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B.J.

Minneapolis, MN, United States
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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Can I rate this as two different books?

This book goes through some kind of transformation near the halfway point. I was SO bored and nearly gave up after about 4 hours. I couldn't keep the characters straight and didn't care what happened to them. Then something happened. The book got good. I mean really good. The characters became real. The plot line unfolded. The two-star rating I was planning got bumped up significantly.

The Dry is a good name. It not only describes the scene, but also describes this book perfectly. If you're looking for non-stop entertainment, this is not your book. If you want to let a book unfold without keeping you up at night with rapt attention, this is it. It's good -- not great. And boy, is it ever dry.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-28-18

Whoa. Hold everything.

I typically don't dive into psychological thrillers because I just can't stand the suspense and the often accompanying gratuitous violence. This one grabbed me from the start and wouldn't let go. I was thinking about it whenever I wasn't listening. The narration was so spot-on it became the book. It's beautifully creepy in the same vein as "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters.

No spoilers -- but here's what I can tell you: I don't know. It deserves a second listen and maybe then I'll have an answer. If your book club reads fiction, this might be a great one for a discussion. You'll have loads of theories from which to draw a conclusion ... maybe.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-26-18

Unexpectedly good.

I think I expected a not-so-deep listen about the south a half-century ago. I wasn't exactly expecting new ground would be covered, but some of my favorite reviewers gave it a 5-star so I gave it a shot.

This is a case where characters you've come to love can demonstrate an issue much more effectively than if you describe an idea from on high. It seems like any time you can see the impact on a human, it all makes more sense. (I think back to movies like "Schindler's List" and "Sophie's choice" that did this brilliantly.) I'm sure it's why certain news stories take a different turn when you see the human suffering on a personal level.

Though I knew about the program that comes to light in this book, I'd never thought about it in these terms. I never imagined how it felt to a trained professional with a conscience -- and to be powerless in the face of something you know to be so wrong.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-18-18

Kristin Hannah creates worlds with words.

I literally couldn't stop listening to this one. Yes, some of the subject matter is brutal -- but it's the life some people live. Without books, I truly wouldn't know what those lives are like.

I thought I knew where she was going with the storyline. I was wrong. When I gave up trying to predict and just inhabited the world she created, I was truly captivated. I'm not sure I've ever really experienced the sights and smells of Alaska with this kind of clarity. It's a love song to wilderness and survival. And it's an incredibly insightful look at all the permutations of "family."

Brava! Perfect combination of author and narrator. One of the best of the year.

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45 of 52 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-10-18

Extremely well-crafted. Kudos to the author.

I missed this book in its heyday when it was winning awards. But that's okay. I experienced it now and the timing was perfect. As I grieve the loss of a close friend, it was a perfect time to look back and wonder.

I really don't think I'd call this sci-fi or even time travel. (Book categories I normally shun.) It's just about examining choices and how things play out. The vehicle that's used to do that is interesting and very clever. It totally kept my interest. I never accurately guessed the next twist -- and I love that. Clever work.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-08-18

I wanted to like this book.

Starting in, I hoped the author would take on the death penalty in all it its complexity. It's not an easy topic in any way -- not to read about and not to write about. Hugely polarizing. But I always think that if just know more and think more about some of these kinds of issues, we'll start to understand them more as a society. Because we're talking about a woman on death row, I thought maybe this would be it. It wasn't.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-17-18

Truly wonderful. And then some.

This is one of the most superbly crafted books I've encountered in quite some time. I loved Boyne's work in "The Absolutist" and raved about it to anyone who would listen. I was desperate to discuss that book with someone, anyone, and feel the same about "The Heart's Invisible Furies."

Boyne creates the kind of characters who come and live with you while you're in the book. For the most part, they are all beautifully complex characters – and even when there are obvious personality flaws, this author finds balance and humanity. When they're evil, they are evil. Justice prevails. Stephen Hogan adds to the entire experience with a spot-on narration.

I feel like I made a friend. Cyril Avery has a place in my heart.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-14-18

Sure this isn't classified as Horror?

There's not much I can say in this review that hasn't already been said. It's an up close look at the Trump White House and how it operates. Nothing was surprising -- but all of it horrified me. I really want our government to operate at a higher level than what is portrayed.

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3 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-18

You'll be telling your friends about this book.

This amazingly well-researched book got hold of me and wouldn't let go. Every part of it is interesting -- the dark web, the whole concept of the Silk Road and the man behind it. I learned, I thought about what was in it, and the narration was perfect. That's a 5-star book.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-17

I really love this series.

And I do mean LOVE. Here are all the reasons why:

Grainger has created a host of characters with depth, flaws and quirkiness - and they're consistent from book to book. The lead, DC Smith, is a brilliant character. He's an honorable man. I hold him in equal regard to Gamache. (And that's high praise if you love Louise Penny's series as I do.)

Gildart Jackson is the perfect voice. It's an absolute pleasure to hear him read.

The plotline holds my interest.

The violence happens offstage. I don't have to hear the gruesome details and have those floating around in my brain for days.

I don't care who did it - rather, I just love hearing the whole story.

I love the music references and DC's interesting choice of instrument.

I love the way the smallest details make their way from book to book.

If you're looking for a series to get into during the winter, this is it. Start with the first and just know you'll have some delightful listens. I've now listened to all of them twice just to get a little closer to understanding how Grainger writes. He's great.

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25 of 26 people found this review helpful