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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Eleven on Top (Stephanie Plum #11) (audiobook) by Janet Evanovich


Long stretches of tedium punctuated by episodes of laugh-out-loud fun

Published by Macmillan Audio in 2005.
Read by Lorelei King.
Duration: 7 hours, 48 minutes

Eleven on Top is my fifth in the Stephanie Plum series, having previously read 1-3 and 8. Technically, 1-3 were enjoyed thoroughly as books on tape. The fact that I heard them all as audiobooks is a source of my frustration with Eleven on Top.

You see, the first three that I enjoyed were read by the actress Lori Petty. In my mind, Petty accurately nailed the Jersey Girl attitude and accent of Stephanie. Lorelei King, a veteran reader does a good job with all of the characters but Stephanie - she plays Stephanie fairly accent-neutral. While the dialogue works without the New Jersey accent, it crackles and zings with it. I know that King is the choice for Evanovich to read, but I think that she is a letdown after listening to Petty's work.

Secondly, the fact that I 'read' this book as an audiobook really accentuated some of Evanovich's more irritating, space-filling writing habits. For example, she is a list maker. Several times she lists off all of the clutter that surrounds Morelli as he nurses a broken leg (used Kleenex, dirty plates, empty glasses, and so on). Or, she lists the clutter on her desk at work. Or, she lists the clutter in her apartment. As a book reader, I would have skimmed over the list and not thought twice about it. As a listener...well, I've got to sit and listen to the lists.

Thirdly, this book has a tendency to drag. Stephanie's indecisiveness about the men in her life is not a fresh topic anymore. Her family scenes were interesting until they were repeated several times throughout the book. Like I said in the title to this review, the story was long stretches of tedium punctuated by episodes of laugh-out-loud fun.

So, what kind of grade do I give this one? I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich.

Reviewed on January 18, 2007.

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