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In one review or another, the reviewer said, to my astonishment, that the prologue had given away the whole story ... as if it were a fiction novel. Not about this book, but another true crime book. I looked at those words in bewilderment. This is True Crime, not a suspense novel.
This book is so well done that it feels like a suspense novel. It puts you right in there with the family. Some True Crime books are told through the eyes of the police, the prosecutors or the lawyers. This book puts you more right in the midst of the family. For myself, I marveled at Elaine's incredible strength of character, love, resolve. She is not a heroine in a fictional novel, but a real woman who suffered a terrible series of tragedies but never felt sorry for herself. I think I should love to photograph her one day. Her eyes must hold the spectrum of emotions only visible in those with heart, strength, love, resolve.
Kevin Pierce is a fine narrator. His voice lets you imagine the entire scene. I have many of the books he has narrated.
Yes, I do like reading paper books...very much...but without these audio books, I'd never get a chance to go out walking for 4 miles without boredom. But I think I will have to start getting the Kindle editions as well because I want to see the spelling of the names and places.
Jack Olsen has taken facts and woven a fine tapestry. He does not sensationalize this awful deed, but he does not marginalize it either. His point of view is not pounded into your head. Only a fool would not share how Brenda foiled another prior attempt (I won't clarify).
I'm old and my memory is not that good. Don't feel sorry for me because it has its advantages. Next year I can listen to the book again as if it were the first time! :)
Enjoy the mastery of a true wordsmith with this True Crime book.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful
What about Kevin Pierce’s performance did you like?
His narration was excellent. He has a tone that sounds like the actor, Tom Hanks. At first I found the pace a bit slow, but then I settled into the story. Kevin got the right balance of conveying a serious story but without a dry historical distance. He used accents for the dialogue but these were done well and didn't detract from the subject.
Any additional comments?
This is the true story of a child disappearance and the investigation to solve the crime. It starts many years in the past with the story of Elaine (the mother) and then section two rewinds to tell the background of the father. Usually I dislike books that take ages to get to the event (in this case the disappearance of teenage Brenda), but I found this worked well in this book for two reasons. Firstly because the backstory was well told and in a personal way with dialogue rather than historical distance. Secondly it gave insight into the family so that when Brenda disappeared it was easier to empathise and understand the actions of the parents.After the story reaches the crime -the disappearance and aftermath it then goes back in time and we hear about the background of the main suspect. This provides an interesting viewpoint that many crime novels miss and it helps make the suspect a real person, rather than a caricature. I felt it didn't undermine the crime or excuse it, but put things into a wider context for the listener.I found the whole story compelling and I listened almost non-stop in my spare time, finishing in a few days. The fact I wasn't aware of the outcome helped keep this a 'page turner' for me. Finally, I must mention I received a no-cost copy in exchange for a review, but don't let this influence you. This really is a great listen that I wholeheartedly recommend. It's a portrait of life and family, poverty and tragedy-not a gruesome crime /CSI novel.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Salt of the Earth the most enjoyable?
Beautifully narrated by Kevin Pierce.
Which character – as performed by Kevin Pierce – was your favourite?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Brenda Gere's disappearance.
Any additional comments?
A stunningly crafted book spanning the generations of a family who go through hell and back. Takes a while to get going, but it's worth the wait.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Thoroughly enjoyed. Excellently written tale of a families struggles after the murder of one of the children. Narration by Pierce - 100%.
Good reading of a well written book, however the base story underneath it all is a lot sparser than Olsen's other works. Felt a bit "padded" compared to Son, Doc, Misbegotten Son, etc.