- Audio CD: 10 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (26 August 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1427244294
- ISBN-13: 978-1427244291
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.9 x 15.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
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The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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“With pitch-perfect rhythm, Cosham pulls listeners irresistibly into the chief inspector's world of art, jealousy, and murder.” ―AudioFile Magazine
About the Author
LOUISE PENNY is the #1 The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of nine previous Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis, Macavity, and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Louise has won five Agatha Awards and five Anthony Awards. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.
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This is one of my absolute all time favourite series. Penny's lead character is Quebec Sûreté Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The crimes and mysteries are always intricate, well plotted and well written. There was a subtle secondary plot that began early on in the first nine books and it exponentially grew through the first nine books, culminating in a startling conclusion in How the Light Gets In.
Where could this series go after such a ending? Spoilers ahead.....
Many questions that were left at the end of book nine have been answered in the opening pages of The Long Way Home. I felt a little cheated that the resolutions surround Gamache's protégé Jean Guy had taken place without me and that life has moved on without the reader being involved. Gamache has retired to the small village of Three Pines, an oft used setting for Penny. Over the course of the series, readers have come to know and love the residents.
Some more than others. Clara and Peter are artists who make their home in the village. A year ago, Peter left, promising to Clara to return in a year to see if their marriage could be repaired. The year has come and gone with no word from him. Clara enlists Gamache in her search to find him.
So, we have a case that again utilizes Gamache's skills, albeit in an unofficial capacity. The path and the clues to Peter's whereabouts are found in a series of paintings and the world of art. Penny does an admiral job bringing her visual plotline to the written page, but I did find it a bit esoteric and slower paced than I would have liked. And okay, by the end I was tired of hearing about the upside down smile painting. Jean-Guy, after having factored so heavily in previous novels, has been relegated to the sidelines. There were some odd side stories - notably the androgynous niece/nephew Bean. As a colleague and I discussed one morning, The Long Way Home almost seems like a character study with the mystery of Peter's whereabouts as the secondary plotline.
But my real problem was with Clara. The residents of Three Pines have become quite 'real' over the course of the series. I quite like most of them - notably Ruth and her duck Rosa. But here's my problem - I was never taken with Clara to start with and throughout The Long Way Home my dislike of her steadily grew. This is a testament to Penny's writing skills, but it made it harder to become fully engaged in the case and its outcome.
I've chosen to listen to the last three or four books in this series. Ralph Cosham is the reader. His wonderfully paced, rich, sonorous voice completely embodies Gamache for me. The low, somewhat gravelly tone of Cosham's voice and his well modulated pace just draws you further into the story. His French accent and pronunciation is well done and believable. The voices he provides for other characters are just as well done. The cranky old poet Ruth is a favourite of mine. Actually, all the residents of Three Pines come alive with his interpretations, and make me wish I could visit to Three Pines and chat with them. Sadly Ralph Cosham passed away this past September.
I enjoyed The Long Way Home, but didn't love this one. Penny is at work on a new novel - and it will be one I'll definitely read. I'm curious as to where she will take Gamache et al next.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I read the first two or three Gamache books and found them quite interesting--certainly enough to read this one. But good golly it's bad -- at least not what I consider good story telling. And filled with artsy-fartsy b.s.
The biggest issue I had was at the end when I, even while rolling my eyes, shouted at Clara "don't go you moron!" Then at Myrna "don't let her go you moron!" And Myrna did, and Clara did, and the consequences were so grave, arguably because Clara had gone. And despite all the guilt that had been flying around the book up to this point, there was no acknowledgement of it whatsoever.
On the other hand, I could be me. But I can't possibly recommend this book.
The writing is banal and repetitive; I know that some degree of referencing past events is necessary for readers who may have picked up in the middle or not read in order, but not every event of every book needs to be reiterated. Very few of the characters have any arc whatsoever, with the exception of Jean-Guy. And Clara never gets the food out of her hair and is it really necessary to describe Ruth EVERY TIME as the "embittered, drunken, old poet?" The characters in the village are paper cut-outs of human beings, and Penny must have a dictionary of gay cliches that she sticks in the mouth of poor Gabri over and over again. And for the life of me, I do not understand how the people of the village manage to take nearly all of their meals in the bistro. They must have trees of gold out there in the woods.
The complete dispensing of anything remotely resembling police procedure is nothing short of laughable. I have never heard of a police investigation where friends and family just come along for the ride. Penny clearly loves Canada and the beauties of its landscape, so maybe she should cut it out with these "mysteries" and just write a travelogue.