trying to see the world with my ears
This is a delightful mixture of light Austen-like comedy of manners with a dash of P.G. Wodehouse mania. There is no bodice ripping, violence, or sex (but no gritty social realism or insight either,of course) -- just "happily ever after" written (and read) well enough for the listener to suspend disbelief.
Heyer's books have stood the test of time, while I don't think most chick lit will. If you are in need of distraction, may Heyer be as pleasant a discovery to you as she was to me. I think if you are new to this author (I am a relative newcomer but have zoomed though five novels in the last stress-filled month), then I think either "Frederica" or "Cotilion" is worth a chance download. (But warning, this stuff can be addictive -- when tired or tested, I keep thinking that I will download "just one more...")
Too good for my words, anyway! I downloaded this because it was cheap and I was dimly aware that was supposed to be a good novel (but must confess that I am a Can Lit and Brit Lit fan and not so much interested in Americana - so I didn't approach the listen with great expectations.) I think it one of the most fascinating novels I've ever come across! I can't believe I was given a degree in literature and history without being advised to read this imaginative cross pollination somewhere along the way.
Doctorow begins by telling us that he is going to "say" us a novel. So -- he is not a professional narrator with stage voices- but in this case author narration works wonderfully. I felt like I was sitting at his feet listening as he invented the tale. I am going to buy a paper copy, and I know that I will listen to the audio again. Though it was written before folks began to think of how a book would "Play" in audio, it is one of the few novels that I will have enjoyed more in audio than paper format I think.
I am motivated to see Milos Foreman's film version, too, though that seems to represent only a small part of the novel as a whole from what I've read..
This listen managed to combine my two favorite types of lit - realistic depiction of another period (especially its social history) and reflection on faith in a troubled world.
I listened to this shortly after the more contemporary "Foreskin's Lament" and "Disobedience" -- and although I enjoyed those two (each in their own way)-- oh, how I wish I had listened to this first!
In addition to a beautiful "coming of age" portrait of two young Americans in the WWII/post war era, what a compassionate depiction of Jewish faith coming to terms with modernism! As other reviews point out, the novel portrays universal truths while giving outsiders to the Jewish faith a glimpse of its richness and diversity in the story's specifics. There are enough symbolism and imagery to satisfy a reader/listener without the literary complexity that demands much effort to digest.
I thank the reviewer who named Potok's follow-up novel, but since that is not on Audible (yet), I think as a follow-up, I will re-listen to Doctorow's "City of God" and hope for a re-release of "The Promise."
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
Even though it was written over 75 years ago, I, Claudius outshines many modern works of historical fiction in its detail, drama, and accessibility. Its narrator may not have had the most interesting life story himself, but as a fly-on-the-wall witness to several generations of backstabbing Roman politics, debauchery, and familial intrigue, not to mention turbulent times in the life of the empire itself, he plenty of tales to tell. It's obvious that Graves took some fictional (and a little bit of mystical) license with his history, but he seems to have done his research. I learned a great deal about Rome during its Imperial Period.
Perhaps the book's a little too fact-oriented at times; it relates a lot of minor events and anecdotes that don't have much to do with any larger plotline. The large cast of briefly-seen minor characters and the complicated family lineages of Roman nobility can be confusing, as well.
But, none of that undermined my enjoyment too much. Graves provides a few heroes to root for and plenty of villains you'll love to loathe, particularly the cruel, cunning Livia and the depraved Caligula (a leader who makes America's worst heads of state look like saintly paragons of wisdom and virtue). For patient readers, I, Claudius is an absorbing historical soap opera. Nelson Runger's grandfatherly voice is a perfect fit for the audio version.