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Andrea Edan

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Boring and unlikely story

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

Reviewed: 21-05-20

Gave this one a chance for about 2 hours and then gave up. Very unlikely characters and more unlikely story and I tuned out. Returning.

More from the master storyteller

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

Reviewed: 20-03-20

All I can say about this book is that it is perfect. Not a word in it that shouldn't be there. A perfectly circular story which, as customary for Murakami, travels through reality and fantasy as smoothly as clotted cream on a fresh scone. And as deliciously tantalising. My admiration for Murakami's imagination knows no bounds. He is one of the few authors who seem to draw everything directly from his own mind, experience and imagination. No research appears to be necessary. From the literary point of view, I felt that this book was Murakami's take on Oscar Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Gray" and then as the story went on its winding way, I began to see it as an homage to Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland". Either way, it was a delight and the various references to Western literature and culture, perceptive but essentially Japanese. My only regret is that I couldn't read/listen to it in the original Japanese... I would give this book more than 5 stars, if I could. What a delightful way to spend 28.5 hours.

Classic Grisham

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

Reviewed: 09-03-20

Every now and then one can find something to criticise in a John Grisham novel but this book really does tick all the boxes. I do believe that there are traumatic events that can change the whole direction of one's life and this story is very believable, in that respect. If I was to criticise anything, it would probably be the rather "Hollywood ending" which doesn't often happen in real life. However, as a story it is very satisfyingly complete with a good beginning, middle and end. Great book for a long journey.

Aaah, the Master

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

Reviewed: 09-03-20

A wholly satisfying book which I have read and/or listened to several times. All writers of this genre should be compelled to read this book as there is not a sentence that is unnecessary or superfluous. Other writers who feel compelled to "flesh out" their stories with the personal life of the protagonists should read this to see how it should be done. A well written and well narrated book. 5 stars all round from me.

Unlikely and frustrating

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

Reviewed: 07-03-20

This is one of those well performed but rather badly written books that somehow compels one to to read on to the unlikely conclusion of the story. Several times I nearly gave up but the "who/why-dunnit" did draw me along. In general I favour linear stories that start at the beginning and progress to the end without changing the "voice" of the story along the way. This was not one of those. It fluctuates more or less randomly between "now and then", "him and her", "this and that". There is a further distraction of the personal life of the detective which contributes nothing to the story. Why do writers have to do that? The characters were cardboard cutouts with very little dimension other than their part in the story - baddies being very bad, goodies being good despite their human failings and the rest just like extras on a film set. The story itself is pretty unbelievable and I was left with a feeling that I had wasted a lot of good listening time. The narrator did her best and was probably what kept me listening. I award the story 3 stars just because I finished listening.

Another bite of Precious Ramotswe's school of life

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

Reviewed: 22-02-20

As usual with this pleasant series, one relaxes into the pace of life in Bostwana. Sit back and enjoy Ma Romatswe's philosophical view of everything from cars to errant men and much more. A good read with excellent narration though perhaps not one of the most engaging stories from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

Decent whodunnit, good narration

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

Reviewed: 21-02-20

This is one of those stories that keeps you guessing until the end, gradually eliminating all the suspects. Of course in this case you end up with the least credible person in a small closed community being the perpetrator, in true Agatha Christie fashion. The way this twist is made possible leaves one contemplating the skill of not leaving any clues to help guessing or reflecting that you "could/should have seen it coming" For this reason, I have given it only 4 stars.

A story with 2020 relevance

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

Reviewed: 08-02-20

This book was first published nearly 20 years ago in 2002 and yet it seems to be particularly relevant in the light of the current Coronavirus scare. This possibly makes it a more scary read than if it was read when originally published. Makes you admire the predictive imagination of the author more than ever. The story is fast paced almost to the extent that the time span that the events take place and the distances between the different locations that the characters find themselves in, don't quite make sense. Seems that Texas and Washington are round the corner from each other rather than 1,500 miles away. Nevertheless it is a good story. Not sure why Peter Forbes with his Scottish accent was the chosen narrator since the characters were American, South American and Chinese respectively. Perhaps because he is the narrator of choice for most of Peter May's books?

Decent enough story but could do with editing

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

Reviewed: 08-02-20

I chose this book because I like Paul Thornley's narration. He seems to choose the "easy listening" kind of books that are good for commuting. Another reviewer mentioned that the narration was monotonous but I disagree. The story was somewhat farfetched but still intriguing enough to listen to the end. I did, however, get the feeling that the publishers possibly put pressure on authors to populate these kind of thrillers with good looking characters who are inevitably attracted to each other even though this adds nothing to the narrative. Or perhaps the author thinks it would be easier to sell the book? Either way, I wish they would stop and just stick to telling a good story.

Decent enough on all counts

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

Reviewed: 24-01-20

Interesting to think of a book written set in the 1979 as "period" but it is. No computers or mobile phones to interfere with the story. The story is a bit slow taking off but once you figure out where it is going, it does become a page turner. The intro by the author is quite interesting as he looks at parallels between politics of today and then. For me the book held a special interest having lived for a couple of years in Brussels at the beginning of the 80's.