What a great story this is! Set in the American south during the Great Depression, The Listener is a unique story. Starting with a man we'll call Pearly and ending with the opening of a free clinic, Robert McCammon sucked me in as he always does and now I have another book to add to my All Time Favorites shelf!
With a young black man as the protagonist and a few visits to characters we've met in the past, (I want to say so much more about them, but I can't spoil the surprise for you!),
I wasn't sure for the longest time where this story was going. But when Pearly meets Ginger LaFrance, and joins her cold quest for riches, I knew I was in for the long haul.
Not since the book MINE, has Robert McCammon created such a cunning female villain. Crafty and OH SO cold, Ginger is capable of anything. When she concocts her evil plan with Pearly as her back up, you just know it's not going to go well. And when another of her family members joins their crew, you cannot help but feel that it was a mistake on Ginger's part. You also hope that Ginger doesn't succeed.
At a certain point in The Listener, you just have to hold on for dear life because this tale races to the denouement and you HAVE to know what happens. I recommend shutting yourself in a room for the last 50 pages so you can read it without being bothered. Trust me on this! You will be rewarded with an ending so poignant, yet so perfect and totally satisfying that you might find yourself with a tear in your eye. Not saying that happened to me, (it TOTALLY happened to me), but you know, prepare yourself. Perfection in an ending is so rare, but I think McCammon achieved it here.
The only bad thing about getting an ARC, (and in this case it's a REAL ARC, that I can hold and hug tight to my chest, not that I did that), is that there isn't anyone to talk to about this story. I can't wait for you to read it so we can talk about Curtis and Pearly and good old Nilla.
In February when it's released, I hope you will remember my words here today and hop on the opportunity to read The Listener. Please come and share your thoughts with me when you're done. I hope that Curtis invades your mind space as he has invaded mine, and we can talk about how much we both love him. Or perhaps we can talk about THAT character that was such a memorable part of another GREAT, (maybe the best?) Robert McCammon book, and how much we loved seeing them again? I sure do hope that we can, my fellow readers. I sure do hope we can.
The Listener has earned my highest recommendation!
*Thanks to Cemetery Dance for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*
This was good! I wasn't sure at the start, because it's pretty clear the author geared her narrative towards women (or men, but really, women) who were battling their way through breakups while reading this book. But it's easy to get past that and just enjoy the history and the wry humour. And omg were these people awful. You expect Nero to be horrible, but - and maybe it's just my general ignorance of Roman history, but not this weirdly horrible. And Oskar Kokoschka... holy cheese whiz weird, although I think I found it even more bizarre that everybody let him get away with his flavour of weird without seemingly batting an eye. By the time you get to Norman Mailer, his horribleness almost seems bland by comparison. Almost.
This is popular history in its purest form, but it's lively and entertaining while it's being informative. The source list at the end is a little web-link heavy for my taste, but I'm going with it; I learned a lot and little of it had to do with how these people broke up with their exes.
I have this in print, but borrowed the audio from the library and while I was a bit hesitant about the narrator at the beginning, I soon changed my mind. Hillary Huber's performance starts off sounding a bit monotone, but I soon found it works really well with Wright's wry humour and occasional sass. I particularly enjoyed her narration in the car as it was both calming and often hilarious.
I definitely recommend this (in audio or print) if you're looking for light, breezy and educational.
Book Title: The Last Place You Look
Author: Kristen Lepionka
Narration: Allyson Ryan
Series: Roxane Weary #1
Genre: Crime Fiction | Mystery
Setting: Belmont, Ohio
Source: Audiobook (Library)
Main Characters: 4.3/5
Secondary Characters: 5/5
The Feels: 4.3/5
Theme or Tone: 4/5
Flow (Writing Style): 4.5/5
Backdrop (World Building): 4/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Ending: 5/5 Cliffhanger: Nope.
Steam Factor 0-5: 3.5
Total: 4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-
It took me awhile to get hooked and to keep the characters straight because there are quite a few. I listened to the last five hours or so, over the course of one day, even finishing the last 20 minutes in the car with earbuds in, while my husband drove to go get something to eat. I had to know the ending.
The Last Place You Look has a very flawed main character, who likes to drink, a lot…which may be why she didn't suspect "who" it was earlier on, like I did (but I couldn't remember their name, of course). I really liked the way everything tied together by the end, it was very cleverly done.
⇝Will I continue this series?⇜ I just might…