I absolutely adore Barbara Kingsolver as a writer and a narrator. Don't listen to anyone that says she as a writer should not be the narrator. I think this makes her more apt to be THE narrator because she knows where the ennunciations should be and the tone of the actual book. I LOVE the song bird audio between chapters. I have read the book various times I just love listening to her read her book the way it was meant to be read. A definite must.
In South Lake Tahoe now; moved here to volunteer in wildlife rehab. Bears, raccoons, squirrels, birds -- lovely! Also knitting, embroidery, spinning and audio books.
This is such a good book -- and for many repeated listens! -- that I'm afraid the more I say the more I might turn off someone deciding whether or not to listen to it. Nevertheless, I am going to listen again and again. I am going to burn the CD's for my Russian ESL student and give her the hardcover book to follow. Aside from anything else Kingsolver has written, this book stands by itself as a masterpiece and a rich and lovely listen. The author reads gently, calmly, not hurried. She can sound like a hillbilly or the educated woman she is. Some passages sound like a textbook or propaganda, because each character feels strongly about one aspect of creation. The listener gets to watch them interact with the world and each other. You can listen to find out what happens next. Then listen again for the poetry and relish the birdsong between chapters. Listen for the layers of meaning. There's a surprise for whoever listens to the last chapter and immediately begins the first chapter again. Lovely!
I enjoy listening to books read by the author (when they can read well, which Kingsolver *does*).
This is really a lovely book and kept my interest better than other books written with this structure -- which is that it switches back and forth between 3 different stories of 3 differenet people, only related during the story by living in the same area.
Also, though I personally agree with Kingsolver's point of view, I think she comes off as a tiny bit too preachy or self satified in her essays. Here she manages to present her point of view in an interesting manner, without sacraficing the story. By making the story partly about the conflicts her characters run into because of their points of view, they are the story, instead of being interjected like vitamin shots.
If you're looking for a general lesson on ecological systems, then this book might be for you. If you're looking for a story with a plot, then skip this. Oddly enough, although there was no story at all, I ended up listening to the whole thing, (maybe hoping something would happen?)
Two stars may be a little harsh. When I first started listening I really had a problem with the narration, but as it went on, it kind of grew on me. I don't think I'd want to listen to her narrate books other than her own, but at least as the writer she knew what inflections she wanted.
Disappointment. As a scientist it was nice to see someone extolling the virtues of predator ecology, organic farming, and conserving species, but I would have preferred to have it wrapped in a story that had a point.
Suzanne, avid reader and listener who loves a broad range of genres but, ecpecially authors,T.C. Boyle, Jodi Picoult, Barbara Kingsolver, Lionel Shriver, Sue Miller, Larry McMurty, Bryce Courteran, Lisa Gardner, Brian Haig, Richard North Patterson, Nelson Demille, Robert Tannenbaum, Sara Gruen, Kate Norton, Steig Larsen, Tana French and Gillian Flynn!! Still many more and the number of authors I enjoy continues to grow.
This is definitely and still in my top five!
I love the way she weaves the different story lines and characters together. And, the natural world is explained and shown to have it's own persistent and undeniable purpose, presence and influence. I read this years ago and my listening to this book did not dissapoint.
She has a soft pleasant lilting voice which serves her material well. I have found a number of books where the author makes the mistake of narrating. If I don't like the narrator I won't buy or listen to the box. You will not be dissapointed with Kingsolver's performance!
Iit's all a big sexual circus!
The science in this book is amazing. The age-span of the characters and issues presented our astonishing.
I like all of Kingsolver's writing -- I'd probably read the phone book twice if she wrote it -- but this is my favorite. The story lines are woven together as an elegant braid, or maybe a celtic knot... so beautifully constructed and tidy, with no loose ends. The characters are real and deep, imperfect and funny. Kingsolver herself is a marvelous reader who narrates with perfect understanding of her characters and how they were meant to speak. I have listened to this book several times on cassette, and when I recently joined Audible, I put this on my list right away- I know I will have reason to listen again and again, spend time with these characters as old friends and let Kingsolver's language and voice wash over me.
After thorougly enjoying "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" I am just starting to discover Barbara Kingsolver's books...and boy am I glad! She is an incredibly intelligent and talented writer. With 'Prodigal Summer' I found that, at first, I was not quite as taken as I had expected I'd be (based on the rave reviews). However, once I allowed the story to unfold, I found myself completely sucked into the magical, but very real world that Kingsolver has created through this story. It is a book that is richly textured and has so many themes intertwied and layered that it is sure to offer something for everyone....perhaps especially for those of us who love and wonder at the marvel of the natural world around us.
I've listened to this book twice, several years apart, and the same experience each time: slow to start, then it spirals, hunts and pounce. This is the only author-narrated book I've recommended to friends because Kingsolver's mountain voice is sly, wonderous and just about a perfect match for Prodigal Summer. I miss some of the characters, am glad for their successes. I love the overflowing bounty that slowly builds and erupts. It's the ordinariness that transforms into special.
lovely. this novel was breathtakingly told and superbly narrated by the author. this is a great companion piece to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle