Our hero could have cut out the entire story about the lives of his ancestors in medieval Poland/Ukraine. The hero's own trip to Ukraine was interesting as a memoir, and the Ukrainian translator's English was clever. Also the story of the World War 2 - Nazi invasion, and the lives of the characters at that point could have made a good story on its own, but the book, especially the Jewish stettle storyline from 1730 till 1940 came to naught and really has no continuity, and quite frankly is not clever and is downright confusing. Essentially, don't waste your currency on this nod, comrade. Maybe he can rewrite the book with all of the interesting stuff and make it into a novel about Ukraine from WW2 to modern day. He could develop the Grandfather character's life, and it would be worth reading (listening to), I suggest a revision, or a new novel altogether. There is potential here, but this book is far from reaching it.
Some parts of this book were so funny I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing out loud on my commuter train. But the last few minutes of the book were gone, it just went sraight to the credits. I was very disappointed to not hear the complete ending.
I had trouble putting this book down. The storyline is powerful and the narration carries you right along.
I have not read any book similar to this one unless it compares to some true stories of survival from the Nazis during WWII.
It is a sort of mystery too. However I find it hard to categorize this book. It stands alone.
The narrators are absolutely remarkable. Their voices draw you deeper and deeper into the story.
A Tale of Generations
I came to care for the characters so much that the ending was truly disappointing for me.
I love it's luminescence.
The rendering of the realization that time, and individual history is an illusion.
The most pleasurable listens are those from which you get a feeling that the performer understood the story exactly the way you are learning to understand it yourself, and the experience becomes symbiotic in that sense. That's the feeling I got listening to this book.
All of them.
I loved the movie as well. I am waiting for more works from Foer anxiously. He touches my heart with one hand and my brain with the other, it's an odd and addicting feeling.
I was looking for just a glimmer of hope for humanity, for a little bit of deliverance from the darkness and hopelessness of the story. I found none. Humanity is portrayed as an ugly, hopeless, cruel and all-together miserable lot. Life is viewed as a disappointing and hopeless experience with a sense of humor as its only deliverance. This is a very dark and depressing view and the book is not a good read for someone looking for a soul-soothing story.
The story portrays life as being hopeless, ugly, cruel. The story ends abruptly with no resolution. It also is very pessimistic, negative, dark - a hurtful read in many ways.
The terrible scene when the woman gets shut in her wumb
For anyone with a delicate and sensitive disposition: do not read.
I dont know if I would ever read one of his books again, this was a painfully amateurish book.
I loved this book. Everything about it was great! I liked the way the current day events were interwoven with a story one of the main characters is writing about events in the past. It is a very funny book and it is also a touching and many times sad story about events in WW2. The "current day" story is based on real events from the author's recent past. The narrator was really great too. I don't know if the accent is accurate or not but it really does not matter. I think you will really enjoy thie book. I just downloaded one of his other books, Extememly Loud and Incredibly Close and I am loving that one too.
The audio version of the story, actually listening to Alex speak, is part of what makes it so captivating
Such a simple idea...looking for ones ancestors, making a family tree. It never occurred to me that for families of the victims of the holocaust, there is probably no website to look up ones great uncle or library to fill in the family Bible. That thought alone is so deep and sad and poignant that to make it the subject of a novel would seem a deliberate effort to write darkly unpalatable prose that wallows in grief and threatens to drown the reader in the futile efforts of man to reconcile the past. However, the clownish somewhat slapstick buffoonery of our authors second protagonist, and his grammar errors especially, are so unexpected that, I for one, repeatedly laughed out loud, making perfect strangers stare and or ask what I was listening to. There is more here than sadness and loss and hilarity. This book contains a perfect love story or two.
Its the authors style I cannot do justice to. Its just...unusual, its fun. I cant tell if the book is written like a Yiddish narrative, passed from grandmother to child, or if the story's disjointed skips from time to time, emotion to opposite emotion, story line to alternate story line, is just the authors way of writing. Either way, it was pure art.
The complete story was lacking. Somehow I missed the intended concept. I felt that I was supposed to like it because of the weighty subject matter. Failed to illuminate me at all.