"Listening with my other ear"
I am not sure if I will ever listen to or read another Franzen work, but we shouldn't say never
I love Mr. Guidall's work, usually, and here as the voice of the older couple he is great (and even the younger men), but I just didn't care for his voice for the women. It was hard for me also because their are no chapter breaks in the audio book and because of this and the fact that Mr Guidall's voice really didn't show the changes, it was often confusing.
I think this gentleman is an incredible writer, but sometimes that isn't enough. I really hated the characters and everything about them, I would have loved just one person in which I could relate, but this whole family is perverted and sad! There wasn't one I rooted for except maybe the young book reader. I don't mind a few scenes of passion or whatever you would like to call them,or characters that are harsh with their language if the characters stay true to their form. But, good lord, I finally found myself saying out loud, "COME ON", "Geesh", Get A Room! When a writer is an incredible word smith but is self indulgent, for me, this can makes for a awkward read. Some things are better left to the reader's imagination. This kind of writing, to me, is like the gratuitously made movies in Hollywood today. A little go a long way. And that's my two cents worth
Not my favorite, but very memorable. I laughed a good bit and could see myself listening to it again in a couple of years. I like how the author jumped from family member to family member and often filled in the blanks in a Tarrantino kind of way.
Denise. She seemed to be the most sane of all the Lamberts. She was the relief of the reader that someone in the family had a sense of reality.
All his performances have been great so far. I still think my favorite is The Accidental Tourist which is no longer available from Audible. I'm glad I bought my copy when I did!
Not at first. It took me a few chapters for the book to grip me. By the end, I wanted to know how it was going to end.
If all you read are "clean" books and expect to love every character in every story you listen to, skip this novel. If you have a sense of humor and can appreciate the absurd and love good literature, I'd recommend this very dark comedy. Just like the script Chip wrote in the story, you have to get through a very challenging beginning to finally get to the good stuff which is the rest of the novel. I don't think Franzen wrote it that way by accident.
I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.
One of the best books I've listened to all year....well next to Franzen's more recent novel, 'Freedom'. Both are so so so good. Franzen is my favorite author right now. These are the types of listens that will make your next audible purchase very difficult because nothing will be as good.
I was hoping that George Guidall (one of my favourite narrators) would be enough to sustain me through this, but, sadly, no. I kept trying - interspersing pieces with other audiobooks, but nothing could make me want to continue listening to this. Not even Guidall.
Perhaps if you're already a fan of Franzen, but the senselessness and the attempts at humour just didn't make anything, or anyone, interesting to me. When Al started having hallucinations about his own talking feces, I decided I couldn't go on. But I rallied for one more try.....and I still found I had no interest.
While the characters might have be interesting (though the parents are cliches of annoying parents, and the kids span the cliches of anti-traditional grown children), they are all overly described and overly analyzed, leaving nothing for the reader to create. And the situations? Well, I thought all the attempts at humour and one-liners fell flat, so without a plot there's not much else.
Even three quarters of the way through this book, I was still feeling somewhat ambivalent about it. I found several of the characters much too cliche: Enid as the overbearing and complaining mother, Alfred as the inept and remote father, Chip as the English Professor son who lost his job because he slept with his student, etc. It all just seems so unoriginal. At the same time, Franzen manages to create some fun and generates a comic (if conventional) view of the boringness of the U.S. Midwest.
The reality, that's what I liked! I had family members who were afflicted with Alfreds disease. It was was unbelievably real and George Guidell is marvelous. Insightful and moving. Excellent book.
After the book unfolds somewhat slowly the story gains considerable momentum. the author presents an impressive work that with its multiple threads and carefully crafted characters doesn't fall short of the best works in literature.
I kept listening and it threw off my sleepiing pattern. I could not fall asleep to the book as I kept wondering what would happen next.I do not know if it was te story or the narrator that gripped my attention. I highly enjoyed it despite losing sleep.
Franzen's ability to get deep inside the heads of his characters and reveal their thoughts, emotions, and motivations is fascinating. Some characters are likeable. Others are not. But they are a very human mix of fear, frailty, hope and desire.