Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cutting Loose by Susan Andersen **(*)

My first review of this book from 2008 was of the paperback, and it is the first in a trilogy, so now that I've read the second (the third hasn't been published and might not be) AND the audio of this one, I'm going to go ahead and give it a 3rd star to bring it to the "it's Ok but mediocre" level.

so here's the first review:

arg. One of my favorite authors, and this new release is a stinker.

I think it's a combination of things that I really don't like:

(1) I don't like the voice of this book. Too... too much jargon, too much hard to follow banter that doesn't sound like people really talk. And jeez, this guy Dev - come'on - no guy thinks like this, do they??
2010 audio comment: the "voice" of the book is slightly easier to listen to, even if the narrator isn't that good.

(2) Forced - we're forced to read all this odd psychobabble about Jane the heroine and her parents and how because they're so dramatic, she's the complete opposite. We're forced into believing these 3 women are best friends forever - it's a trilogy of women thing. I have liked the 3-women premise before but this time I just don't get it. Which one was the "blond friend" anyway? Couldn't she have just referred to them by their names?
2010 audio comment: now that I have read the second book in the trilogy AND heard this audiobook, it really was easier to keep track of the women since I wasn't able to skim. The psychobabble was still reaching though.

(3) Oh puhleez, the villain! Give me a f*cking break. I skimmed most of his scenes.
2010 audio comment: still think the villain doesn't come across as a 3 dimensional, potentially real person - still too comic-book-ish for me, especially given this one doesn't have Andersen's great humor

(4) The storyline - the women inherit a mansion from a rich old woman? It just didn't ring true.
2010 audio comment: I still find this storyline implausible. But then, I read time travel, so I guess I'll go with the leap of faith.

There was more. Do Americans of Irish descent actually call their fathers "Da"? Maybe, but then their speech pattern was a little... Irish... too so were they actually Irish? Or just stereotypical?
2010 audio comment: the narrator - who wasn't great - did not give them any Irish accent and the "Da" seemed out of place. Aunt Eileen's brogue wasn't good either.

I started to give this 3 stars. I did in fact read the whole thing, after all. But then as I thought about it, I realized I. Did. Not. Like. It. (that is a direct reference to the book by the way.) So even though I've loved so many of Andersen's books, I just can't find it in me to like this one.

But it's worth a credit on PBS where some hapless fool, uh I mean some other member has it wishlisted. And hey - there's even a review there from someone who did like it. Go figure.

OK, I'll do a little bit of description.

Three women, friends from elementary school. Heroine: Jane - parents third-rate actors, overly dramatic, quasi-alcoholic. BFFs Ava and Poppy - one is blonde, one is red-headed, one is rich, one is Darma from Darma and Greg - but who can remember which is which? Not me.

Irish American family, 4 brothers running a construction business; 2 are married, 2 single; 1 is undergoing chemo, so our hero Devlin comes home from his usual life of sailing yachts overseas to help out the family business.

The women inherit a Seattle mansion. Jane is a junior curator at a museum that inherited jewels and clothing from same deceased. The 3 BFF women hire the Irish American fellows to renovate.

Dev and Jane have instant across-the-room chemistry, then have hot monkey sex, then - oh noes! - fall in love.

Meanwhile a really really evil bad guy steals things from the mansion.

OK, see where it is going? Neither do I.

2 stars.
2010 Audio Comments - yeah, I can give it a qualified 3 stars, but the narrator wasn't great. She wasn't AWFUL but her reading was sing-songy, and her men's voices - especially considering how low her own voice as narrator is - were done as if they were teens in the middle of changing voices. She used a sort of hoarse sound for Dev, the hero. And I'm afraid she didn't give Andersen's attempt at sounding like 20-somethings (20+10 in this case) any credence - she just read it like she read the narration, so the excess of jargon fell flat. Didn't work in my head reading it; didn't work in my head hearing this narrator speak it. Maybe it calls for a 20-something who talks like that to read it.

thank goodness for free library downloads

No comments: