I really am enjoying the book but keep finding myself irritated and disappointed with its narrator. To me it sounds like she has a tongue ring or speaks often with her mouth full. The only accent she does well is Spanish, and everyone else in the book (Russian, French, Japanese etc.) end up speaking with the same Spanish accent. This is irritating and distracting - the reason I can tell is that I am Russian myself married to a Frenchman. However, my complements to the writer. This is a very beautifully written book.
I listened to this book over a year ago and I still think of it often. It was entertaining, thought-provoking and sweet. One of the best stories I've ever read or heard.
If you read the synopsis, it is hard to imagine how engaging this story is. But it is. The premise is odd, but results is a fascinating interplay among characters you don't expect to find in the same place. Beautifully written with language to savor. The performance is exceptional - with the narrator giving life to many characters with a wide variety of nationalities, dialects and personalities.
This has become one of my favorite audio books, and I will be looking for more by this author and this narrator, for certain.
How can a book about terrorists taking hostages including a beautiful renowned opera singer brought to entertain at a political birthday party in an unnamed South American country be boring?? Don't know, but this one is. I've listened to hours of this and haven't been convinced to care about any of the characters or develop any interest in the plot. I keep going back to see how much longer this can possibly be and sadly I'm not quite half through it yet. But since I don't care what happens to the characters, I don't have to know the ending, so I think I'll stop listening and move on to something more interesting. I really don't understand all the positive reviews!
Reasonable storyline, predictable outcome. Writing is decent but I'm not sure there's much depth or undertones. No idea why this is an award winner.
I've listened 2.5 hours to date (n the book, it's morning after the attack). Ms. Patchet's prose may be "miraculous", but this art would be better appreciated in service of a plot. When last I left, she was describing the silk wrap of Edith Thibeault (spelling on character's name is approximate - don't forget, I'm listening). Why does anyone care? This is hardly high symbolic literature.
Because I don't know the payoff ending (except that all the revolutionaries die), I'm beginning to think that this is an attempt to evoke The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Unfortunately, the characters are far less compelling.
This is one of the most boring audio books to which I have listened. The details about the hostages daily life for 4.5 months was far from interesting. And as previous reviewers wrote, you will learn nothing serious about opera or hostage situations from this book. On top of all that, I thought the end was a bit ridiculous. I won't divulge the details though, just in case you do decide to listen. On a positive note, this is a great replacement for sleeping pills.... Just don't read it while you are driving.
This book has poor plot, no action, no adventure, unrealistic characters and drags along forever. In other words no matter what aspects of a story you might enjoy I can't see any reason you'd like this book.
Listening to it is like chinese water torture.