On April 21, 2016, three vastly different individuals of different ages woke up on top of their graves. Each of them died on April 20 but in different years, and each of them had not aged since their untimely deaths.
One of them was Beverley Smith, a maid for the Bartons, a powerful Dallas family. The Bartons raped and murdered her in 1969. Her husband and son searched for her for over 40 years. Another was Frank Prescott, a wealthy owner of a famous restaurant chain, who died in 2010 from a heart attack after a confrontation with his son, who was embezzling money from his company. The third person was Madison Keller, a 14-year-old girl who died in a fire in 2007 along with her parents and other younger siblings.
The three struggled to acclimate themselves into a society that doubted their identity. People didn't believe them. People thought they were nuts. Beverley and Frank sought revenge against the tormentors who were responsible for their violent deaths. Madison, who feared being sent to an orphanage, searched for someone to care for her.
Like all of R.P. Wolff's novels, All of a Sudden is a pause resister with unexpected twists that keep the listener guessing.
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"Somebody help me."
A good editor
Numerous possibilities but an experienced voice actor, preferably male.
Oh, dear. This is one of those 'if' only' books - great concept and pretty good story, which kept me intrigued and wanting to discover what happens, but poorly written and with the wrong narrator compounding the flaws.
Three people - a black maid of a wealthy white couple who was raped and murdered by her employers in the sixties, a wealth businessman who has a heart attack during a confrontation with his embezzling son, and a teenage girl who dies in a fire - are all resurrected, next to where they were buried, on the same day in 2016. With no knowledge of what has happened in the period between their death and reawakening, they have firstly to come to terms with themselves and then attempt to recover their lives. A clever idea which leads into an equally good storyline.
Unfortunately, the writing does not match the sophistication of the story. The style is simple and childish, with frequent repetition and a high proportion of
dialogue, itself very repetitive of the ideas already given.. Then, too, the constant opening of a sentence with, "Well, ...", became very irritating quite quickly. To be fair to the author, the way in which people talk in real life is usually very different from dialogue in a book, with good reason - rarely are people slickly smart and articulate in everyday conversation so, quite possibly, the way in which these characters talk is far more realistic than is most fictional conversation. But it makes for very tedious listening in a book.
Much of this could have been at least partially disguised by an experienced and very talented narrator with great command of performance skills and multiple voices. Ms.Brown's voice is charming, clear and sweet - and very, very young. She would be perfect reading children's stories. What she was totally unable to do was give credible speech to the characters of this book, although she did try and her interpretation of the owner of the locker in which one of the main protagonist held a secret stash of money was very good. But he had only one line. So, not only was she unable to disguise the annoying "Well..." and other such, she gave the ongoing impression that the fourteen years old girl was a mere child of, say, seven or eight. Sadly, she was totally miscast for this reading.
By a combination of factors, therefore, and, especially, the youthful innocent inexperience of the narrator's voice, and the much too realistic dialogue with all of the flaws that this entails, this became a hard book to enjoy. I had received my copy, freely gifted to me by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. My thanks for that. I did appreciate the storyline itself and only wish that it had been better edited, removing much of the unnecessary repetitiveness and tidying the conversations.
- Norma Miles