I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
No question, this will be on my "favorite books of the year" list - and very near the top. Tartt examines some very big topics - love, loss, death, life, forgiveness, redemption and addiction - and she does so with a skill that's secondary to none.
The main characters are BIG - in personality, flaws, strengths - and enormously engaging. I adored Theo, Boris and Hobie and have loved having them live at my house while I was listening. There's a sense of loss now that they're gone.
I've read some harsh reviews of the narrator and I don't understand that. I thought he was perfect for this book. It was a fresh take. His interpretation of both Boris and Hobie was delightful. I never would have imagined those voices if I'd read this in print. It was an added dimension that made it all the more enjoyable.
With more than 30 hours of engaging story, this is one of the most credit-worthy books around. Really, what could be better? It's a good long listen that's beautifully read. I wish they were always this good.
Before I can say anything about this book, I have to comment on the narration. It is so perfect that it becomes one with the book. It was startling at the end to actually hear the real Tim O'Brien. Cranston became him in the book.
O'Brien's writing can be raw. It's apparent how deeply personal the Viet Nam war was for him - and I'm sure many others. Though perhaps not physically wounded, the emotional wounds are deep. I can't imagine how painful it's been for O'Brien to write about this time again and again. I admire his ability to be so honest about the emotional damage, the fear, and the heartbreak.
It's probably because of that approach that I can even listen to this. When other books approach war from the events and atrocities, it's just too much. The way O'Brien writes, the horrid things that happen are described in a way that it helps me understand the emotional toll paid by a generation of young men.
This is, without a question, one of the most important books about the Viet Nam war and its personal impact. Don't miss it.
Let me say from the top that the narration of this book has got to be one of the best ever. The voices of the characters are perfect. It deserves something more than 5 stars. Then again, there was a lot to work with. Love and loss, dreams, reality, responsibility, family ... it's all here. It's impossible not to relate to just a little bit of most of the characters - all of whom are deep and flawed and very real. Terrific book club book. Lots to talk about after.
The Interestings is a traditional novel, set within the baby boomer's time setting, focusing on friendships lost and cherrished within a thirty year span. It’s not a warm or endearing story , but rather a breathtaking character study during a time when a portfolio displayed artwork not numbers. I laughed out loud and pushed the “I need to hear that again” button more in this novel than in any other audio book that I have listened to previously.
The books main character, Jules, is the best friend of the “it” couple, Ash and Ethan. The numerous other characters are on different tiers of closeness around this threesome. I relished each person's story. I loved being reminded of the uniqueness of the times.
The theme that most rang true to me (and there are numerous within) was the serendipity of life. How one thoughtless decision – one kind word – one sympathetic moment – one chance meeting – sets the path of each person’s life long providence.
The writer’s command of the subject matter and her lyrically flowing sentences makes this Meg Wolitzer novel just delicious. This is a wonderfully rich novel. Is it an enjoyable easy to listen to audio book?..... Not so much.
It’s a pity that this audiobook was narrated at breakneck speed. This lovely beautiful story will be lost on many listeners that don’t have the time and patience it takes to get involved into the story. It required my undivided attention and numerous chapter repeating to get a grasp of the large ensemble. After each break in listening, I stuggled for awhile till I could adjust once again to the narrator's frantic pace. It STILL was a book, and ending, that was well worth the credit and effort.