LISTENER

Oscar

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings

Flynn's unique perspective on an unusual topic

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

Reviewed: 11-01-15

I thought it was really good. I'm a Flynn fan. She writes the sardonic, bitter, witty thoughts of the outsider, the dangerous screw loose loner, the hopeless case so well. In Dark Places, Flynn creates a unique set of characters and will suck you into a dark, twisted, gloomy perspective for the duration of the read. The book is not depressing though, because of the dark humor and also, because of the little glimmers of hope that shine through for the characters, and because of the beautifully rendered characters of the Mother and the Aunt, whose desperation shines through with humanity and warmth.. There was a realness and a compassion to the telling of their story, all in flashback, that stayed with me and gave me real insight into what it's like to be a really poor struggling mother. I won't really tell you what the book is about, the blurb will tell you that, but it's good, it's really good.

Warning: There is a scene with some cows that is pretty bad. I listened to it and had to put down the audio book for a few weeks. It's the furthest Flynn has gone, I think, into proper gruesomeness. Normally she keeps the reader at a safe distance from that kinda thing. Just a warning, you will see it coming from the character's actions. If your squeamish about terrible animal cruelty...do yourself a favor and skip that bit.

Apart from the story itself, the writing is beautiful, the construction of secondary characters is flawless, as is the sequencing of how the nights events are revealed to us. She really is very good at what she does. However, for those of you unfamiliar with Flynn, hearts and flowers and candy it is not. It is dark and twisted and sardonic. Be prepared.

24 people found this helpful

A touch too much melodrama in the narration

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

Reviewed: 11-01-15

Really, this book centers around the main character. If you like her and stay with her through-out the journey, you will find if great. The writing is fine. It doesn't get in the way with cliches or clunky metaphors. It does it's job nicely and unobtrusively.

The narration is overdone at times. It's the first time that I've heard a narrator appear to cry when reading a sad part of the story, and I found that...unnecessary.

The book spans the story of the main character, a free spirited lesbian, from her early college years right though to her 40/50's. Now, the first half of the book describes a haunted, hurt, 'running away from herself and others' character. I really liked this character. I thought she was warm and humane and non-judgmental. The second half of the book sees the character try to 'get her life on track' as she sees it and you know, settle down, get a meaningful relationship, career etc and here is where the book and I parted ways. I flat out didn't like the woman she became as she began to fight for what she wanted. Towards the end, I found myself truly hoping she wouldn't get what she was fighting for (trying not to give spoilers) as I wanted to see her get her comeuppance!


However, this doesn't mean the book was bad. I just didn't like the character. If you like the character, you'll get along fine with this book.

3 people found this helpful

A very ambitious book

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

Reviewed: 04-07-14

The premise was intriguing, the story line was novel and interesting, and it was well delivered. However, once the platform for the story and the tension between the the main character and his nemesis was set up...it did run out of life rather. It was probably because the author set the bar so high that she couldn't raise her game throughout the novel to maintain the tension, pace and intrigue. The extraordinary concept became a bit ordinary as it was maintained through out the novel. A change of direction in the last 3/4 would have helped matters. I suppose this is not helping you decide if you want to buy this book. So the question to ask is; if i was offered the opportunity to read it for the first time again, would I? And I suppose the answer is yes. The first half is great, and the premise is so unusual that it compensates for the rather lifeless second half. But it is a good enough book, not a great book.

This is a lovely book

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

Reviewed: 20-04-14

I have low expectations for lesbian novels, as well...the standard is a little below par, however, this book was lovely. It was tender and insightful and measured and emotional. Above all, the tone was quiet and understated. The story was in the hands of a lady who can write and who does so with a 'less is more' attitude. This book touched me and stayed with me. The story isn't earth shattering or anything, but it is one of quite desperation and moments of courage and beauty. Well worth a read.

2 people found this helpful

Far too slow moving for me.

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

Reviewed: 20-04-14

I know loads of people adore this book and Donna Tartt fans will love it. However, I found the descriptions weighed down the book and took any pace and urgency out of it. The narrator went on constant mind meanders, thinking about this and thinking about that before he got to the point. I was intrigued by the premise of the story and the tension was set up well at the beginning of the book, but forward motion was so slow in terms of moving the plot forwards. I didn't particularly enjoy Tartt's writing, as in, I wasn't content to listen to her write and write about all sorts before she got to the point of her story, so I abandoned ship and didn't finish it.

2 people found this helpful

A good read

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

Reviewed: 20-04-14

It is a good, juicy, twisty-turny read. Lots of unexpected happenings. The narrator performs the task with great vigor. There is some bad language in it...just as a warning for those who might be turned off by such things. I didn't mind it as it was in fitting with the tone and character of the story.