What a wonderfully insightful and human story. Unlike many books on the subject, this book in simply telling a story of life during an unlivable time.
English major. Love to read
I wouldn't be put off by the scoffs at the narrator and not read this book. Mr. Morey has a pretty poor French accent, but otherwise he reads well
and the book should nor be missed. Excellent story and wonderful characters.
Maine Colonial 🌲
Julie Orringer clearly has a love of words and a masterly hand for painting word pictures. It's also apparent that she's done a great deal of research into a lesser-known aspect of Holocaust history; i.e., what happened to Hungarian Jews. This aspect of the book is different and should have a particular appeal for anyone who has an interest in the social history of Europe during WW2.
I appreciated this story, but I wasn't fully drawn in. The main characters, Andras and Klara, seemed two-dimensional. In this lengthy novel, there was too much dwelling on their morose love affair for my taste. For no good reason, Andras often imagines that Klara has been unfaithful to him. His emotional immaturity makes Klara's love for him a little hard to believe in completely.
Several side characters tended to be more interesting. Andras's brother Tibor and his best friends, Mendel and Eli definitely fall into that category. I wish more of the book could have focused on them.
A truly successful novel should have some element of humor in it. Even in Holocaust literature, I've read many books that had that element. It's often bitter, dark humor, but humor nonetheless, that made those books rise above the rest of the genre. This book's plot plods on in its dour way from one event to the next, with only one exception. Andras and his friend Mendel collaborate to create three underground newspapers when they are on their various labor service assignments. The excerpts from these papers are satirical and clever, and bring the book to life in those pages.
Despite these criticisms, Julie Orringer's talent is obvious. She has a real work ethic, a love of language and I hope next time around she will present more vivid, compelling characters and tighter pacing. I will give her next novel a try.
I cannot recommend the audiobook, narrated by Arthur Morey. Morey's voice tends toward the monotone and his emphases and emotional content often seemed to me not to be what the auth
This novel takes a moment to set the stage. Yet once it does you find yourself a jewish boy facing antisemitism in pre world war II europe.
The subtleties of class and culture are explored. Plus the main character finds love which helps sustain him through the complex emotions and situations of the war. This is not a novel about concentration camps, but a narrative story of someone who lives, loves, and breathes during the war. His fears and longings become real to the listener. You become part of his world and can find a different edge than what one normally expects from a WWII novel. I highly reccommend this story. Please note, however, that the narrator is poorly skilled. Luckily, the story is written lively enough to compensate for this shortcoming.
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The auther brings to life the old world with all the hopes, sadness and real people.. This book should be made to a movie. The narriator did a fantastic job.
Excellent. First half seems a bit lengthy at the time and upon review but it is an excellent and chilling view of what people lived through at the time. Fascinating and gripping.
The story, htough the start wsa a bit slow.
I speak Hungerian and Hebrew. The Hebrew pronounciation was bearable however the Hungerian was catastrophy. Many words I could not figure out only after several times due to the mispronounciation.
No, It ws too long
The descriptions. I wanted to go to Budapest to see this book. Loved Budapest. Beautiful city, the Opera House is the most beautiful one in Europe, according to me. The synagog is beautiful also. It made the book come alive. Shoes Always the Danube is a sad memorial. Buda and Pest are lovely. I read it again on the flight. Very moving.
One of my favorites.
Great book about the world war era Paris and Budapest, as well as about the ravages of the nazi regime in Hungary.
Arthur Morey's narration is great, except when he tries to pronounce Hungarian words, where he fails epically. It would not have been a huge task to ask a native to help out. Also, he is inconsistent in this, pronouncing a word one way and 50 pages down, another way.
All in all, a very engrossing and enjoyable book.
This is a beautiful, poignant story which held my attention from beginning to end - with one big exception. The canvas is one which particularly interests me, having lived through some of it.
Everything. I'm a big fan of Mr. Morey, but this reading is a disaster. As someone who is multilingual, I was appalled at the numerous mis-pronunciations throughout the book. While some of these may have been intentional (though I doubt it), I cannot imagine why the publisher didn't choose a reader who is familiar with the various languages. I winced each time a word or a phrase was mis-pronounced, and this just took me right out of the story and into near apoplexy! Please, Mr. Morey, next time you are hired to read a book which contains words in another language, get some serious coaching from a professional. This one is a blot on your otherwise perfect landscape.
What's next from Ms. Orringer?