This is one of the books that seems to have a never ending narrative. After about 4 hours I had no real sense of what was occuring other that the comings and goings of many, many people. My wife calls me the "goal oriented" man, and she is correct, as usual. I look for a theme or direction in a book.
Well written and gently narrated, it just never seems to go anywhere. The patient, poetic souls out there will likely enjoy this audiobook, but for me, I shall never know how it ends...
Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. An excellent book. It is much more than a story of free blacks owning slaves. It is a complex story set in times of American slavery and involves good people, bad people, good people who become bad people, and wonderful things and terrible things happening. The word "Property" is used to describe and call the slaves. An excellent story line, woven in elaborate time warps and beautiful language. Well narrated.
This book is great literature and carries itself along with well-developed characters with whom you will identify -- painfully so at times. This book is attractive for its quality writing, memorable characters and intriguing story line, not for page-turning suspense.
This African-American author's first novel.
Book prizes are no guarantee of a good book, but this book clearly well deserved its awards.
The last ten minutes of the audio is a fascinating interview with the author.
I listen to audio books during exercise and while driving. This book is structured in a complex way, jumps back and forth in time, and has too many characters to count let alone remember. While I respect the high purposes of the author and the prose, such a book is impossible for me to ingest in audio format. Rather, I would recommend buying the book so you can flip back through the pages for reference.
I was very disappointed with this book, the slow pace, the innumerable characters, the flashbacks and flash fowards were confusing. I also felt there was a lack of character development that would explain some of their actions. Although there were some interesting characters, I would not recomend this book. It was very hard to get through.
I certainly can understand how some may think this book to be complex because it has so many characters and there is some work involved in keeping them straight. But boring and meandering? Not at all. I was fascinated from start to finish and still wonder if this story could have really happened in history, as I discoved later that the author did not research. Doesn't matter--a great book!
I completely agree with the other reviewers who said this book was meandering and had too many characters. I loved the premise of the book, but I was so confused trying to make mental notes about which of the approximately 20 characters were related to which and when events happened that it was a major chore to just get through the book. I did enjoy several of the story lines within the book, but the book as a whole lacked cohesion and a sense of purpose.
After a slow beginning, this book is mesmerizing. A sweep of a story, a moral tale, a magnificent depiction of a time and a place and complex relationships among extraordinary people. Also, the narration is truly fabulous. One of the best of the many Audible books I've heard.
I expected a lot from this book but stopped listening after about 4 or 5 hours. I just didn't get it. It read like boring non-fiction, I'm from the South and I still didn't get it. I actually fell asleep nearly every time I started to listen. I kept waiting for something to happen but it never did, it was like listening to someone read the encyclopedia brittanica.
First the bad news... The book is hard to follow. There are too many characters (which in itself is not that bad)... but the constant shifting between timeframes and characters makes it hard to follow. It took me until well pass the half way point before I can start to follow it ;-(
The good news is that it is actually a very good story. The characters had a lot of depth; and it provides a good glimpse into the world of slavery.
So at the end of the day, 1 star off for a story that do much bouncing around. Otherwise, could have been a 4 (if not 5 star) book.
I am not the only one (there are three of us who listened to this book) who found this too long and too confusing. The circuitous nature of the story, why did we keep coming back to Henry? The interesting historical references to anchor the ideas helped a bit.