"Enjoyable" is not the word to use in this instance, because you know that Anne, her family, and the rest of the people hidden away in the annex will be taken away at the end of the book. You hear their fates, and it's almost too much to bear. I love that I got the full unabridged version of Anne's diary, including all of the parts about her budding sexuality and anger towards her mother, because Anne was not a cookie cutter girl; she is an icon for our world.
You could try to compare the "Dear America" books, the historical fiction diaries written to make kids feel like they can relate to a certain era in the world. However, Anne's diary was not fiction. It was real. There are some people who would deny the Holocaust or the damage the Nazis did in Europe during WWII. But the fact is that Anne Frank was a real girl who suffered a real battle and died a real, brutal death simply because of her heritage and religion, as did millions of people during that time. You can't deny the raw quality in this version of Anne's diary, and if you did, you'd be lying to yourself. I would compare this book also to Elie Wiesel's "Night"--a direct survivor of the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps. Anne's story is sort of like the first half of being Jewish in WWII Europe, and Elie's is like what the second half of being Jewish in the camps. His story would give you a better, detailed idea of how much more suffering Anne and the Frank family, along with millions of other people, still experienced after the diary ends.
By Selma Blair reading this story, you get that adult sense of Anne rather than the teenager Anne. I feel like Selma really brought a haunting note to this book, since we do know that Anne never reached adulthood. It's as if Anne is reading her diary from another plain where she grew past teenager age. I can't really think of anyone else who could have done a better job than Selma Blair.
I just can't stop remembering how Anne truly wanted and believed that she'd be a famous writer someday. Sometimes she would laugh at herself and say, "I must be crazy for thinking I'll be famous for my writings one day, but I can't stop wanting it." And today, she IS a world renown writer; her diary is the second most-read nonfiction book in the world! It's almost too hard to comprehend that Anne Frank is as famous as she is, and she was just a girl like everyone else. Do not pass up this audiobook; everyone NEEDS to know her story, directly from her diary.
I believe it's important to know the history of not only the best ages of the world but the worst ages too, and the Holocaust, I would say, is definitely the worst age in history, especially since it was only in the last decade. It was recently the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation; 70 years might feel like a long time, but it's really not. If we don't understand how certain tragedies and genocides happened, we can't stop them from happening again. Don't disregard Anne's story, because it is a true story that everyone needs to hear. If you had read this book in school, read this unabridged version again as an older reader. If you didn't read this book in school, like me, don't wait another moment.
This is an amazing book. I felt compelled to read the book because it's a classic, but it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable reads (despite the horrible topic) of any in my library.
This is my first review although probably the 50th or so book I've listened to. Selma Blair makes the story come to life. She uses a little bit of a slow whine that's believable for a teen discussing her parents and angst of teen love. So good.
It feels wrong, somehow, rating Anne's diary, but she was truly a very complex, interesting, and insightful young girl. Every time she spoke about her future, I was crushed knowing she never got one.
I would recommend this to everyone, young and old.
Selma Blair did a fantastic job narrating, giving the right amount of emphasis for how a teenage girl might actually talk.
Some have said they don't understand what was so horrific about the book, or how they hated Anne being a teenager and saying, many times, that no one truly knows her or "understands" her. Here's the truth: I don't think anyone in the annex really did know her, and only after the war ended did her father get to see insight into his daughter's emotions and internal turmoil. What's so horrific about this story is how it abruptly ends. The fact the 8 Jews in the annex had to hide from the world just to stay alive. That, in the end, it was all for naught. What's so horrific is the terrible way they died, and for no reason whatsoever.
Those who gave negative reviews seem to not have grasped the point of Anne's story. They focus too much on it being a diary of a young girl and less on the reality of her situation. Juxtapose her life with what was going on in the world. How her being Jewish didn't make her any different than any other teenage girl. Her religion, race, wasn't who she was. THAT'S the point. She was brave, naive, an autodidactic, and had hopes and dreams. Maybe some of the naysayers out there should take a page from Anne's diary and try to live it. Tell me how it was terrifying and horrific. Because, guess what, it was.
I wish she had survived to continue her stories. I imagine her to be a writer with rich and challenging writing that would make you think. Her loss is unimaginable.
Selma Blair's performance made it feel like Anne was talking right to me. This audio book was transformed into a friend telling of her trials and a friend listening intently. This is story is amazing on its own but the performance set it apart.
Anne is a real teen girl and I felt like if I had been in her situation... Well I don't know. It's a tragedy that Anne had to experience these hardships and that in the end she suffered even more but I appreciate that the story is real and raw. I am thankful for Anne who spent all that time writing in her journal and sharing her story.
The part where Anne talks about making a difference long after she is gone... I cried, like a baby!
See the comment above, yes absolutely!
Anne transforms through out her time in the Secret annex and that makes her more likable as her story develops. I hate for her that she wasn't able to enjoy her youth but I am greatful that she shared her story with us and that would make her happy if she knew, all the lives she had touched through writing in her journal.
I picked this book as the first audio book purchased through audible.com; because it was a simple format (diary) and it was narrated by Selma Blair - an actress I am familiar with.
Although some of the content is dry and Selma Blair sometimes seems to lack enthusiasm in her portrayal of Anne Frank, I am overall pleased with this book and would recommend it to anyone interested. However, be prepared - the content is depressing at times and I was quite emotional throughout the reading.
I also started becoming slightly obsessed with learning more about the Holocaust (the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, led by Adolf Hitler, throughout Nazi-occupied territory. Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds perished. More than one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men).
This was not something I had previous knowledge about – never learned it in school (or don’t remember) and so I became curious about how this happened….needless to say,” it opened up a whole can of worms” for me and I ended up enveloped in the history of this time – not very pleasant.
Of course, this book is wonderful. I wish that it was read by someone other than Selma Blair. I know there must be a reason as to why they chose her to narrate this book, maybe her voice really is Anne's true personality ~ but that's just it ~ Her voice is very dull and drab. Still, I love listening to the life and times of this young, amazingly bright girl. Anne was far before her time, or maybe she was just perfect for it. This book gives a great deal more detail than the other Anne Frank books that I have read. I am enjoying listening to it for the first time and learning new things about her and her family. ~
Touching. It makes us all understand how terrible it was for her to grow up in the annex even with her parents and sister. The diary was her release and gave her the ability to get out her feelings without venting on her other 'prisoners.'
It has to be Anne because she was the one doing the documenting. Everyone else was a player in her play.
I liked her narrative very much. She had just right the tone.
Sometimes the truth hurts even more.