Engrossing and Tragic
I loved all the individual characters, but I think that Mr. Hosokawa sticks in my mind the most. A business man who had little time for his family, he was the most changed by these events.
Anna Fields did such an amazing narration of this book. She brought life to all the characters, male and female in many foreign languages. Amazing!
Gen was the most memorable for me. He brought guests and terrorists together in a way that would not have been possible without his interpretations.
Read/listen to this book. You won't be sorry. I listened to State of Wonder for my book club and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to read another Ann Patchett book. I chose this one for it's unusual premise. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Ann Patchett's style reminds me of an old master painting. She starts with the grounding, and then gradually adds the lights, the darks, and the mid-values. Ultimately, after many semi-transparent layers, an intricate and beautiful image emerges. You will fall in love with the characters and the story.
I've been a member for 3 years and over 280 titles. I listen during my commute to/from work. Mysteries around the world...Jo Nesbo, Larsson, Erin Hart, Tana French, Verghese, Stuart Neville others?
Different nationalities, extremely poor vs extremely rich and a lot of forbidden relationships. I've read State of Wonder and recommend them both.
Since I have read this book I have been on a fruitless search to find another one which captures me in the same way.
Yuck. This is my second Ann Patchett book, and I know that's not enough to make a sweeping generalization about her writing style. However, I will say that the two books I've read were of the same formula. An enticing begin, with a long, drawn out, and boring middle, followed by an abrupt and rushed ending where everything is neatly wrapped up in a great hurry. This book was unrealistic to the extreme, and I found reading it to be painful at times. Strong dislike. I have no idea how this book won any awards. Usually if I don't like an award winning book, I can atleast see some redeeming qualties. Not the case here.
While I don't think I enjoyed the story or writing quite as much as many other reviewers did, I enjoyed Anna Fields' narration much more than I thought I would at first. It must be terribly sexist of me to say this, but I often find female narrators reading male dialogue to be awfully jarring and disruptive to my enjoyment of the story, although I don't find the reverse to be true. And one might expect that in a story where so many of the characters are male, a male narrator would make more sense.
When I first began listening, I did not think I was going to care for Fields much at all. Her reading seems to have a peculiarly flat, abrupt, matter-of-fact quality to it that I at first found odd. This is not to say it's monotonous or droning-- not at all. But it's somehow the sort of reading style in which one might describe a waking dream, expressing no surprise whatsoever at an elephant falling from the sky or blood dripping down the walls.
But it did not take long before I stopped hearing "a female narrator" at all and I simply heard the characters speaking and the story unfolding. Fields does such a wonderful job with the various voices and accents that she simply "becomes" the characters. Her reading style, which felt off to me at first, actually heightens the dreamlike timelessness of the story, when it feels as though the hostages will simply be here together with their captors forever.
I was not as impressed with the writing as many others, but then I am a very visual person and I get the sense I might have found it more beautiful and poetic in print.
Did not like being told how it was going to end and then waited a long long time for the 2nd shoe to fall.
It should have been a shorter book
Yes, she is great as usual.
I did love the characters, flawed and quirky.
La Grand Cuisiniere
This book was highly recommended by a friend who has read and enjoyed many of the same books I have loved, so I was excited to read this book. I couldn't have been more wrong. I finished it only to know how it ended, and always thinking "it's going to get better". My husband listened to it with me and voiced the same opinion.
If you like a book of characters and character interaction, as well as surprise and suspense, you will love this book.
Do not be fooled by the surface situational description of this book as I was. I had owned it for years and never read it because I was not so interested in a book about hostages. However this book only uses the situation as a vehicle to explore human relationships and it is wonderful, gripping, and impossible to stop listening.