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Exquisite Prose

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

Reviewed: 26-03-20

The Tidal Zone did not disappoint. Essentially the story is about a family’s behaviour after the near-fatal collapse of the elder daughter. The characters, in particular the resentful house husband and his workaholic wife were entirely believable. How the author got into the heads of a 15 year old and ten year old is a mystery to me! The prose was exquisite, not a word wasted.
As with the Sarah Moss books I have read, there is a parallel historical substory, in this case the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. This device throws the main story into sharp relief.
Toby Longworth’s narration was flawless.

Brilliant and Understated

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

There is not a wasted word in his unusual book which records the true testimony of three women, all used in different ways. The story of the author's mother as an introduction, sets the stage.

If you want a riveting and haunting read for 2020, this is it. I'm going to relisten to pick up the nuances that I'm sure I missed the first time around.

Superb

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

This stellar book should be required reading for newly-weds. Tight, elegant prose with an only too credible plot. Hats off to Meg Wolitzer!

Good not Great

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

An interesting read with credible characters, an unusual setting and a good plot. Excellent narration.

Not as good as 'The Dry', which is more nuanced, has tighter writing and does not go on for two hours longer than necessary.

Unputdownable

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

Riveting, three-dimensional characterisation with a superb, credible plot. The story is a seamless admixture of detection, barristers, espionage and day-to-day life. Brilliant.

Perfect for Long Journeys

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

Interesting until you realise that you have to listen to the story being repeated through three generations. A clear case of transgenerational character faultlines.

Great narration though.

Clear and Simple

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

I warm to the apparent simplicity of these stories, clear prose, and stark imagery. Martin Beck is a believable policeman (sadly, marital problems, but hey) who solves the sort of crimes you can believe in, using his head. Magic.

Dire

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

I've watched Alain de Boton's School of Life videos and read some of his books with pleasure. They are both funny and knowledgable and I've learned a lot, and even changed my behavior (when I remember).

This book was a tremendous disappointment, it was a series of lectures and statistics clothed lightly as a novel with a ludicrous set of unbelievable, one-dimensional characters. Even the author could not inject enthusiasm reading his own book.

Readers, watch his brilliant YouTube videos instead and get the substance of this 'novel', far more wittily presented in just over an hour..






A Gem

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

Classic Edith's Wharton; crisp writing, attention to detail and credible three-dimensional characters. An enjoyable two hours and forty-seven minutes.

Surprisingly Dull

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

Reviewed: 28-02-20

I've enjoyed several Chris Brookmyre books, but found this so dull and slow, that I abandoned it a third of the way through, so will never know what happened in the remaining eight hours.. The characters were not well-rounded and I didn't enjoy the alternate male/female narration. While I liked Angus King's voice, I found Kate Bracken's high-pitched and irritating. By no means up to Brokmyre's high standards.