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Jeff Lacy

Virginia
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-18

Fully alive

This is one of the most fully alive novels I have ever experienced—yes, I mean experienced. Luscious and generous, an odyssey of Cyril Avery, an emblematic character experiencing a gay man’s challenges in Ireland and America through the mid twentieth century. Then finding his birth mother late in his middle year’s., a woman who also faced her own challenges from the Catholic Church in Ireland to single motherhood. This novel embraces so many themes. Beautifully written. Laugh out loud. Heart wrenching. Maddening. Bittersweet. Take the time to absorb this book. The Audible performance is pitch perfect as well and brings the story to life. One of the best performances I have used.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Entertaining and illuminating

This novel is propelled by an intense, fast-paced plot, vividly rendered, generously imagined, entertaining and illuminating. Hard to put down. A fun and very compelling read.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-18

Compellingly entertaining

This is a compelling and a whale of an entertaining novel, witty, with tight dialogue, and quirky characters.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-18

Vivid and intelligently original

Lethem, with Chronin City, writes a vivid character driven story that is refreshingly original, intelligently witty and observant, tight and edgy dialogue, and with a strange theme that our lives are all about distractions, signified by the novel’s interweaving of a purported tiger lurking around New York City unseen, the news following the lives of astronauts stranded on the space station because of Chinese space mines, and the personal story of the former child actor, protagonist, Chase’s girlfriend Janice Trumbull being one of those astronauts. This is as much about an ensemble of character round Perkins Tooth, a former rock critic. who is obsessed by Marlon Brando, and chaldron (pottery) photo then hologram, that propels the plot and brings the story to its strange, almost conspiracy theory denouement. This is an engaging story with interesting characters that are appealing due to their eccentricities, foibles, backgrounds, obsessions.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Five stars

I come away from reading Warlight thrilled, awestruck, pumped, by having experienced it intellectually and emotionally. I was not disappointed as a writer or a reader. This is how fiction writing should aspire; tight writing, authentic dialogue, round believable characters. Nothing is wasted, the story moves purposefully, all the arrows are pointed and move in the same direction. This compelling story is austere and seamless, switching into darkness, the shadows, warlight, and then only slivers of light, with anonymity and aliases, spycraft, working behind enemy lines covertly, and vengeance. In a plot where a young man pulls together information about his mother’s roll in the British intelligence service during and after WWII, and his own life which it affected, we are propelled into a satellite of people, guardians our protagonist did not realize their role the year his mother was away on assignment, this indelible period marking the linchpin of his whole existence when he looks in retrospect. Steve West does a magnificent job as narrator.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-28-18

Good not great for Ryan

Not a overwhelmingly compelling story but well crafted and written, divided into multiple character perspectives, that brings their actions together in the end, to me, not so inevitably. I read this novel in one sitting with the Audible performance accompanying. The performances were modulated and paced well. The voices were pleasant and cast carefully to the characters. Ryan is in my top ten of novelist. I have read all of his earlier works. FROM A LOW AND QUIET SEA seems formulaic—I hate to say that, maybe that is the form or structure. But there is a lot of spark in this story. It is like a moss-covered castle one see throughout Ireland, roofless, doorless, reigning in 1200 or so.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-25-18

A multilayered meaningful story

This novel engrossed me from the first sentence and never let loose its hold. In diary form from the perspective of a wealthy and bitter old man in receding health, who he rails against his wife and children, consumed by his intention to keep them from his fortune after his death. It is multi-layered, addressing the aim of living a happy life, the difference of good and evil, love and hate, forgiveness and selfishness, It also addresses the theme of Christian salvation and its ability to change the receptive who is hard of heart. The audible performance was well done and adds to the appreciation of the protagonist.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-22-18

Well performed

Joan Allen does an excellent job performing/narrating this novel. As usual I listened to the Audible version of the novel while reading it. For me, the character(s) are more enriching, the story more engaging and entertaining.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-20-18

A novel of deep insight and deep feelings

The Enchanted is a novel of deep insight and deep feelings. The narrator a man on death row who imagines the lives of people he encounters in the prison (the enchanted place): the warden; the lady (a death penalty investigator, a fallen Catholic priest, a corrupt prison guard, a teenage prisoner who is abused by prisoners, and Risk, the most corrupt and violent prisoner in the prison. This novel is well crafted, written carefully from the perspective of one of the death row inmates who is only identified at the end. The audible performance is excellent, modulated well to the characteristics of the narrator/protagonist. This is an easy book to read but one that contains significant philosophical overtones. I highly recommend this novel not so much for its entertaining qualities but for its intellectual, moral, and ethical virtues.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-18-18

Outstanding

An important and insightful book on business ethics. Well researched and clearly written. Also well narrated by Johnny Heller. Outstanding. Highly recommend this book for those interested in ethics.

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