Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where Are You Reading?: Update

I haven't updated for awhile; but I am still working on the challenge!

GA: A Quiet Belief in Angels (by R.J. Ellory; narrated by Mark Bramhall)
Other Person (male): So, what have you been listening to?
ME: A Quiet Belief in Angels
OP: So how do you like it?
ME: [Long pause] Ummm, er...
OP: What?
ME: I finished it like two weeks ago and I still haven't written the review. I don't know what to say. There's so much to recommend it and yet it was, well, disturbing.
OP: Why do you say that?
ME: Well, it has to do with a serial killer of little girls...
OP: Oh.
ME: Yeah.
OP: How bad was it?
ME: I almost fainted in the grocery store parking lot at that one scene where he discovers a body.
OP: Hunh. [Pause] Should I pick it up?
ME: I don't know.
OP: Well, I'll try it.

Two weeks later:
OP: [Standing in my doorway for a very long time]
ME: What's up?
OP: I finished A Quiet Belief in Angels.
ME: And?
OP: Yeah... no.
ME: Do you need to sit down?
OP: Uh, yeah.
ME: [After a few minutes filled with long pauses and struggling to articulate how he/we felt about the book] I don't think I can go there again.
OP: Yeah, me either. I mean, I couldn't stop listening to it because I had to know how it turned out; but I wasn't having any driveway moments either.
ME: I'm having a hard time "putting it away." I've listened to two other audiobooks since then; but [sic] A Quiet Belief in Angels still looms in my mind as the last audiobook I listened to. I don't don't know if I can handle any more Ellory. We've got Anniversary Man; but I think I'll pass for awhile. It's another serial killer.

Two weeks later:

I got assigned to be the studio engineer for A Simple Act of Violence (by R.J. Ellory) :-/

Bracing myself, I picked up a copy and settled down to pre-read this puppy before we headed into the studio. It turns out that, even though it features another serial killer, it's not as intense as A Quiet Belief in Angels. Set in Washington, DC, it's more of a thriller and conspiracy revelation than a whodunit. So, despite the numerous typos and Briticisms that were supposed to have been edited out, I was relieved and happy to head into the studio.

Now, remember a couple sentences ago, when I said it wasn't as intense as A Quiet Belief in Angels? Well, that was when I was in my 1950's ranch house living room while I was slouched on the ugly green couch; NOT while Kevin Kenerly was murmuring those same words into my headset! I mean I knew what's going to happen next and I still got a chill down my spine and got rachetted up in the suspense of it!

Alright, now let's go back to the second conversation I had with Mr. Other Person in which I mentioned that I had listened to two other audiobooks since finishing A Quiet Belief in Angels. One of those books was The Last Striptease (Joseph Kozmarksi first-in-series; by Michael Wiley; narrated by Johnny Heller.) A noir novel set in present day Chicago and read by a native Chicagoan and noir aficionado, I thought this would be stylistically different enough from A Quiet Belief in Angels that I could move on from Ellory's dark tale. Well, to be honest, I just couldn't focus on The Last Striptease sufficiently to evaluate it. I still felt rather traumatized by A Quiet Belief in Angels; So, in all fairness to both Michael Wiley and Johnny Heller, I passed on reviewing The Last Striptease. That doesn't mean you should skip it though. AudioFile Magazine gave it an Earphones Award and Johnny Heller cites the title as "The Best Book I Ever Narrated" ( promotion.)

IL: Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5; by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters)
Eventually, I did rise above my bad mood and I got around to listening to an audiobook set in Illinois. Death Masks is the fifth in The Dresden Files series and incredibly well narrated by James Marsters. Jim Butcher is not the most careful of writers however. Stuff like naming a character Larry and them calling him Jerry; not keeping track of where the gun is and, having a character wear a short sleeve and then a long sleeve shirt in the same scene are irksome; but it's a testament to Marsters' talents that I keep returning to this series and consider them a personal favorite.

MS: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (by Tom Frankin; narrated by Kevin Kenerly)
So, while I was pre-reading A Simple Act of Violence, I was also listening to Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Going straight from "Crooked Letter" to "A Simple Act" left a rather strange impression in my head that Silas "32" Jones had left Mississippi had headed up to Washington, DC to become a detective up there! I haven't written a review for this one yet; but for now I will say that it was really, really good; probably a B+ if I were a rating/grading kind of girl! It's not your classic police procedural; but rather the revealing of different layers of a situation in which a girl has disappeared and suspicion has fallen on Larry Ott. Unfortunately for Ott, his date disappeared on him decades earlier... I'm not sure why I wouldn't grade this in the "A" range; but maybe that will come out in the review when I write it!

I'm a bit behind on keeping up with the challenge and in the end I may end up posting print book reviews of titles that qualify for the Challenge.

Congratulations to Her Royal Orangeness at Only Orangery for completing this challenge! I'm seriously in awe and envy :-) Check out her map!

Hosted by Sheila at her blog, Book Journey

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