I was afraid it would be grim, but Ann Patchett manages to lace the story with gentle humour. And of course, there are romances.
I have never heard Anna Fields before, but she was amazing with Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, French, Swiss, English and probably other accents.
Good books and peaceful days...
A group of wealthy people meet in some small 3rd world-ish country to celebrate an even richer Japanese industrialist's birthday - by meeting in the Vice President's house (along with the VP himself; the Prez of this country doesn't show b/c the party's celebrated during his favorite soap opera!). They have all shown up for another kind of opera -- a private concert by one of the most famous opera singers of all time. Why her? She's the favorite singer of the Japanese industrialist who the country is trying to impress so he'll place a manufactoring company in their country. The quiet, cultured man has seen & heard his favorite singer before, but this is the best he's ever heard, ever. As she sings, everyone is suddenly quiet b/c she's got the purest voice, covering three octives, which is virtually unheard of. But after she sings two pieces, accompanied by her pianist, who seems to be in love w/her, the lights go out due to a sudden flurry of gun fire. About 20 to 30 others are standing in the shadows of the great mansion; as a few lights come up, these extremely well-dressed people are surrounded by, mostly, teens & 20somethings, along with a few older guys, obviously their leaders - a few harsh-looking men. And all of them are wearing torn clothes covered with dirt & leaves, wearing masks & holding several weapons each. It's the beginning of a hostage situation that lasts for several months, where people get to know others from other socio-economic backgrounds. Music, some politics but mostly outstanding people who get to know each other, peppered with a few unlikely love stories.
One of the most fascinating books you'll ever read. Don't miss this one.
This first novel by Ann Patchett will blow your socks off. Great narrator too.
Wow. If you download one thing from Audible.com, let it be this. Ann Patchett condenses the essence of life into one book, and writes with such wisdom and beauty that it makes you weep. I didn't want it to end!
Gen Wantanabe- Anna wins us over to him from the start, with the gently voice she uses, and his way of always doing the right thing.
Yes, I did cry.
Nothing else I've downloaded from Audible even comes close to this quality of writing. Why don't you carry more literary fiction?
This is a story lyrically told, read by a versatile voice artist who can capture the nuance and drama.
The narrator was very good in reflecting the voices of each character.
The story itself. Each character was equally defined. You rooted for both the hostages and the hostage takers.
I did want to continue to read it in one sitting but it was too long to do so. But reading it in so many chapters at a time made the story last--it was one I did not want to end.
I highly recommend this book to listen to even at its length. Anna Fields voice is a pleasure to listen to. And, as mentioned before, she really captured each character fully.
I'm not even finished listening to the audiobook (almost done), and I'm already looking forward to reading/listening to another Ann Patchett. This is my first Ann Patchett book and I've fallen in love with her prose and with her stories.
I thought the narrarator Anna Fields, brought just the right tone and nuace to the story. Her voice made it easy for me to feel as thought I were there, almost a part of the group.
The ending was surprising, and although I'm not entirely sure I liked it, I could see no other way to bring the story to some kind of resolution.
Everything. Tone, pausing, changes in inflections - soft/hard/kind/stern. It was as if she knew each character and could introduce them to us exactly as they should be.
It was interesting enough, but I can't listen for longer than a few hours before I start becoming distracted. I did however, immediately start listening to it the minute I was out for a walk, bike ride, etc.
Loved it which surprised me. Wasn't sure it would hold my attention, but it did. I really enjoyed the characters (although the adoration of one of the characters became a bit much as some points.)
i'd definitely recommend this book. It's a great story and very original. Ann Patchet has a way of using mythic material but in a way that feels very real. She does the most important thing an author can do. She makes you want to know what happens next. She also balances many characters but still makes each one memorable.
When Carmen finally gets the nerve to approach Gen to yeah her how to read.
I liked the reading. She added a lot to the book. My one caveot was that she seemed to have one foreign accent regardless of what language the speaker spoke.
Prisoners of Edan