Chatsworth, CA, US
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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Really For 20-Something Males

Which is not to say a bad thing. Just not so much for younger or older women or other genders. Although, there were many pertinent ideas, I found most a little too specific from the author's own life. Almost a semi-autobiographical account, that while interesting, did not have the advice I could use or relate to.
Just a little observation: when the author discussed core values and metrics of people who had very negative and selfish ones, it fit a certain person to a T....
As other reviewers, I was intrigued by the title and glad that so many people are reading and listening to it because it can possibly help. But it was a bit disappointing for me.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-18

Very Good, But Not So Much For Me

I totally appreciated the writing and the narration, but I never really connected with the main character of Eleanor. For just as she set herself apart from people and society, I had a hard time relating to her struggles. I understand that she is not a totally sympathetic character, but feeling sorry for someone is not the same as sympathizing.
Also, I found the subject of clinical depression to be too clinical. What Eleanor experienced was sort of explained in a textbook manner as opposed to the character's emotional life.

And the build up of her obsession with the musician was dropped too quickly. After such a long time of her attention and focus, to have her suddenly come to a realization was very anticlimactic.
I'm also not sure how I felt about the imaginary mother. I mean we were asked to accept that Eleanor was so disfunctional that she would hallucinate. END OF SPOILER ALERTS.

But still, definitely good writing and excellent narration.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-21-18

Pretty Good Mystery

I definitely enjoyed listening to this book especially for MacLeod Andrews, one of my favorite narrators. But, the murder plot was just okay---nothing earth-shattering or unique. The characters were average, no insane, evil masterminds or antagonistic cops with agendas. Well, maybe some disagreeable FBI folks.
I liked the details of the setting in Minnesota with the local restaurants, bars and places.
I really liked the main character of Nils Shapiro, although I felt his Jewish ethnicity was lost except for a few references. It didn't seem to figure in at all. If he had been in New York City, it wouldn't have mattered.
Maybe the plot just needed a little more excitement or intrigue to set it apart.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-18

Clever Almost Thriller

With the author's pedigree, I was so looking forward to this book. I loved the format with the back and forth in time and the exploration of each character before the crash. The mystery seemed to be set up as it might be a conspiracy, assassination or a planned accident.
The author takes us on a wonderfully involving ride through the characters' lives, but that ride kind of ends nowhere.
Hard to explain without a major spoiler alert, but this is disappointing. Everything held my interest until the let-down of the ending.
I personally loved the political and sociological issues woven into the story, especially the despicable radio host commentator.
Robert Petkoff is definitely one of my favorite narrators.
So very enjoyable and well written minus the end.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-18

Wonderful Insight

I feel like I got much more insight into the world of those physically challenged as well as insight into the characters' emotions. This was really well done by the author as she explores the motivations and understandings of each character.
At a certain point, I felt a little hit over the head with the message, but the relationship between Louisa and Will was involving and personal.
Loved the narration cast with everyone performing very well.
To have Will's life unalterably changed practically in an instant was a very good choice for this story as it shows dramatically the contrast of an able-bodied person with a severely limited one. SPOILER ALERT: Even though I didn't want Will to commit suicide, I totally understood why he would want to as he lived with horrible pain. I think this aspect of life...having to bear unrelenting pain...was kind of passed over with the decision he made. He mostly explained about independence and the life he used to lead, but I kept wondering how he could live with such terrible pain.
Overall, a very well-written and performed book, although I'm not so sure I'm interested in the next two in the series.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-18

Glad I Read the Reference Material

What I mean is that I was alternating between falling asleep and yelling for it to move along before I read the reference material which put the book into the Victorian context and explained the repetitive and dense writing style.
So I can't say that I liked this book, but I appreciate it for the classic that it is, but also because it had a profound effect on me when I first read it years ago.
Also, having seen many of the film versions, I was listening to it with those films in mind. I'm sorry, but I much prefer the film versions. Yes, this book is a classic, but as a modern reader, I struggled with the lengthy thoughts, the repetitive discussions and the over-the-top religious fervor that I understand was a sign of the times, but wasn't exactly a fun read.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-25-18

Charming And Wonderful

Totally charming, clever and a wonderful twist on the character of autism. The term autistic was never used and at a certain point, I would have appreciated Frank being identified as autistic, but I think the intention was not to label him or generalize the distinction. But actually, it was fascinating for me to compare Frank with my good friend's autistic son, who shares so many attributes with Frank.
Loved the excellent narration that Tavia Gilbert perfected that made the characters, especially Frank, come alive.
Loved the story, although, SPOILER ALERT---I really wanted a happier ending with Xander and Alice staying together with Frank. Unrealistic, I know....
Terrific writing and a story that will stay with me for a long time.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-18

What A Beautiful Surprise

I am so glad I found this book. What everyone has said about this treasure, I feel the same way.
The language resonates with the carefully crafted characters and the slowly unfolding plot brings a wonderful tension as it moves forward.
I have not read or listened to Rules Of Civility, but I certainly will, based on how extraordinarily well this author writes.
What more can be said about the narration of Nicholas Guy Smith? I was swept away.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-18

Extraordinary Insight

I cannot say more than the other reviewers have here. I loved every minute of this book, including James Comey's natural and heartfelt narration.
There is so much fascinating detail of a world I have known little about. Especially fascinating were the meetings with Trump where we get a first-person perspective of this deeply flawed man.
So much in the book frightened me and angered me, so I was very glad for the hopeful metaphor at the end of the regeneration and change after a forest fire.
Let it be so.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-18

Unrelentingly Morose

If you like being hit over the head with a theme of safe and lies, you will enjoy this book that makes you want to feel really bad as you look inward to your life and see nothing but fear and emptiness and you struggle to stay safe while constantly questioning everyone's motives as you sink deeper into depression.
What a fun listen this book was with a narrator with such a depressed and morose tone that further enhanced my listening pleasure.
So glad this was only a Daily Deal. I want my money back. No, I want the time I wasted listening to this back.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful