SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
This would be a 3.5-star review because of textual flaws (and almost painful narration), but it's so important it really needs to be heard.
If you're an animal lover, don't worry: while brutal, it's not too terribly graphic, and... well, get a grip. This is what happens. This is why you love them and want to do something for their well-being. This is why you never want to buy a Michael Vick jersey. Seriously, I saw a documentary on him after this was all over, and he seemed so genuinely contrite that I thought, gee, maybe he really got it and regrets his actions (and I'm almost militant when it comes to holding grudges!)
But after listening to his actions prior to his court appearances? The many, many protestations of innocence? The rearranging of funds? The purchases he made while others were caring for the animals he brutalized? I'm not feeling that warm and fuzzy about him right now.
But let's go back to the book. The flaws. If you can get past the first part, you're golden. Because it does some plodding. And really. We don't need to have the "thoughts," the "feelings," stated for us. I believe that animals think and feel, but to have an author point out exactly what's going on in their heads is unrealistic and annoying. Go by their actions, their responses. Those are suggestive enough of the trauma they've suffered, what they must've endured. Those will haunt you and make you damned near cry because you'll be able to fill in the blanks very well on your own. The necropsy report on how one dog in particular died will appall and enrage you (if you have even one sensitive bone in your body).
The second flaw is the narration. Garcia isn't wretched, not the worst by any stretch of the imagination, but he delivers the text with such silences between sentences, such pregnant pauses, it's hard not to doze off if you listen after work, and you're kind of tired. (Fortunately, anger will rear it's head, and you'll wake up because of the story.) Also, it's not until the end that he slips in emotion or emphasis to what he's reading. And that's startling because really, it's unexpected at that point since he's spent most of your listening hours in something short of a monotone.
But, BOY! What a story! This is about justice. It's about fear. It's about overcoming fear and learning to trust, to love, to live and breathe. And it'll make you want to hug your dog (or cat, or hamster) and watch them as they enjoy the lives you've given them. Because some animals have never been able to run and play. Some have never known the excitement of a new smell. Some have never known the comfort of a soft hand or a kind word. And bravo to the rescue groups who step in here, most of them smaller and not so well-funded or well-known. Bravo to the foster people who really take their time and put their hearts and souls into doing whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to bring peace and joy into the lives of the abused.
Michael Vick flunked a drug test during his time before sentencing: said he smoked the marijuana because all of the stress "the ordeal" put him through. Too bad his dogs didn't have anything like pot... for what he put them through.
I kinda feel bad that I gave "Until I Say Good-Bye" the ALS good-bye letter 3-stars and I'm giving this precious little ditty 3.5, but it's like this, see? Susan Spencer-Wendel wasn't alone in her illness but Elizabeth Toya Bailey was.
It's easy to find joy, love, beauty when it's all around you because people you love are taking you places.
It's harder than hell to find it when you're immobilized by illness in a single room and can't even roll over.
I found so much wonder and joy in listening to this book; so much delight and humor. Raudman narrates with a growing curiosity, a liveliness, a sincerity that only the best narrators have. She does a really great job bringing the words to life and makes it seem as there is a (Ha!) growing friendship, I kid you not, developing between woman and snail.
When I listened to "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating," I couldn't help but think of Corrie Ten Boom and "The Hiding Place." When Corrie is imprisoned for helping hide Jews, a little ant comes to see her every day, and she sees the wonder in that, is grateful for that.
That's what really made my heart sing with this book. Someone finding wonder in something they might overlook otherwise, finding pleasure, finding grace.
And the only reason it's not a better rating? TOOOO much dry information. Really? Can you manage to make snail sex boring? Seeeeriously?!? I wound up blushing AND yawning...
But a charming book, all in all