ebooks. I've never read anything by Alice Hoffman before, b...moreOne of the great things about having a Nook is that there are frequent sales of incredible ebooks. I've never read anything by Alice Hoffman before, but I couldn't resist the $1.99 or $2.99 that The Story Sisters cost. I had a hard time putting the book down. It's amazingly beautiful, incredibly sad and surprisingly joyous. It's about family, life, death and regrets. It's about growth and redemption. It doesn't have a plot any more than life has a plot.
Heck, there's no way I can do justice to this book. It's just very moving.(less)
I was intrigued from the minute I read the synopsis for The Night Strangers before it was even released, so I downloaded it from Audible as soon as it...moreI was intrigued from the minute I read the synopsis for The Night Strangers before it was even released, so I downloaded it from Audible as soon as it was available. I am happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be a basic haunted house story about a troubled family, but it turned out to be more like The Stepford Wives. Bethel, New Hampshire is not the kind of town I'd want to move to--ever. Bohjalian's prose is absolutely wonderful. I loved how he switched from 2nd person to 3rd person narrative depending on person whose perspective was being described. The 2nd person POV was especially powerful because it drove home Chip's growing insanity/haunting.
The narration was perfect. Using two narrators really emphasized the style in which the book was written. Alison Fraser was exceptional. Her parts included two little girls, their mother, and many middle-aged and old women. Each character sounded authentic and unique.