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.
The writer touches the reader with his ability to describe the ailments, worries, and challenges we all can, will, and do face daily. The main character delves thoughtfully into the places that we each have been to one time or another and succinctly and politely explains how they relate to his own experience. For those of us that can relate to his familial experience, this story really touches you. As an audiobook-only edition this piece both delivers an interesting story and will keep your attention throughout. Worthwhile for a quiet evening, while traveling, or anytime you have a few minutes to spare.
Although this is out of the genre I generally read I thought I would give it a try. It is a book you wont want to put down. The story is so detailed you really feel you begin to know this character.
This book was like "riding a bike". In the beginning, it was confusing. I kept rewinding the book and wondering "Is he talking about the past or present or just thinking?" But once I got into the rhythm of the book, it became enjoyable.
I particular enjoyed the conversations with Norma and Smithy's interaction to the people he met along his ride. It was sad to listen about himself and his family dynamics, but those sections also made him a more loveable character.
I was disappointed for this book to end and only wished there was a sequel.
This was my first audio-book and I have to say it was fantastic. The story is moving and Ron Mclarty does a great job reading his own story. He gives each character life with his voice and the pace seemed perfect. I hated that it had to end.I hope to hear more from him.
This was enjoyable. I wish more writers would read their own work. I found inspiration in what he (character in the book) did. The discussion session between writer and editor was really interesting. So much enjoyment in good narration. Thanks.
I drive two hours per day and so have become quite a recurring customer at Audible.com . I've listened to many books but this one truly captivated me, made me drive real slow so as to remain with the character as long as possible. It also really made me ponder on what binds families, people, societies and on what keeps us going in our daily lives (and what is simply pretending to keep on going)...
Smithy Ide has a simple life with maybe a bit more tragedy in it than most people have. But not that much more... How he copes with it, how he transforms himself, how he listens to others, it all renders him highly endearing. The portrayal of America, it's great beauty and it's occasional ugliness, is also very strong. Ron Mclarty has done an incredible job, first in writing this great novel and second in reading it in such masterful way. The best audiobook I ever listened to !!!!!