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By Tracey Rains on 05-15-09
Not Really a Comic Novel
I truly loved The Learners for the first third or so. It was charming, witty, and at times laugh-out-loud funny. Bronson Pinchot is a fantastic narrator, performing every voice so that I felt like I knew those people. His reading is certainly a 5-star performance, even though his material fell short.
The problem I had with this book was its inconsistency of tone. About a third of the way through to book, it abruptly turns from a light-hearted read (with a few weightier moments) into a maudlin presentation of a series of depressing events. I didn't expect the book to be "happy" all the time, but such a disparity was startling. The product description told us that the main character would face something devastating, but the change in tone just took it too far.
I certainly am not advocating staying away from this book. I am still glad I got it--if for nothing more than Pinchot's narration. But you should know what you're getting. If you like the sample, the narration is that fanststic consistently. If you're looking for the book to maintain that tone-- it won't.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
By Peter on 05-29-09
Not much to like
The author is clearly in love with graphic design, advertising, and how it was practiced in the pre-digital age. That passion does bring a nice level of detail to the book, but that's about the only nice thing I can say. Well, I could also add that Pinchot does do a fine job with the reading.
The humor of the book falls flat as do the cardboard cut out wacky/tragic characters. The whole thing reads like a pale imitation of Cofederacy of Dunces. There is not much believable, charming, or funny about any of them or the situations they get into.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful