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I had to suspend my disbelief from the get go with this audiobook. Jefferson Blythe was a 22 year old American student who, on the end of his supposed 'engagement' to Amy, decided to use the money he had saved for her ring and travel Europe following in the footsteps of the an old Esquire travel guide from the sixties.
Maybe it was the camp narration, but I did not believe for one second that Jefferson was straight or bisexual. And so as his personal story was revealled I found myself trying to stay in the story between eye rolls.
The 'crime' angle of the story was messy and not as well plotted as i expect from Josh Lanyon novels. I have read and listened to heaps of her books and they can be hit and miss- either beautifully crafted or slap dash. This was closer to the latter.
I did not have much of a connection with either Jefferson- who played the cringeworthy American abroard, or George, who could have been a thrilling character if he had been developed.
The narrator's performance was really good, and all of his accents apart from Jefferson were excellent. If he had made Jefferson sound less fey his personal journey would have been more believeable.
An entertaining listen, but not Lanyon's best.
I listen to a great many audio books -- mostly MM of late -- including all of Josh Lanyon's offerings. Aaron Landon is hands down in my top tier of top tier performers. His animated and nuanced narration here is captivating. No caricatured voices, no over-dramatizing. Just pure talent for breathing voice to an already superb story. Mr. Landon graced each character with a distinctive and utterly appropriate voice. I was 100% engaged and entertained and will be looking up more of his work.
Blythe: Happy; merry. People with this name have a deep inner desire for travel and adventure, and want to set their own pace in life without being governed by tradition. ~ Book of Gaelic Names
From the opening paragraph I was hooked on this superbly written, madcap, yet soul stirring adventure. Jefferson Blythe was a character I was immediately rooting for and intrigued by. The manner in which he followed his grandfather's old guidebook - in fact the inclusion of text from an actual 1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe In Style – was a brilliant thread throughout the story. It served to illustrate how important it was for young Jefferson to honor his grandfather while experiencing the world through his own eyes; while carving his own way. It also helped to make me feel as though I were smack in the locales of the story – during the 60s as well as now.
The whacky -and at times surprisingly dark - mystery surrounding Jefferson’s mistaken identity dovetailed perfectly with the poignant mystery surrounding his back story with George. And then there was the current mystery surrounding George’s employment… I must say I was a bit thrown by the seriousness of some incidents which occurred fairly early in the story. I was expecting a bit lighter fare regarding the mystery elements, but one knows what is said about expectations! Lanyon is certainly a deft hand at serving up entertaining - and often unexpected - twists! Jefferson's mixture of fortitude and vulnerability were something that really hit me in the heart.... I even cried a few times when Jefferson was feeling so confused and dejected about George. The pain and confusion experienced by both of them on their tentative road to romance was very moving.
The humor running throughout felt spot on and provided a great balance to both the emotional ups and downs and the seriousness of Jefferson's predicament with his pursuers. Throwing Colin (a character from a different Lanyon story) in as Jefferson’s savior in Paris had me grinning like a fool. I'm so glad in the end Jefferson brought his obvious trait of courage forward to embrace his own heart, and to help George do the same. This was a wonderful coming of age story wrapped in a zany mystery. The foundation is there for a solid romance between Jefferson and George. I have a good feeling about their future. I also have a feeling trouble may came looking for them both again!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes I would. there is mystery. Crazy girl. Russian mafia, and a nervous kid.
What did you like best about this story?
the mystery. And the funny way the MC found himself in trouble. over and over
Which character – as performed by Aaron Landon – was your favorite?
Jeff. Aaron was perfect for this book. I always wonder how narrators are chosen.
I must say Aaron was great all the way. Since the MC was only 22 his voice was perfect. And it was easy to hear the book without needing to read it (like some books where voices blend together wondering who is talking now?)
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
How to get in trouble in Europe?
Any additional comments?
this book is Josh Lanyon mystery book. Different from his other books:
MCs are young men, other books they were in their 30s or 40s.
No one was an artist, writer, cop, or professor/teacher.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful