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Tony

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Feels unsatisfying

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-11-28

This book feels like it was written by spending a little time researching a scrapbook. There are scenes, and you can kind of picture these scenes in your head as they are being described. But it always seems to stop short of going into the interesting details. The writer sets the stage, gives you the "and this was a very interesting turn of events", and then the chapter ends and we don't get more details. It's a series of semi informative events that took place, if they were washed of all the things that made them compelling or exciting.

I'll give you an example. "I went to the park today to do some photography. There were kids playing all over the place and I captured many in youthful displays. One of children scrapped themselves on something and I was happy to help fix them up. Kind of proud of acting on the opportunity to help, I made my way out of the park and started to head back home. Before I had left the park however, I noticed my dad had just gotten there. So, I went back and we had surprisingly profound conversation that I don't think I will ever forget." and that's where I would end the conversation, and then never bring up either my dad, or the conversation or anything we talked about again.

That's what I mean by scrapbook. You get a few images, but you never feel like you get the whole picture. And when things start to pique your interest, the book just seems to drop them. I honestly can't say I know a whole lot more about the book after finishing it, than I did from reading the description. You end up with a lot of "wait, but why, or how, or wait what does that mean, or what happened after that"? It just feels unsatisfying.

The book isn't written poorly. It just seemed to lack focus, or didn't follow through on a story that it started to tell. Like an uncle or coworker who always trails off during a story they are telling you.

Well I guess there was one really interesting part of the book, and if you're like me then this is the reason you would buy it. There was this one scene where they set up the chess board and something fell. I won't say what it was, what impact it had, or if there were any more details about it than that. And the problem with that is the book might not tell you either.

I would get it on sale and read it if you are bored or you would like to learn some details of the lives of the main characters, but don't expect much more than that. Otherwise, I would pass this one by.

It was free, and I didn't finish it

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-10-09

I didn't get much past the beginning of the book. I feel like it was the writing that just didn't grab me. It was free for the month and I still didn't bother dedicating the time to finish it.

1 person found this helpful

Misleading

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-10-01

The problem with this book is it is extremely repetitive. The other problem with this book is if you took out the repetition, you would not have a book at all. This 14 hour book could have been a one chapter parable in another book. Or fleshed out to a few chapters wouldn't have even been so bad. I wont spoil anything for those who still wish to read it, but here are the story beats:

Introduction - A guy might be involved in something bad
Chapters 2 through 18 - He lied to us, so we questioned him again (this is the book by the way.)
Ending - Well, we didn't really get the answer we were looking for. Nor the one we wanted. Hooray!

Most of the book is spent working over some guy who lies every time. You spend the whole story waiting for something to happen, but you are just taken to the next chapter where they talk to him again and find out he is lying. And then they talk to him again, and he is lying. And after that, they talk to him again and believe he is lying. Then have one last conversation with him but it turns out he was lying. The story does not get much farther than that. If you ask yourself what they knew at the start and what they knew by the end, it would not change that much. We started by knowing people were dead. We ended by knowing people were killed.

How this is called a "masterpiece of criminal interrogation" I wont know. But I guess it sells better than "we interviewed a guy over 10 times for hours at a time, asking the same questions and only got lies every time". My title is kind of long too.

Weaker overall than the first book

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-08-27

If you are like me, then comparing this to the first story will leave you disappointed. I was very happy with the first book in this series, and later seeing all the other books in the story left to read seemed like good news. However, there just wasn't much that I found enjoyable in this book.

The writing was fine, albeit less compelling. It was just a far less interesting story compared to the first one.The narration was not as good as the first one. While it is the same narrator, he just doesn't deliver the same quality of performance. There are odd places when, either the narration or the way some words are spoken, that are immersion breaking. One of several such examples was the name of some of the "villains". We are introduced to them as "chev all", and then given different details that maybe would make sense if we knew what the actual words were. The word the narrator was trying to say in this instance was "cheval", spoken more like shev (shev like chevrolet) AL, not chev (ch like in church) ALL. Alone they aren't big but the story starts to hinge on some of these things being known and everything starts falling apart when you realize the words you are hearing aren't actually words, and that you should have been hearing other words to associate to these people. While you are wondering what these made up words the narrator is spouting at you mean, you are left behind as the story continues without you.

Just overall, I found the narrator to be less enjoyable. The characters I grew to enjoy from the first book were also mostly removed from this one. The chief, his wife, little ozzy, odd's mom, his dad, three dog, the restaurant owner, etc. They were almost completely absent from the book. In their place was a weird location and even stranger characters that felt like they would be better suited for a Jim Butcher novel than an Odd Thomas adventure. But this is just my two cents.

I went from excited to read the next book in one of my favourite stories, to pretty much losing interest in the series as a whole. I may pick it up again at some point, but I wont recommend this one to you.

1 person found this helpful

Misleading

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-08-05

Let me start with this point: "His two companions were dead, his food and supplies had vanished in a crevasse, and Douglas Mawson was still 100 miles from camp.". If that sounds like an amazing story, well get ready to be disappointed. That plot point only comes in around 3 hours from the end of the book, and ends about 2 hours from the end of the book.

Now don't get me wrong. The rest of the book is overall interesting. Exploring and trying to survive Antarctica. Following several different groups who are overcoming their own tribulations. But this book is not about one guy surviving alone in the Antarctic cold. One hour of the eleven hour book, essentially a chapter or two, is about what the title of the book offers.

I have previously read Endurance and it is a great book. One of my favourite books actually, and this is a nice companion piece to that book. AOTI chronicles the (approx) decade before the Endurance sets off. Endurance is far more interesting however as they take the opposite approach of this book. The first part of the book is set-up for the journe. Then the rest of the book is the ordeal and survival challenges they faced. Though I might have been less interested with AOTI because I kept waiting for the Alone part to start. So, don't buy this book if you haven't read Endurance (because buy that book, it is far better), are expecting an early 1900s Survivorman, or if you have read Endurance (because this is quite a step down in as far as records, diary entries, banter and displays of camaraderie).

I honestly didn't want to harp on this book too badly, but the misleading title was very disappointing because that sounds like an amazing story to read. Alas, we got a bunch of guys doing a bunch of tenting, dog sledding/dog eating, and that is kind of it. Nothing really happens. To compare that to Endurance, the same group of guys camped on the ship, outside the ship, on ice flows, on rocky cliff bases, on the shore, in their row boats, in upturned boats, and I could go on. And that is just their tenting situations.So, yea. I don't recommend this book based on the book quality and misleading title and plot.

However, I also want to give a point to the narrator. Because there are anachronistic words used, if you don't know the words yourself you will generally rely on the narrator to have done due diligence and figured out how to read them aloud. That is not the case here, as on numerous occasions the narrator did not say words correctly that I did know. Making it feel more than apparent that he likely didn't speak the more seldom used words correctly either. It just takes you out of the experience and makes the book that much less engaging. It just feels less polished and thus, not one I would want to keep in my collection. Otherwise, he was not disagreeable to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

This is a good book

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-07-30

This is actually a really decent book. It doesn't try to recreate an entire world, but plays with the toys it's given. I found it overall enjoyable, the story, narration, characters, and dialogue.

This is a mess

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-07-30

This book started strong enough. It started on PEI. So, for once I actually knew the landmarks and setting locations quite well. It went downhill from about there.

THE STORY:
Tonally and thematically, I don't think this book knows what it wants to be. It is technically written fine, but it tries to be a mixture of so many different pieces of media that it loses itself and becomes this homogenized mess of mediocrity. This is mystery, mixed with science fiction, mixed with drama, mixed with children of the corn, mixed with boring. It all felt so forced and awkward. That's why I don't want to say the book is well written. I don't think it is. But the book is at least competently written. The proper things are used in the proper places. They just aren't good.

The words and grammar are good, but nothing special. The writer uses a set up and pay off, but blink and you'll miss it. The characters, all of them, are unlikable. Things just happen, because. Everything that happens in the book is just too absurd to take seriously. Near the end of the book there is a literal super villain monologue about how the worms will inherit the earth. Like, nobody in the book is real, and the really don't feel real.

THE GORE:
There were two reason I bought this book. I really wanted something really intense and this book had both great reviews, and terrified comments. Most of the good comments were saying how gross the book was, how graphic. And the negative reviews were saying the same thing, but that it was too much. Well, I am pretty sure all the reviews were written by the children in this book, and have no life experience.

By the end of part one, I was still waiting for this horrific, scary, skin crawling book to start. All I had at that point was a group of semi dysfunctional boys, and the plot of Futurama where Fry eats the truck stop sandwich. And it was a slog to get that far. Near the end of part two, and the end of the book, I came to a realization. This book wasn't going to get good.

The book tries to go into excruciating detail about the things that happen in the book, but that is the only excruciating part. It drags scenes out for pages and pages, thinking it is making us squirm. One such instance is when they kill an animal for food, and the process of killing the animal is "so horrific", and "nothing like the movies". In the movies it is quick, but in real life there is blood and stuff, and things suffer if they aren't killed quickly, etc etc.

Well, yea. What did you think? I can understand the characters sort of not getting that, but the reader should live in reality and know "stabbing an animal and watching it slowly suffer to death" is a bad thing. So, it seems stupid for it to be a character moment, and we should already know so it comes off as just really terribly slowly paced pages upon pages of us finding out it was a bad thing. It would be like reading "and we watching my grandmother burn in her rocking chair for five minutes", while graphically explaining how her skin sloughs off. And on the final page of the scene they come to the realization that "Fire is indeed hot".

The other "graphic" stuff is mostly medical stuff (and explained as such, which doesn't make it overly gross or anything), or about worms. And yup, worms are gross, but that is about it. They aren't scary, and there really isn't any crazy body horror or slasher moments. Honestly, I think if you've ever lived on a farm (or owned a pet, or walked in the woods, or watched a medical documentary, or had kids, or...) then you've seen far worse than what most of this book has to offer.

THE KIDS:

I will keep this short. The kids are dreadful. But honestly, so is every character in the book. They start out as a group of young boys who are more or less friends. But they aren't friends, because these people know nothing about each other. These people aren't good people, but nobody in the group seems to know. Like one kid is comparable to Ted Bundy, with detailed scenes of him rubbing his dong because he is so hard from the violence, but nobody knows. Everyone is made of rubber. Being one character type in this scene, but another in another scene. "I am cowardly, I am brave now, but now abused, and now...". And when we get to witness the story from their point of view, it never feels right. It feels like an adult wrote some dialogue, then went and watched some kids be boys for a while (insults, gross out, stupid stuff). They then incorporated that into the story and said "there, characters".

But the characters all being unlikable, on top of being just completely off the walls, combined with the story that does the same (one story now, but now I'm this story...) makes this book feel bloated with bad things.

This book has worms.

4 people found this helpful

Can't get into Ann Rule

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-11-07

I didn't like this book. I couldn't even finish half of it. I tried her book on the GRK and my opinion of her was the same. I thought she would be more interesting writing about Ted, but that wasn't the case. I just find her writing to be boring and sloppy. If you didnt like the GRK book then i dont recommend this one, and vice versa. If you did like that one, then you probably like her style and should give this one a try.

I don't know why I did this to myself.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-11-06

So this book, it's not good. It's like reading Lolita, but all the things in that book that were said nonchalantly and with charisma are things that supposedly actually happened. And are also described in ways you really don't want to hear. If you make it past the first few sentences, then you know what is in store for the rest of the book (words like "lollipop game" with a four year old, and later "dad forgave me and we went upstairs to have makeup sex" are but a few lines that turned my guts into a cement mixer). This book is hard to get through.

I couldn't really find any fault in the performance, and the writing was average. Our main source of information and narrator I found unlikable. Things she did and actions and stuff, I didn't like her. But the things in this book... You think it's bad for the first ten chapters, but then you go "wait, isn't this book called my daddy the pedophile? But isn't this girl 16 through 21? That's not a pedophile. Reprehensible, but the title is misleading".

And then it gets worse.

I honestly don't know who I'd recommend this book to. I read it curious about the psychology of it, and maybe being able to better understand how the abuse happens and how to help those who have gone through it. But this is years of abuse, by a villain that to me has no redeeming values at all. This was honestly almost too much for me and I needed to take breaks just to get through it. It's really pretty messed up.

If you've had any of this kind of stuff happen to you before, I don't know if I'd suggest it. And if you are a regular Joe (regular in this instance meaning someone who has no interest in sex with children, or your own children) then I can't see the merit there either. I'm left at the end of the book with a sickened feeling, and with a main character I don't even like.

However, if you want a trip down a really bad lane then this is the one. It is sickening and infuriating, and then sickening again. So have at it.

The narration is the worst I have heard

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-09-30

I hate to start my review this way, but be warned that this narrator is just the worst I have heard on Audible. This is exactly my type of book too; Interesting, researched, the facts over the spectacle. I love that kind of book. The helter skelters and the bundy murders, of which I thought were great examples of this structure. The difference between those books and this one regrettably, is that this book has a narrator without a high school education.

I am not the type to care to the Nth degree if someone cant pronounce something right, but the errors in this book were egregious. There were so many instances of words being mispronounced that when I didn't get taken out of the book by it's distraction, I was confused because the words he would say made no sense. Tell me I am nitpicking all you want, but the narration should be clear and understandable and this guy seems like this was his first attempt at reading the book. If you read a book with as many spelling errors as this one has spoken errors, you would return it too.

Because we only have what we can hear, if the guy doesn't know how to say it there should be a stopping point where he first learns how to read and speak. Throughout most of the book, because I don't know the intimate history about pirates as I was hoping to learn here, I had no idea what "St. Croy" was (Croy sounding like Troy). After a while about them speaking about Jamaica and all this stuff I thought "there's no way. They aren't talking about St. Croix are they?". And you know what? Because I don't have the text, I really don't know what the answer is. There were numerous times when he would call someone by one name, and then later on call them by a different pronunciation and I lost track if he just learned how to say the word or if this was just a new character.

Like it is bad. Like bad, bad. Not only is it very dryly read, but the fact that this was a dirt road experience when I was expecting pavement quality highway meant that this was an overall bad experience.

Please, Audible, get someone else to narrate this book. I really wanted to finish it, but it is too painful in this condition.

If anyone needs me, I will be at Rogersez house, down in St. Croy. They say his cat has nine lives (pronounced like - the cat "lives" in his house).