"Not at all what I expected!"
The book turned out to be very different from what I was expecting: changing from a detective-type story into quasi-religious tale of the supernatural. The first half of the book is very gripping and kept me eager to continue, but I felt latterly it went off too much into contemplating what happens after death and relying on the supernatural. The reader is excellent and his voice suited the main character well.
A word of advice if you've just giving up smoking or trying to do so this book will be torture for you as it is a long advert for a particular brand of American cigarettes beginning with 'M' with so many references to needing a cigarette and the pleasure and relief of smoking that thoughts of 'product placement' kept coming into my mind.
"A pleasant meander in Venice"
I enjoy these Brunetti books not because they are intense thrillers or clever investigations but for the characters who populate the pages as they seem like old friends whose foibles and day-to-day lives make pleasant listening. There is a crime to be detected in this book but it is incidental to the pleasure of hearing about Brunetti's famiiy, his colleagues, the lovely food he eats and the atmosphere of Venice that pervades these books. David Rintoul is a great narrator.
"Intriguing story of "what ifs""
Kate Atkinson is such an imaginative writer and has again produced an intriguing, multi-layered story that explores different scenarios for the characters that pivot on a single event or choice in their lives that leads to quite different outcomes. There's an undercurrent of mysticism over the possibility of re-incarnation and the notion that time is fluid such that the past and future can intrude into the present.
The narrative switches back and forth in time from 1910 to 1967. You might think that this would be confusing in an audio book, but this is not the case: The time periods are clearly sign-posted and the characters seem so familiar that one remembers what happened to them in the other scenarios. The book is rich in period detail, particularly those during the Second World War. I was sorry when the book finished as I had felt so absorbed by the characters lives and made to think about how ones life can change direction in an instant.
The narrator is very good.
A new author for me and I'll be searching out her other books based on this gripping story that seemed to be unfolding before my eyes owing to the superb narrator. I had to check that there weren't several narrators as the voices were so realistic ranging across age, gender and local accent. A brilliant listen.
"An unusal book for the author"
I've enjoyed many of Fay Weldon's books and find Long Live the KIng very different from her more usual quirky take on relationships and life: t's a more conventional story of family relationships set against the actual historical events leading up to the coronation of Edward the Seventh. I enjoyed Rula Lenska did a good job as narrator.
"Slow start and then takes off"
It took me a while to figure out who was whom and how they might relate to the central character, The Broker, but then the story takes off and the pace quickens. Unlike many of Grisham's other books there isn't a pivotal, edge-of-the-seat court case the outcome of which is the climax of the narrative. This book is more a thriller with the 'hero' trying to avoid assassination in a cat and mouse chase across Europe. The reader does a fine job.
"DIdn't deliver for me"
I realize that many others have enjoyed this book, but I forced myself to finish it just to see how it ended. The characters didn't come to life so I didn't really care what happened to them and found it difficult to remember who was whom. There is too much boring detail about life in the dystopian world spent imprisoned in silos. The narrator did a valiant job but it wasn't enough for me to enjoy the book.
"Goddard at his best"
I have read or listened to all Robert Goddard's book and rate this one the finest. I read it many years ago and it is one of the most memorable books I've encountered for the sheer roller-coaster of twists and turns. I had forgotten many of the details so greatly enjoyed re-visiting this amazing story. It's one of those books that entice one to keep listening, eager to find out what happens next. Michael Kitchen, as always, does an admirable job of narration. Highly recommended.
"Intriguing story marred by language"
This is a well-crafted if implausible story with excellent narrators who must have got as tired as I did of the author's rather juvenile use of the F-word hundreds of times so that when it would have had impact it fails to register as it had been used so indiscriminately as verb and adjective ad nauseum. I don't object to swearing when it's justified but it is lazy writing that diminished an otherwise compelling story.
"Thought-provoking "what if" scenario"
I have enjoyed the author's Shardrake novels set in Tudor England and was surprised by this novel set in the late in the nineteen forties and early fifties. Dominion speculates about a Britain that has made peace with Hitler soon after the outbreak of war and is a pacy thriller as an underground of resistance strives to undermine German domination. There are many historical characters in this "what if" scenario, such as Oswald Mosley, Beaverbrook and Enoch Powell, supporting the Nazis opposed by the likes of Churchill and Attlee as the underdogs. It is certainly a though-provoking book, but also a great listen that kept me rapt from start to finish. The reader does a superb job of bringing the characters to life as he switches back and forth with different accents.
"An extraordinary stream of consciousness"
Form the very start I was gripped by this unnerving and unusual book. All the more impressive as it is the author's first novel. All the time one is not sure what is really the truth about the main character's plight. The reader is excellent and the ending surprising. Highly recommended.
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