What a fantastic book. Ms. Glass enthrals as she artfully and deftly weaves past and present, father and son, young and old into a single masterful "over-tale" of the circle of life and death and love and loss. The author's beautiful style and rich text seem effortless and her character development is amazingly real, not just believable or convincing but Real - so much that you find yourself disbelieving that these characters don't truly exist. The three dimensional textures in which she paints her cast are awesome and reason enough to have a read.
Complaints I've seen in other reviews of this book about the Scottish accent being too thick for understanding and confusion over timeline of events at first are typical of any book on tape with a well rendered reading such as this one. It will always be harder to understand a book on tape than a paper book as you cannot go at your own speed, but it's well worth it here for the incredible reading by the narrator. Each character is instantly recognizable by his / her voice, and the depth of emotion is worthy of an able actor.
If you, like one other reader / reviewer of this book, are a puratanical sort, offended or scared by the mere presence of a homosexual theme in a story, you may be scared by this book. However, if you are slightly to fully open minded you'll find that this element serves mostly to underscore the alienation felt by the main character from his family and is never exploitative, graphic, or overtly sexual in nature.
Well done Ms. Glass, Brava, we look forward to your next effort!
This is absolutely the best audio book I have ever heard! The narrator's ability to change accents and voicing to match characters brings them to life as well as any cinematic representation could ever hope to. This is a perfect example of an audio-book's superiority over a movie-interpretation. Not only does it not have to be edited, but it can unravel at the author's intended pace. That the book weaves time and isn't perfectly linear seems to confuse listeners who have no concentration; for me it was a delight to revel in the author's finely wrought story-telling and wonderfully constructed characters. I regretted that it ended. A fantastic experience. I have and will continue to recommend it to anyone who loves a beautiful story well told.
A wonderful book to listen to because of the different accents of the characters. (Much of it takes place in Scotland.) It's long, but with a complex interplay of stories and characters. A wonderful book.
1. The book gave a wonderful sense of the interplay of joys and regrets, loves and sorrows, and the randomness and interconnectedness of life.
2. The reader's voice brought out the personalities of the characters as well as the subtle humor of the book.
3. The only laugh I think I wasn't meant to have as listener, was the reader's John Wayne-ized version of an American accent!
Stopping in the middle was not an option. I was captivated by the characters immediately despite the tough listen. Moving back and forth in time made it difficult to follow but John Keating's Scottish accent added such an intriguing layer that I held out for more. Of the three parts, I was most engaged by the second June, Fenno's story, the longest part. I think it would benefit me to listen again to the first June, Paul's story. At the time I wasn't prepared for the mental alertness required and I might just pick up a few tidbits that would enhance my understanding. I recommend this book to the reader that likes a challenge.
I really wanted to like this book. I had truly enjoyed Julia Glass' other book that I had downloaded from Audible ("The Whole World Over") and was sorry when it had ended. I tried listening to this book for the first time several months ago and could not get past about 15 minutes of it so I just stopped listening -- at the time I figured I had just enjoyed the previous book (The Company by Robert Littell) so much that I wasn't ready to embark on anything so divergent. So after listening to a few more books I gave Three Junes a try again today. After 75 minutes, I decided it was just impossible to complete -- a first for me. While I don't think the writing was up to the same standard of "The Whole World Over", what really killed the book was the narration. There was little differentiation between the characters, and when there was differentiation it made some of the characters sound unappealing; that would be OK if that was the author's intent but I don't think that was the case. The poor differentiation would have probably been tolerable, though, if it were not for the poor diction of the narrator. There was no pause at the end of some sentences and then some sentences would run into another with no pause. This made for a stilted, hard to follow listening experience. Hopefully this will be the first and only book that I can't finish.
I bought this title with high expectations. I was quite disappointed, and listened to the first CD five different times on my commute to work.
I agree with Kathy that it's very hard to follow. It jumps around from past to present unexpectedly and introduces too many characters at one time. I just could not keep up with the storyline or who was who.
The narrator reads with a heavy accent so perhaps this contributed to the audiobook being so hard to follow.
In any case, after listening to the first CD for the fifth time, I came to the conclusion that I really didn't care about the characters or the storyline and threw away the CD's and began listening to "The Cabinet of Curiosities", also available on Audible, and which I heartily recommend!
Love reading, hard to find the time! audible member since 2006
The characters were wonderful, the writing witty and touching, the reader just beautiful. My only regret - I wished the third part of the book was about the french wife, I think she would have made a very compelling story. But all in all, I loved it.
If I had not been trapped in a car on a 13 hour trip to Kentucky with no other Audible book available, I would never have finished this book.
It was so confusing that I listened to part 1 twice without realizing it until I was 20 minutes into it.
Some of Fenno's observations are delightful but they, sadly, do not make up for the rest of the book's lack of organization.
A delightful story about engaging, imperfect and lovable people. Many beautiful turns of a phrase and fresh, believable metaphors sprinkled throughout. Also,Keating's reading made the book so much more delightful than it would have been to sight read. His native burr and command of accents and styles of speech is wonderful. Never difficult to hear the content, however. I found the jumps between past and present always incorporated a clue to the time period quiickly after the jump. It kept this reader alert and involved in each unfolding event or recollection.