Each chapter of the book is an interlocking short story, a format that is personally difficult for me because it takes me a while to get into the new story and by the time I have it's over and a new one is starting.
That's my own problem, but what really killed it for me was the narration. The slow drawn out pacing of each word and phrase was at first annoying but bloomed into full blown aggravation by the middle of the book. It seemed to get better by the end of the book and not all the characters were talking with the same slow plodding pacing, or maybe I had simply gotten used to it.
Either way, I would recommend the book to people if they are up to short stories, but I say skip the audio version.
This book gave an excellent, true depiction of the smarmy characters of the early punk days, when some of the pigs rose to the top in the record industry. Horrible, embarrassing, but true behavior of bar life back in the day. (Blow jobs in bars, drugs, shitty bands mixed in with the rare artists, but the productive energy that we may see again under Trump!)
It's told in a series of flashbacks, so it was hard for me to know who was the star in some of the episodes... Each chapter kind of stands on its own as a short story, perhaps.
I used the audio to help me hurry the process up. Read it for my book group and I started late. :-) It was helpful to me because I kept a series of post its running, where I added little factoids and dates, to help create a time line. By the end, though, I felt like Winona Ryder in Stranger Things. :-)
No. I hated everybody. Each character was a loser. Made me feel good about myself, though.
Not sure I'd recommend it, but my bookgroup had a terribly lively discussion about how much we hated each character, their choices, their behavior, etc. Because of that, it was our funnest book group dinner party of the year. So, there's that.
I get where she was trying to go with her scattered writing style but I think she is trying to hard to hard to be meta. Shoehorning a message through thinly veiled metaphors as a means of summation isn't a bookend.
A quasi experimental/gimmicky novel built on a grid of orbiting short stories (somewhat centered on the two characters of Sasha and Benny).
Each chapter is led by a different character caught in the periphery of the two above mentioned (noncentral/nonprotagonists). Up until the midway crisis, at least the realistically drawn characters depicted held some relatable sympathetic characteristics.
Don't bother with the book unless you're feeling the need to justify humanity and human nature is leadened with crud and hopelessness. It's not a terrible read as much as it's a painful drag of a read.
The writing and prose is spot on for a work from Jennifer Egan and the narration is perfect.
Hauntingly miserable. Like some sort of Kafka story about a horrible book that never ends.
Two points are clear: the Pulitzer's must have had absolutely nothing to chose from and awarded this by default. And second, no qualified reader in the world was available to narrate this trash. I'm not sure what was worse, the story or reader.
I only finished this...this...this "product" out of either an innate sense of obligation or, most likely, insecurity. It won a Pulitzer. Certainly I just need to give it time to reach its full profundity. But oh. The the tripe. The modern trope. Arbitrary voice changes? Check. Convoluted time sequence? Of course. Uninformed criticism of modernity? You betcha!
I'll go out on a limb and say that this was most likely typed in various Brooklyn coffee shops by... Oh. I just better stop there. Suffice it to say, this book was horrible. I'm only taking the time to write this because it is supposed to be good.
Much like the other reviews said, no audiobook can do the second to last chapter justice (not a spoiler at all: it's written as a slide show) so you definitely want to have the book or kindle version at hand. I moved between the two and it was great.
I couldn't even finish this book because the narrator was so bad. She had no inflection in her voice and literally sounded like a robot. I'm so sad because I heard that it was such a good book.
This was last months pick for our book club. I didn't make it through the first chapter because the language was foul. I don't understand why authors find it necessary to use terrible language when it isn't needed. No one in my book club finished this book. All because of the foul language and explicit sex scenes. We chose a different book to discuss at our next meeting.
Cut out the foul language.