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Wonderful story, well developed characters, absolutely heart breaking ending. You really feel like you're right there with them.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is a tricky audio book to review- part steamy 80's soap opera, part Greek morality play, The Neighbors is a mostly enjoyable ride with occasional boggy patches. It's the story of two couples whose paths seem destined to cross, read in alternating chapters by four different narrators. The four characters (six, if you count their bratty teenagers) are a relatively unsympathetic bunch. Each has a unique POV and voice but they all come off as childish rather than childlike and selfish rather than quirky. McKinnon's storytelling is solid; a little TOO solid with only one surprising twist in an ending that should have had many (like 6?) had McKinnon not over-laid the groundwork and given a little too much away.
It's a bit of a strange brew considering the production is one of the best audio productions out there. The director & readers chose to push the steamy soap aspects to the level of vocal Kabuki. While far from my usual cup of tea, the style is kind of brilliant, particularly at the ending. I'll say it again: oh, that ending!
About three-quarters of the way through the Neighbors, I believed I knew everything that would happen and rather wanted the author to get on with it, but once the denoument started- well- author McKinnon used a literary device I have always despised. I found myself laughing with glee at the audacity and inevitability of it's use. It made sense of the story and of the near theatrical emotion of the production."Bravo!", I laughed.
While it was sometimes difficult to engage with the characters and the novel could have used a bit more editing, it's a very well crafted tale. I found much to admire and enjoy in this production of The Neighbors.