I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Native Son, written in 1940, was ahead of its time, and represented an important voice in an age on the brink of change.
The first two books of this novel were quite excellent, a personal story that felt honest and impactful, with well-drawn characters and an exciting plot. The book then proceeds into the third book with a long question and answer dialog, and long monologs, reminiscent of Dostoevsky, but seemed too heavy handed to me. The first two books of this novel, through character and story, made the points better than the exposition of the third book.
Native Son has been criticized as being “protest fiction”, limiting its artistic value. This is true, but only true of the final book of the novel. The first two books are artistically executed and powerful. Somehow I think the novel would have been more powerful if this ended without third book.
The narration was terrific, clear and subtly powerful. The narration adds greatly to the experience.
Although I am glad I listened to this, the last book was tedious, reducing the overall experience. Yet, this was an historically important novel and may be worth reading for that reason alone.
Although this is not a great story, this is solidly good Chekhov with solidly good narration. Chekhov is my favorite short story writer, yet this in not one of my favorite stories; nevertheless it is clearly worth the twenty minutes and one dollar.