Hard core Audble listener, been listening to recorded books since they were on casset tape...
Wonderful prose melodically read by the great Frank Mueller.
I listen to this when it was first recorded (had to have been close to 20 years ago, I know it was on cassette tapes) and was so moved by it then I knew it would merit another listen. I was not wrong, it was even more touching and beautiful with age.
I've just wasted a credit. Giving up at chapter three. Some nicely written passages but the extensive dialogue is flat and flat out false.
I'm a huge fan of over-the-top when it's gorgeous and shocking and pays for its literary misdemeanors with raw beauty, but this book is little more than half-assed soap opera. I'd easily overlook all the implausibilities if the main character wasn't such so tiresome. Too bad too - there were decent moments and glints in the eyes of some characters. And the world absolutely needs more discussion and books written about the particular trauma he and his family went through, but it's better done elsewhere.
Great reader. Great story. Some graphic violence including sexual violence. I haven't always preferred Frank Muller's narration because his voice was too gumshoe-noir for my taste, but it works perfectly for this story.
Avid Audible Listener
I loved listening to this book. I've never read anything by Pat Conroy. I purchased it simply because Frank Muller narrated it. I absolutely loved every minute of it. Frank Muller did a stand-up job, as usual, and the writing was first rate. I haven't seen the movie, so I had nothing to compare it to. Definitely worth the credit!
This was a book club selection and I will admit, I wasn't very excited about it. I am so glad I decided to read it. I am even happier that I chose to listen to it. I loved it. The narrator sucks you into the story and I could not stop listening. I could feel the characters pain, frustration, love and heartache. This is such a beautiful story.
There's no question that it's an intriguing story in spite of it being at least two hours longer than it should have been.
SEMI SPOILER ALERT*** However, what ruined the book for me -- with several hours left to listen to -- was when the damaged protagonist (with almost no motivation) not only forgave the two people who had most grievously damaged him and his hometown and who had indirectly been responsible for his brother's death, but he APOLOGIZED TO THEM!
Woe to the person to tries to read another author after Pat Conroy. The rest just don't measure up. Pat Conroy's lush language, insights into human character, and riveting plot line are all reasons why I'm in love with him. He writes about the South and South Caroline low country in particular, as if it were another character - a flawed, beautiful lover - tarnished but still the object of great affection and devotion.
I really did not like this book at all. There were some parts that held my interest, and Conroy definitely has a beautiful way with words, but once you get fully invested in the book to find out what happens, it gets completely preachy with an agenda, and it really does not go back to what I thought was the main story. I couldn't stand the lack of moral compass of the characters, while trying to impress upon the reader a moral belief. Rarely do I get mad at audiobooks for wasting my time, but this one wasted my time. I struggled to finish, and it left me greatly wanting and not really liking anyone.