I loved this book, it took over every spare bit of my life whilst listening to it. The Congo part was interesting and enticing after Congo i believed it lost some interest and intrigue. I loved the narration,and the personalities portrayed. Plus it was a great learning tool about the Congo and the politics of which I knew nothing about.
Decided to listen to this one after listening to "Animal, vegetable, miracle" - did not get disappointed at all! The story is truly incredible and engrossing, even thought it's a totally different subject. Love BK's attention to detail and learned a lot about the history of Congo this time. Couldn't put the audio down and didn't want it to end.
The narrator's voice turned out to be very pleasant to listen as well.
Kingsolver is a skilled artist at weaving words together into a story with texture and color. I always feel enriched after reading one of her novels. The plot doesn't have to be about romance or mystery or history or fantasy. The story doesn't have to have a happy ending or tie up all the loose ends. It just has to connect with the human experience. Kingsolver knows how to connect.
I had a hard time trying to figure out who was who and when they were talking. I almost set this book aside a few times. The narrator can make a marginal book great or a great book marginal. In this case, it was the latter. She read so fast and made no attempt to change dialects for the 4 different daughters that narrated the story, that it made it difficult to follow. Finally, the last 25% of the book made it worth the listen. I am sure it would have been closer to a 5 star read if the narrator was better.
I had high hopes for this listen and so far sadly disappointed. The narrator does the author an injustice. The narrator reads way too fast for me to enjoy Kingsolver's beautiful descriptions. The narrator sounds like she has been tasked to speed read through this novel. I am trying to love this novel dispite the narrator. Audible please ask the producer to find another narrator and reproduce this narration. This is the worst narration I have heard.
Four women, four voices, four experiences of four decades in the history of Africa. From the first paragraph describing the Congolese jungle, this book slithered out and wrapped itself around me and I didn’t want it to ever let me go. The language is exquisite, the characters riveting and the plot dramatic in the best sense of the word. That Kingsolver also manages to pack in a complex lesson on the history of imperialism on top of all that is simply mind-boggling.
The setting is Africa, but events like those in this book have happened many times all over the world. Unfortunately, citizens of imperialist nations, including the U.S., are privileged to “sail through from cradle to grave with a conscience clean as snow,” as Kingsolver says in the first chapter. Having lived in Chile, I understand far too well what U.S. foreign policy is capable of doing. So I found the story of what happened to the Congo under first Belgian direct rule and then U.S. indirect rule depressingly familiar. Yet it is a story that needs to be heard over and over until the citizens of the “first world” finally hold our own governments accountable for the misery we have caused in the “third world.”
I found this to be a truly masterful depiction of imperialism and its effects on entire nations, as told through the stories of four American women. Dare yourself to read this book with an open mind and you may begin to see that we are all co-conspirators in the fate of our fellow human beings.
Say something about yourself!
The Poisonwood Bible is high on my list of favorite books. It is a powerful story written in Kingsolver's masterful prose, told in the five unique voices of the Price Family women. Dean Robertson's natural narration is flawless.
This is not an experience to be missed.
***here I will add a request to Audible. Ms Robertson chose (wisely) to change voices with inflection and emphasis rather than a pitch change. Such sustained changes for five different characters would have dulled Ms Kingsolver's unique and natural voice for each character. I sometimes became confused as to which narration I was listening, particularly when I resumed listening. Please consider having this book redone with five different narrators, retaining Dean Robertson's mother. It won't be easy to find four more narrators as accomplished and confident enough to stay out of the way of great prose.
Other reviewers have detailed the story, so I will not, but I want to suggest to all who are considering this audiobook to pass it by and go for the written book. The narrator detracts from this amazing book. She speaks with a minimum of intonation, practically no emotion, certainly no character voices and speaks much too fast.
Although I'm suggesting you consider to go for the written book over the audiobook, how could I possibly give this book less than 5 stars. 10 stars for the literature and 2 stars for the narrator.
Say something about yourself!
The Poisonwood Bible has what so many books are missing and that is the writer's unique ability to create art through words. The character's in this book were comical and loveable. The reason that I haven't rated it less than perfect is because the narrator and the book were not made for each other, but still one of my favorite books yet.
I couldn't get going with the printed copy of this book, but once I started listening to the audio version, I was instantly hooked. The narrator's reading with the Southern accent made the story come alive and I enjoyed listening to all 15+ hours of Barbara Kingsolver's story of Africa.