As read by the narrator, poor Hadley comes across as whiney, juvenile and someone I wouldn't wish on anyone--even E. Hemingway. Her "true and brave" statements were delivered in a Shirley Temple-esque style. Cute in a young child but from an adult? I have a feeling the narrator is the reason I ended the book with little sympathy for Hadley, but I'll need to wait awhile before I buy the book to confirm.
I am a huge fan of Hemingway's, and I've always been fascinated by his first wife, Hadley. I liked this book, but I agree with another reviewer -- I wish I had read it rather than listened to it. The written dialogue is fine, but the narrator reads Hadley's lines as if she were a simpering, airheaded Betty Boop at times. And her imitation of Ernest himself sounds like a kid trying to sound like her father. Very distracting.
Say something about yourself!
It's not just the reader. These characters do not come alive. Even Gertrude Stein & Alice B Toklas are boring. So are Paris, Ernest Hemingway, and for sure Hadley Richardson. I'm disappointed.
Get rid of the Paula McLain.
No, I will avoid it.
Maybe I'd like to look into Ernest Hemmingway's or F Scott Fitzgerald's autobiography.
I found the book boring in places. I really got tired of Paula McLain saying
If you liked Midnight in Paris and want to get a feel for the literary world of ex-pat Paris, then this novel is for you.
I couldn't tell whether this book was written as a romance, or whether it was just narrated like one -- probably both.
This was my book group's choice, and I was looking forward to peeking at the Hemingways' life in Paris in the 20s. I'm sorry I exposed myself to it, because now I fear my view of Hemingway has been poisoned by an amateur with the audacity to put words into Hemingway's mouth. The only antidote is to reread A Moveable Feast.
What was really irksome, though, was the narrator. I will never again subject myself to her reading. It was dripping with syrup, and her attempts at foreign accents were laughable. She reads as though to a child, but I wouldn't let her loose on Dr. Seuss, either. She gets tons or work, though; you've got to give her credit for that.
I never realized before how important the narrator is to interpreting the book. The story is a fascinating insight into the life of Hemingway not presented before, and the author has clearly done her research well. The writing is good although too many of the conversations feel false or too pat. However the narrator's reading of the conversations comes across as a naive first reading of the script. Some the dialogue ends with a period that feels like she's just wrapped a bright bow on a package and given it an approving pat.Hemingway is so large a character, I am certain he would be difficult for anyone to try to capture his voice, but this narrator is clearly not up to it.
While I'm heavily committed to and invested in Audible, I agree with some of the others that this is a book that is probably best read.
I was sucked into the Hemmingway's world while listening to this story, and when it was over, I craved more (so I also purchased The Moveable Feast). I can see the point of some of the reviewers, that the narrator sounded a bit "whiney" at times. Ernest must have rolled over in his grave when he heard her read some of his lines of dialogue. But, it wasn't a constant thing, and did not bother me much at all. Overall, I enjoyed this narration and story very much, and I want to know more about all of the ex-pats in the Jazz Age in Paris - Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, the whole bunch. Would love a recommendation if someone has one.