I am loving this book! Rarely have I chosen to spend time in the car, and I'm well aware that it's to be with Mr. McLarty and Smitty Ide. Remarkable characterization, and a beautiful sense of place. I'm worried that seeing the movie may ruin the sense I've gotten for this wonderful story, but bet I'll be one of the first in line!
I didn't know what to expect when I downloaded this book, but I have really enjoyed it. I did get lost at first, when the setting changed, but remembered what someone else had said in their review. It's great for a long car ride or whatever. :-)
I have been listening to books on Audible for about two years now, and I have to say that this is the best ever -- compelling character development, subtle and crafty prose that is at the same time poetic, and convincing as everyday "plain folks" language -- the stories within the story were almost as compelling as the tale of the anti-hero Smithson Ide. I couldn't wait to go for a walk, go to the club, get in my car, lay down in bed, whatever, so that I could listen to the wonderful narration of writer, actor, storyteller Ron McLarty. The time listening to this work was time well spent. Mr. McLarty is an artist, a 21st Century Renaissance man who has spun a truly American tale. Fabulous!
Well worth a listen. McLarty is a great storyteller. He paints a vivid picture of a person who is lost and then finds himself through the strangest of ways.
I found this book to be wonderfully insightful about the human condition, and to be cleverly crafted and well-written as well. It's definitely a book for those who care about people and who can empathize with the plights of others, especially those less fortunate. I felt the author's very sensitive treatment of the main character helped me understand some of my own motivations, and the journey the main character took was filled with engaging metaphors that continue to be grist for further reflection. I found this story at turns funny, sad, thought provoking and, overall, very entertaining.
It took me a while to get into this book, but after a while I started to appreciate it, then enjoy it, and then I was just charmed. That sounds understated for how much I truly enjoyed this. This is definitely good for audiobook because the narrator, who is also the author, really makes it!
This was definitely an engaging story. It was hard to "put it down" - I found myself making excuses to go for rides in my car so I could listen more. I had a few reservations, though: 1) the narrator reads too slow for my taste. I'm a "fast listener," and even when I bumped up the speed on my iPod, it seemed to drag. But the expressiveness and clarity was good. 2) If you're sensitive to profanity and vulgarity, and frequent discussions of teenage sexual fantasies and experiences, beware. Otherwise, buy it and enjoy it!
the narrative tone was enjoyable as was the character's back-and-forth from present journey to childhood through manhood. details of daily life and issues for someone with obesity were very accurate.i found myself really feeling for the main character, his struggle with his weight and his crazy sister. lots of odd characters in his life and encountered on his journey.
This is an excellent excellent book. I'm so bummed it's over. Great dialogue, great imagery, great story. Ron McLarty's narration couldn't be better - no surprise there I suppose. I am so impressed by how he can perfectly capture a character's personality with such subtle changes in his speech. I loved following along with Smithy on his crazy cross-country adventure - meeting, talking, listening, sharing with all the characters he meets, and having all the back-story filled in along the way as well. The great writing combined with the superb narration make this a top pick for me.