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Pedestrian

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

Reviewed: 04-01-2020

Sorry, but this book bored and irritated me. We ploughed through all the characters, one by one, hearing about their unremarkable lives, while being spoon-fed nuggets of home-spun wisdom on the subjects of relationships and parenting, with a tiresome amount of whinging about the latter. And all the while I was hoping that we were building to something interesting - and then it ended! I felt that I didn't know the character of the murderer well enough to even judge whether they would have 'dunnit'. It was extremely anti-climactic.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Courageous and honest

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

Reviewed: 10-12-2019

This is a wonderful book for anyone suffering extreme anxiety or depression, or anyone who is trying to understand how this is affecting someone they love, so that they might be able to help. My only small criticism is that I think the second half could have been cut down a little. I love the triumphant point at which it ends though, and I loved the sharing of the recipe - especially the laughter over the 100 apples. Thankyou Clare for being brave enough to bare your soul to all of us strangers, and thankyou for sharing your beautiful family with us.

Stunningly original

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

Reviewed: 24-11-2019

From inside the mind of an autistic boy the reader is challenged to think about communication and relationships that require extraordinary patience, strength and love - and that the absence of loving care is highly destructive.

Struggle for self

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

Reviewed: 10-07-2019

An astonishing childhood of distorted love and violence, and the struggle to release the chains of suffocating family loyalty; to triumph over it in order to develop a sense of self.

Harrowing but valuable

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

Reviewed: 11-05-2019

A very important memoir describing the courage it takes for a woman to report a sexual crime perpetrated against her - and the strength of character needed to keep going in the face of the incredibly slow-grinding wheels of the justice system when the process is causing terrible personal suffering. My only slight criticism is that it was a little drawn out - not Bri's story, but perhaps too many other cases.

Two stories in one

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

Reviewed: 14-04-2019

Fascinating parallel stories in different times, but what will stay with me are the ideas around the necessary move from consumer culture where material possessions and financial wealth are the markers of success, to the possibility of a new world where people are forced to be content with less, which creates a new freedom from the urge to achieve material success at all costs.

Style of narration irritating

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

Reviewed: 18-03-2019

This book was narrated by the author, which I thought would add authenticity to the reading. However, Martin Zusak, although a fluent reader, has the irritating habit of finishing nearly every sentence with a downward inflection. This results in, at best, a flat reading, and at worst, the impression from him that the whole thing is just too boring or sad to bother with. My other criticism is that the book needed some editing - there are many examples of split infinitives - eg "he raised his hand fleetingly up". I'm not pointing this out for the sake of being a pedant, but I find such syntax very awkward to listen to. Having said all that, it's still a wonderful story of love, redemption, forgiveness and healing. I loved the Dunbar boys, their gutsy mother and their fallible father.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Confronting

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

Reviewed: 10-01-2019

I was undecided for days before getting this book, knowing that the subject matter would be very confronting - and it was. There are two threads to it - the amazingly difficult life of the trauma cleaner, and the lives (and deaths) of the people she cleans up after. I never looked forward to listening to it, but got through it somehow, feeling all the while that the stories of depression, mental illness, abuse and bad luck that fill this book were like wading through a black mud of despair. However, and it's a big however, the story of the trauma cleaner herself was, although intensely sad, also highly inspirational. I feel privileged to have heard it.

Masterful

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

Reviewed: 05-12-2018

As always Dickens is masterful. - satire, sarcasm , a richly woven story, and best of all a happy ending for the just and good.

Tension and Worry

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

Reviewed: 14-10-2018

A very interesting exploration of what it is to be human, and of the smudged line between good and bad. Interesting characters well drawn and believable. A very likeable and real main character whom I worried about. Lots of tension which makes for a very intense read/listen. Also several plot twists. My only criticism was that sometimes it was a bit long-winded during Theo's reveries. I was so involved with this story that I woke up in the middle of the night trying to decide how it might all end.