- helpful votes
Strictly for fans of the genre
If you like this genre and want a fun book that hits all the usual notes, this is for you.
For me, it's confirmed I don't like the genre. I found the protagonist unappealing but maybe some readers would like her.
My main complaint is the narrator, who has a repetitive rhythm and an annoying way of overemphasizing words. And please would someone tell her "archangel" is pronounced ARK-angel, not ARCH-angel.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Book doesn't deliver on the title promise
The contents of this book does not match the title. Most of the book can be summarized as this: your back pain is in your head. Loads of fluff and padding, but that's it. Your repressed emotions cause your back pain. I kept waiting for the "Healing your back pain" part. When it came - about fifteen minutes worth in the last half-hour of the book - it amounted to this: ignore your back pain. And if that doesn't work, get therapy.
I was sorry to have spent a full credit on this.
Good story, problematic narrator
This book is basically an examination of adolescent sexuality. I thought the story was good, and well-told, albeit a little overwritten. But the narrator who reads the chapters from the perspective of the teen girl character spoiled my listening experience. She has an annoying sing-song "upspeak" accents and a strange habit of putting the emphasis on the second-last syllable in the sentence. This, combines with putting stress on the wrong syllable in words, and the wrong words in sentences is confusing and makes her sections hard to listen to. It also then makes it difficult to like or root for her character.
I did listen to the sample before I bought and it sounded okay, but it got worse as the book progressed.
Oh, and like an earlier reviewer, I also thought the father and brother were wayyyy too focused on their daughter/sister's breasts and sexuality. Very creepy.
This is an old book with very outdated references and some information that is factually incorrect with modern science. Moreover, almost all of it is padding. About 95% of the book is this: alcohol is bad for you. When you finally get to the "easy action steps", there's no magic and nothing new. Basically you're told the way to stop drinking is not to drink anymore. What a waste of a credit.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Not Burke's best, but still very good
This isn't the best James Lee Burke, and I found the ending a bit lame, but even on a bad day, he's a master of his craft. As usual Will Patton reads like a dream, though I do wish he'd look up how to pronounce "misogyny" correctly.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Narration spoils book
I can't understand the raves for the narrator on this book. Please listen to the sample before you buy. Whenever the chapters or segments are from the point of view of the killer/heart donor, the narrator reads in a robotic, monotonous voice which is near impossible to listen to.
The reading perks up in chapters from the main character - but only really in dialogue, the descriptions or narrative sections are also in a monotonous voice with a staccato rhythm. So irritating! I got to chapter 6 and gave up. Up until then the story was only okay, maybe it perks up later but I can't listen to this anymore.
Starts well, then fades
I thought this book started off with excellent writing, but then it lost its way a little. It was a good enough story, but there were a lot of cliches borrowed from other YA books and not a lot that was fresh or original, and I wasn't a fan of the "love square".
I was disturbed by the gratuitous use of violence. There are so many deaths (used as plot devices) that you become numbed to them, and the casual acceptance of rape combined with the endless violent victimisation of the main character begin to feel like sadistic voyeurism.
The narrators brought good expression and characterisation to their readings, BUT there were so many mispronunciations of words. So many. I can't think why the audio producer didn't edit these. Particularly irritating is the way the female narrator pronounces "says" phonetically ("s-ay-z" rather than "sez"), which just kept popping me out of my immersion in the story.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This wasn't a bad story but it was long-winded (lots of descriptions of driving and cheese rolls and other irrelevant details which could be cut) and the writing tended to sap the tension from the story. A couple of things bugged me, including that the author seems to have a real bugbear about religion. Do atheists really go around feeling irked and mentally commenting on religion all the time? The second thing was that this book is sooo politically correct - sometimes to absurd degrees. For example, all the homeless people (who you are not allowed to call that, you have to say all the people who are sleeping rough) are sane, kind, evolved, mature, empathic, "normal" people who have no personal problems except that they live rough. One is described as having a mild drug habit, and another as drinking, but this has no discernable impact on the way these characters speak and behave. Nobody appears to have serious mental health problems (like schizophrenia) which is arguably the reason most of these (untreated) people are on the streets.
The reader does a good job but her voice, in my opinion, is all wrong for the story - she has a very correct, jolly-hockeysticks way of speaking, and also reads very slowly.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful
A very long introduction
This amounted to a very long and vague introduction, and two pieces of advice: stop whining and start a gratitude journal. The author says she donates all profits from this book to charity - I sincerely hope that's true, because else it's a swindle.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Not Bauer's best
I was disappointed by this one. It was all a bit silly and predictable, and not up to Bauer's usual standard.
I don't why, the main character being female, they chose a male narrator. He struggles with doing female voices, and reads the main character's as a sort of whisper, which makes her come across as daft and girlish, rather than as a hard-nosed reporter.