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JF7588

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Fine novel

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

Reviewed: 03-04-17

This is a fine, sad novel, beautifully read - nuanced and attentive to Hamilton's prose: bitter, bleak and involving

3 people found this helpful

Good but...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-16

...repetitious as collections of reviews over the decades can often prove to be. This is more so here than most. The book proves a series of diminishing pleasures. Sample regularly rather than one after another, and this will be less the case.

It's Wodehouse

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

...and so, if Coster is not the best or most effective reader - or the worst - Wodehouse is Wodehouse is Wodehouse: tap his glass with fingernail or cricket bat, it still rings sweetly out.

2 people found this helpful

Not his best but

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

... Connelly is a very consistent writer - amazingly so considering his prodigious output. I do like Welliver as Bosch on TV, but his narration here can be one-note. Connelly's prose is lean, but a definitely more nuanced than Welliver allows. The former narrator did the books more proud.

2 people found this helpful

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

This is a great book. I read it when it first came out, and the revisions and updatings seem most apparent in its first chapter, but this is not a problem. Wilson is fair-handed and wise about Tolstoy's marriage and religion - stumbling blocks to sympathy. A massive and world-sized character, Tolstoy fascinates and Wilson is unabashed and makes him human-sized. while not minimising his work or impact. A definition of a good read.

3 people found this helpful

More adventure?

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

What is here is good, is fine, is clever and well-put, but it is a bitty book and not wholly satisfying or well-shaped. There are better books on similar themes - 'Gut' for example, and, not on Audible, the essays of Gonzalez-Crussi - but the reading is clear and expressive, and there is something in every chapter to consider and surprise.

2 people found this helpful

Well-read

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

It is very well-read, but the novel itself is a little too pleased with its over easy slide into violence. Lord of the Flies is not a bad analogy, but Golding's may be the truer statement of man's innate tendency to evil. Here, certain beats seem to be missing in order fully to convince that, yes, this is how things turn out when the middle classes and privileged are willingly corralled. Don't they, as a rule, tend to turn on those outside their ivory walls, and not those who share the same space? As nightmares go, this one seems to hit a chord with others I don't quite identify. That said Hiddleston is very good, Ballard is a hypnotic and original eye, and there are some excellent set pieces.

6 people found this helpful

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

This was a novel I thought I knew - and the movie is so faithful to its detail and tone, it is possible to believe one has read it already. More than the film, it reveals that Archer is trapped and unhappy from the start. This seemed a flaw and there was an impatience that he seemed so passive and so ill-attuned to his own conscience, but this makes the climax all the more horrifying - there never was an escape - and its ending all the more wise. It is beautifully read.

6 people found this helpful

For completists but..

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

... that is not a criticism as such. Ballard's ideas are best expressed in his novels, and this collection of reviews over the years can be repetitious; however, they are read by Sean Barrett - which, generally, is all an audible book requires to satisfy.

1 person found this helpful

It builds...

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

At first I thought Thompson's voice was too casually modern, but it does prove very winning and convincing the more full-throated it becomes. In fact, it freshens the prose and moves us away from the more PR and actorly style that most period novels receive. While I don't get the sense of any of the complexity or ambiguity of the tale - this woman is barking from the get-go - on its own terms, it does work powerfully well.

2 people found this helpful