living in los angeles I drive a lot, so audio books save me from a lot of frustration!
This is an incredibly ambitious book spanning over 4 decades, different writing styles (power point, gossip column graph), numerous characters (Record producer, dictator, Hollywood starlet) locations (Africa, Naples, New York) yet it all comes together in the end. Instead of withholding information to keep readers in suspense, Jennifer Egan gives it away sometimes with blinding speed. Just as I fell in love with one of her characters she condensed the rest of his life into one paragraph and he was already dead.
I tried hard to get past the poor diction, knowing that pronouncing -ing as -een is a pet peeve of mine, but when glutinous is marred as gluttonous, I was done with the audio. It seems there is no review process in these Audible recordings. Something I also find odd is that these are coming from some pre-publication manuscript; funny little changes that turn up in the final cut.
Weird. This lack of oversight will likely drive me away.
I usually stay away from reviewing narrators since that seems to be so much about personal taste. But this performance is really brilliant. I enjoyed the story also, which is a series of vignettes told from different characters perspectives at different points in their lives.
This is a good book, it's just that the reader is terrible. I wonder if it's a computer reading this book? What a waste of a credit.
The book itself deserves 5 stars along with the Pulitzer Prize that it won. I picked up a copy of the book and will be experiencing it again. The tangentially connected storylines set up themes that reverberate as the narrative unfolds. The different perspectives on the passage of time...the "goon" of the title...really live up to the Proust epigraph that begins the book. The vision of the near-future is particularly plausible and hilarious at the same time. The performance, though, was a little too deadpan for my tastes; there is so much droll and delicious writing that a more accomplished actor could have had a lot of fun with it, along with the listener. Hence, my one-star deduction for the audiobook experience.
From the first sentence I was hooked. The seemingly tangential connections from one chapter to the next held because each character not only was fully realized, but knowing them gave you insight to the previous character. Egan has described her writing as a kind of time travel, and she achieved this through the non-linear plot. As I listened I felt that she had captured that fragmentary, sideways-connected way we remember. Brilliant. One of the few audio books that I want to go back to and re-listen.
This is really a unique book. Each chapter has a completely different style. And even has completely different subject matter! The characters weave in and out of each others stories... This is somewhat hard to listen to on audiobook because I found myself wanting to flip back to other chapters and re-check out the names to see how everyone was connected. So I think I missed some things but I still got it. I also really liked all the music references sprinkled throughout.
Good book, I'll probably read it again, but next time on the page. There are so many characters it's really hard to follow sometimes. Perhaps Audible could attach a photo with it that has a list of the characters? Don't know if it would give too much away, but I think it would really help.
So, unless you are in for a mental exercise, I'd say get this one in paper rather than audio.
SO many characters. This makes it difficult to stay engaged. I had to go back and rewind many times. On my second COMPLETE listen I finally saw the big picture and only then did i truly enjoy this book. That should tell you something. Download if you're willing to do the work. Otherwise get the actual book and read it. A great story!
I would characterize it as a 3D read. Disjointed, dark and depressing. Could not get far enough for a take away if there was one.