This is one of those books that seems made to be listened to, or perhaps it's just that Anna Bentinck is such a skilled narrator. David Nicholls' painfully ironic, hilarious, sad and finally redemptive comedy of manners couldn't possibly come off as well in print. I don't believe I could've caught on how desperately unfunny Ian is without Anna Bentinck's dopey voices. A printed page could never convey the lightness or bitterness or love of the banter between great friends.
I'm ten years older than the characters in the novel, and thought at first I would not be interested. I might not have read the novel, but the narrator pulled me in. Her tone, her facility with accents, even her pace seem perfect for this novel. Bentnick pauses and alters the volume of her voice just enough to allow a listener to follow the shifts in time that give structure to Nicholls' plot. The story itself is grounded in a particular time and place, yet Nicholls touches universal longings. I am impressed with Nicholls' ability to be absolutely honest without making the reader cringe. His language is spare and direct. He writes so beautifully I can almost forgive him for murder.
I was underwhelmed by this book. The narrator's voice was too soft at times, and too loud at others...it was hard to adjust the volume. As for the story...it was a bit monotonous for me. She loved him, he loved her, they wouldn't tell each other, he would drink, and the cycle would continue.
I just finished this book. While the telling of the love story according to the same day over the course of the years was clever, I can see why some reviewers considered the book to be laborious and long-winded. As I was listening to the book, I was very interested as the story unfolded. However, there were more than a few instances where I felt the book was prolonging everything unnecessarily. For anyone looking for a great love story that is full of feeling and emotion -- this book is not it. This book is more for someone who prefers a love story that delivers subtly and slowly.
Although I found the book a little difficult to get into, it's well worth it. The narrator is excellent and the story, although a little difficult to get into at the beginning, is one of my favorite reads. I enjoyed it so much that I was sad when it ended. I highly recommend it. (Haven't seen movie, so can't compare)
The conceit of this novel is that it takes a yearly snapshot of the same day in the lives of its two main characters. You can sometimes see the struggle of the author to fit the story into this format, but the characters are so well drawn that it overcomes this challenge. The story comes especially alive when the two are together. They are funny, smart, and you know they share something intimate, frequently refering to each other as their best friend. The narrative takes a sharp turn late in the story that took some of the enjoyment out of it for a while, but the author recovers, and the ending is poignant and rewarding. I can't say enough about the narrator. She brings so much life to even the most minor characters that it would be hard to imagine how I would feel about the story if I were to simply read the author's words.
Totally worth it. You'll laugh and cry and be frustrated with the characters and their decisions. You'll love them and hate them all at the same time. The narrator is great! Definitely a favorite. I almost never post reviews, so this one definitely made an impression.
I know it has been said before but it is definitely this generations "When Harry Met Sally"! Yet done in an original style and in an unpredictable style. I loved it so much! The narration was also done very well by Ms. Bentinck! Now I go to see the movie adaptation! Thank you!!!!
I have listened to hundreds of audio books. The narrator on this one deserves an award ; her performance throughout, covering as it did a wide range of accents, was stellar. I have actually never heard anything so good in all my years of listening.
I really savored this story and was sad when it ended. I loved getting to know the characters and related to so many pieces of their lives--specifically the part about not knowing where your life is going in your twenties! I also liked all the little details that made me feel like I was there and helped me remember certain moments in history. It really was just a wonderful listen, and I LOVED the reader/narrator! She's very gifted at doing all the different voices. Very happy with my first audible fiction book.
Chapter after chapter I listened to this book. I am not sure what kept me hanging in there with is because it seemed like a trite and silly love story but the narrator read well and somehow kept me engaged. The second half of the book was moving and I grew to like the characters and was sad as the end approached. It is a story of unrequited love, falling in love, loving your best friend and then.... I can't tell you where it goes but hang in there it is a touching story and well worth your time.