I chose this book because I know Barbara Rosenblat is a good narrator. It was unsettling at first. I am glad that I stuck with it. It is a very moving story.
An inspiring story......a little slow at first but worth hanging in there. The audible version made it that much better (especially with all of the French terminology.)
Im relatively new to audiobooks so I dont feel qualified to rank the book, however this novel was a bookclub choice and I found that I couldnt get past the first few pages without falling asleep when actually reading it, so listening to the audio was certainly helpful in getting past the first rather longwinded and somewhat indulgent beginning. Once past this however the story took life and I became truly curious about the lives of the characters. I have read many of the reviews on this book, both on audible and other book review sites, and whilst I agree that the author may have been attempting to find a platform for her philosophical knowledge and views and the characters as elitest and thus as hypocritical as the society they criticise, I still found myself becoming increasingly fond of the main protagonists and swept up in the romance, evolving friendships and self-realisation. It was a really touching story and I found myself (whilst stuck in traffic) openly weeping.The narrators, both American accents, a mature female voice and a young girl, both with perfect French pronunciation, (I think) really gave the audio the edge over the written book I believe.I did really like this book, and although I dont think it deserved the hype it received at the time, it was still a very moving and thoughtful book, quite funny in parts, definitely worth pursuing.A great bookclub choice too.
Reader, Writer, Artist, Film-Lover, Cook, Knitter/Crocheter, Gardener, Cat Enthusiast, and Marketing Professional.
Beautifully performed. The readers/actors were able to interpret the beauty of the English translation very well. I found myself listening to portions of text over and over. This book is heavy with ideas and it required adept readers who could not only tell a tale, but skillfully share knowledge.
Author and Animal Fantasy Activist (Also known as The Literary Rat)
If you can endure the mild gross humor and Paloma's pompous attitude for the first hour in, you'll get something out of the experience, if a coward like me can enjoy it, it just may touch you in ways you can't imagine possible at the outset.
With Paloma, the stuff about food and how her issues with her elder sister can hilarious as they are painful reminders of how my mother drives me nuts, but that's all I'll say on that.
As long as you're ready to cringe, debate amongst yourself, and cry, you'll find something interesting in this offbeat tale.
The first half of the story deals with intellectual angst. Shortly thereafter the story blossoms for a short period then ends abruptly with sadness. I always love Barbara's performances...worth the listen just for her performance.
This is one of the best books I've read/listened to. Listening has it's added plus because you hear the voice of both the conscierge and the young girl. The flow of the writing is superb...so good that, after listening, I purchased a hard copy to go back and savor some of the well written passages. If you appreciate good writing read this book. And...just an aside...the ending was truly a total surprise.
Although sometimes a little wordy and expansive in philosophical insights there is a balance between the characters. I found myself smiling while listening and sad when it was over.
I belong to a book club and many of the members didn't like the book. Two of the most avid readers in the group said they just couldn't get into it - they tried.
On impulse I went to see the movie (in French) with one of these two women. OMG she LOVED it.
So my conclusion is this story needs a performance or a very zen reader.
a few books are life-changing....this one was for me. it starts off slow but 1/3 of the way through the book it becomes wonderful. it is a story about the power of love and friendship to change lives. magnificent.