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I've listened to every unabridged recording of Tasmina Perry & she provides first-class escapist entertainment which really hits the spot if you're after glossy, glamorous escapism to lose yourself. Her writing pulsates with a wonderful mix of romance, raunch and rolicking, pacy plotlines that transcend the gentler pace of much in the chick-lit genre. In short there are too few writers as good as Perry who deliver on these fronts for that most cliched of reviews term: 'a rollicking good read'.
Private Lives wasn't as fabulous as some of her previous titles like Guilty Pleasures & Original Sin & I'm wondering if there's a downward spiral though i've not wanted to listen to her most recent title as its abridged.
I was excited by a new Perry offering but perhaps too much of Louise Bagshawe's brilliant book Desire which Perry recommended in a magazine article stayed with her when writing this. Perfect Strangers, is not a carbon copy of Bagshawe's book but it seemed imbued with the imprint and aftertaste of this far superior read.
Sadly with Perfect Strangers everything from characterisation, the thriller nature of the story, to the chemistry between the protagonists, and all but the most fleeting romantic/sex scenes just seemed like pale imitations of Bagshawe's much better read which saddens me as I genuinely want to find my old delight in Perry. Afterall, she has proven herself in previous works to be someone who can really deliver on the bonkbuster-factor as well as drawing us into fast-paced, edgy romantic thrillers replete with strong female characteres, sexy men & deliciouus insights that drill a little deeper into the often bonkers microcosms of fashion, law, PR and media worlds. Yet here the insights were less insightful and it fell back on sweeping brushstrokes like the stereotyped Chelsea girl world, consequently failing to delight had there been the more incisive observations that sparkle in earlier titles.
Despite all this there is too much of a dirth of the Perry, Bagshawe (both sisters) Jo Rees etc variety for me to say dont bother. There's still tension and pace and I did still want to keep going; its just flacid in comparison to what I know can be delivered.
Jilly Bond is an infuriating narrator so wrong for Perry's titles. I'm generally unfussy about narrators but I vowed off her long ago when I found her curious delivery made characters in slightly more 'typical' chick-lit books with that infuriating ditzy-girl-getting-into-silly-scrapes vibe, just too nauseating. She has a way of imbuing sentences with a kind of 'oh-what-loveable-silly-billy-girls-these-are' that's just not right for Perry's heroines (though arguably Sophie is a bit more airheady than previous Perry females). The strangest phrase or sentence can be embued with a sense of daft humour that is just so out of place - you're left wanting to scream: "just read this straight, its not going to lose anything by removing the puerile humour you're intonation (often erroneously) is trying to inject."
I waived my Jilly Bond embargo because I was so excited to dive into another Perry book. I woundn'r say I wasted my time but I was certainly disappointed (in case that hasnt come across.)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Great story but spoilt by Jilly Bond's narration of it. Normally Ms Bond is a good narrator but in this book she is cringeworthy.
At first I didn't like it but glad I held on as it got more interesting full of twists & suspense. I found the sex scenes way too graphic but luckily there wasn't too many. I didn't like the narrators voice but got used to it, she definitely made each character sound very different.