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I enjoyed listening to this book and I'm glad I got the audio instead of the print version. This is one of those cases where an oral reading enhances the story, makes it better. Because of the conversational tone and rather banal setting (it all takes place inside an apartment building) it works very well as a performance. The narrator does a great job keeping the pace varied and interesting and making the protagonist likable.
Honestly, though, I didn't think most his observations about the girls above him to were funny, so I'm not sure how a Twitter following was gained in actuality. But for the novel, it's a good device to tell a story that really does have some heart to it. If you can see past the Tweets and into the story of Charlie and his neighbors, you'll find a lively and affable tale to amuse when you're in the mood for something light.
Some books are much better read, some are better heard. For example, I've listened to Bossy Pants, but read Is Everyone Having Fun Without Me. I loved hearing Steve Martin read his book, Company of Myself, but I didn't like hearing Object of Beauty so I stopped listening and got the print version instead (nothing wrong with the narrator's performance, just the style of writing is better visualized than heard). Khaled Hosseini gave a wonderful reading of his first two books, but And the Mountain Echoed as an audiobook was just...not my thing, so again, had to read it. Finally, any Frank McCourt book is a must have, but hearing it in his voice is a magical experience. I mention all this not to be annoying or digress, but to point out why I recommend this book while giving an idea of other books I enjoyed as a comparison. Dear Girls Above Me isn't brilliant literature, but it is cohesively and articulately written with a logical, believable character arc. I think it would certainly be a good read, as long as you're in the right mood, but it's an even better listen.
Side note: adult situations and harsh language, so parents, you probably don't want to have this on with kids around.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
This book might be a good first time leisure read for high school kids.
What was most disappointing about Charles McDowell’s story?
I bought this on a recommendation from a friend who said it was hilarious and fun and witty and I'm here to say it is far from any of those things. The characters are supposedly based on real people, but they've been neutered and reduced to something so boring and one dimensional that it's just not compelling or interesting or believable in any capacity. I'm positive people exist like those in the book, but the author has somehow made them not even remotely interesting to learn about. It's like one big long inside joke that the audience never gets on the inside of and there's no foreseeable payoff.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
The narrator did his best to bring life to lifeless characters, but with the voices he gave them I couldn't even finish the book. I understand that every person in this book other than the narrator is annoying but the narrators performance challenged that at every turn.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
There were no redeeming qualities to this book whatsoever. It is the only book in my growing audible library that I wish wasn't there. There's no chance of me finishing it and it just sits there mocking me for wasting my money.