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Brenda Dayne

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Love spending time in Peter Grant's world.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-12-14

Would you listen to Foxglove Summer again? Why?

I will listen again, absolutely. I've listened to the entire series more than once. I usually listen from the beginning of the series about a month before a new book is due for release. I don't listen to many audio books more than once, but the extraordinary writing across this series, along with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's wonderful characterisations, warrant many repeat visits to Peter Grant's world.

What did you like best about this story?

The story advanced some character arcs, and also delivered a few Easter Eggs for die-hard fans. We discover what happened in Ettesburg, get a little nugget of info regarding Mollie's origins, cryptically touch base with Leslie, and get to hang with Beverly again.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Carnivorous unicorns in the kitchen. Absolutely.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"F*** me. I'm in Fairyland."

Any additional comments?

Like other reviewers, I found this addition to the series a bit short, and the story arc of the series wasn't advanced much by this latest book. The book ended rather abruptly, and the ending felt rushed. Like there were a few scenes missing. Aaronovitch has in the past given us a few coda chapters at the end of each book; a few winding-down and drawing-of-breath scenes after the excitement of his climactic scenes. These were missing from this book.

As much as it was interesting to see Peter working very much out of his London element, I missed the excitement of the city, the London landmarks, and the feel that you're moving through many centuries of history as Peter navigates his familiar landscape. London, I have always felt, is almost another character in its own right in these novels. The Midlands, as a setting, just isn't up to that job. I also missed the historical aspects of the narrative that are present in all the other novels. And I really, really missed Toby. (Whom I feel certain would have exhibited extraordinary presence when faced with carnivorous unicorns.)

Lovely prose amidst a cracking story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-10-13

What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

I really liked the way Will Patton narrated the various third-person Point of View chapters using the voices of individual characters. It was unusual to hear a characters voice read in third person, and it was very effective. There are a couple of jarring moments in the reading, though I think those were more the fault of the director, and not the reader. A couple of times Will's voice was layered in some of the areas where characters are speaking simultaneously. That was a largely unnecessary conceit though, admittedly, a minor quibble in an otherwise faultless reading.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many. Though I would hate to spoil the book for others by mentioning specifics.

Any additional comments?

I read the book before listening to the audio version, and I think I actually appreciated the audio version more as a result. The author's facility with language is a real joy to experience on the page, and is even more enjoyable as a listen. This is one of those rare novels where character, story and language add up to more than the sum of their parts. Couldn't wait to dive into book two after listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

A moving masterpiece.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-07-10

A beautifully crafted, funny, heartbreaking work of genius from a world-class writer at the top of his game, A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of those books that simply defies easy description.

It's about angels. And armadillos. THE VOICE. An armless Indian and an headless Holy Goalie. A lethal baseball, a Christmas pageant baby Jesus, and the precise connection between what the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come saw on a cardboard tombstone and the burned and blistered corpse of a helicopter pilot killed in Vietnam. Through all the quirky characters and masterful plotting, however, at its heart, A Prayer for Owen Meany is about family, friendship, community, and what it really means to be a hero.

Narrator, Joe Barret's, pitch perfect reading captured the spirit and voice of each unforgettable character, including that of Owen Meany, whose screeching, grating, damaged voice is portrayed in the novel in full caps. Somehow Barret accomplishes this feat in such a way that he fully embodies Owen's unforgettable voice, yet is still easy on the ears of audio book listeners.

This Audible version of A Prayer for Owen Meany made me laugh, made me fall in love with Owen Meany and, ultimately, broke my heart. When the book was over, I missed Owen, as if I'd known him.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful