if you listen you will realize justabook is high praise. I wish I could give it six stars. This is the most enjoyable listen of any of the books I have listened to (at least 20). I actually began to look forward to my commute so that I could hear more of the story (seriously). This is the only audiobook where I feel compelled to buy the hard cover. I want to keep it and savor it again. Don't be intimidated by the length, there are very few minutes that are not a delight. There are some things you want to last.
I loved listening to this book and would definitely recommend it. It is a lively, entertaining, informative novel, read with great sensitivity by Shelly Thompson.
I especially loved the animal characters in the story: Eileen, the Jack Russell terrier, the thoroughbreds Justa Bob and Mr. T. and the other fillys. colts, geldings and stallions that populate this story. It was lovely to be immersed in the world of horses and in the characters of the owners, vets, trainers, jockeys, grooms and others that care for them.
Contrary to other reviewers I found Shelly Thompson's interpretation of the characters sensitive and entertaining. She was able to sing an Irish lilt and bark like a terrier, assume the characters of men, of women, and horses. She had great range. Sure she mispronounced a few place names. But I find this no great sin, nor that unusual.
I laughed out loud at this book, and found myself repeating portions of it to my friends over coffee. Jane Smiley is a great writer and she found a great reader for her novel.
A huge cast of characters including horses, a Jack Russell terrier named Eileen, and even a pig. Their must be at at least a twenty men, women and 2 precocious children, whose lives we follow and who are caught up in Jane Smiley's world of thoroughbred horse racing.
The woman is a wonder. She writes of this world with a kind of love, even as she casts her eye and ours on the highly unnatural and often cruel fate that has been been bred into and eventually creating these glorious animals.
I enjoyed it immensely and didn't want it to end. As the book neared its end I would relisten at random - didn't matter where - just to put off being goodbye to it. It's all good.
Shelley Thompson does a fine job in wending her way through the myriad characters. Each character has his or her own voice .. including the animals. She reads with both passion and compassion. She is a fine reader.
No, It's a tediously long stroy. I want the Reader's Digest Condensed version.
Too many characters introduced that are not mentioned other than their set up, which I consider a loss lead. Don't introduce me to someone that will go away and I really didn't care about any of them.... any of them.
Learn properly how to pronounce American words.
Nope. Maybe not to bet on horses since there is so much crap going on.
Author needs to concentrate on, Who's stroy is it anyway? I still don't know. Eileen is the only character completely developed, and I liked when she was the focus.
I gave up listening an hour before the end. First of all it's way too long with too many characters. The characters themselves are mainly uninteresting and annoying and the part where she puts in a character who can "talk" to horses made me think of Mr Ed. The narrator, besides the fact that she didn't know how to pronounce some of the words, also got on my nerves. I liked the other books of hers that I read, but this one is a stinker.
It's a wonderful novel full of flawed character of human, equine and canine persuasion. It is very long however and without an expectation of a fulfilling ending you won't be disappointed. It just kind of fizzles out like a worn out candle. But no doubt about it, Smiley can write.
The worst part of this audiobook is the preview - does not do this fantastic book justice! I was a big fan of the paperback version, read it religiously, and was so excited to see that it was an audiobook. When I listened to the preview, I was extremely disappointed - sounded flat and dull and monotonous. These qualities are in no way reflected by the actual narration or structure of the audiobook.
Fast-paced and quirky, Horse Heaven draws together a collection of oddball characters and intertwines their stories with that of their beloved (or not) thoroughbreds. The narrator does a great job of dramatizing the dialogue, and keeping the listener entertained. Five stars - a must for horse lovers.
I cannot tell you how this book influenced my life! An absolute sensational read. Love Shelly Thompson, love Just A Bob, what a fabulous book. Bless you Jane Smiley!!! I love horses, so I suppose why I love this.
Jane Smiley demonstrates her brilliance in this book, illustrating similarities between the horses and the people who own, breed, train, and race them. And Shelley Thompson is a truly engaging narrator. It was a great experience!
If you're a horse lover or racing fan, you will love this book! Jane Smiley really knows horses, and it shows. The cast of characters (both equine and human) is daunting, but fascinating. And the narrator, Shelley Thompson, is fantastic! This is on my Top Five list!