What a winning combination. Pure joy to listen to. My new favorite Audible book, and my new favorite reader. A breathtaking and wild ride.
This used to be one of my favorites many years ago, and I purchased the audiobook on a whim. I wasn't sure what to expect. Firstly, I was unsure that the book would have survived the test of time. Second, the multiple first person narrative might be impossible to render off he printed page.
I was shocked on both counts. The story, almost an historical novel fifty odd years on, was as gripping as it was then. The narrator had just enough subtly in intonation that I rarely lost track for more than a moment, in fact less so than I remember from reading the book.
I cannot recommend this enough. It is truly a classic, and the pace of an audio presentation is perfectly suited to the atmosphere of the novel.
I read this when I was in college, shortly after it came out. I thought it was a terrific, insightful story. Now, with a little life under my belt, I find the story shallow and weak. Oh well.
Yes. This book is captivating, detailed, richly woven. It was funny and poignant and sad and happy. I couldn't get enough and I didn't want it to end! I'm telling everyone I know about this book.
I fell in love with the Stamper family, I fell in love with the characters and the town and the lore. I never wanted it to end. I felt like I was really there. I live in Oregon and the descriptions of Wakonda are spot-on, the descriptions of the plants and the rivers and the wild fruit and the weather... I loved peeking into the lives of the citizens of Wakonda. Everyone had secrets and background stories. Amazing tale, unlike anything I've ever read.
Yes! It's a long book, and I couldn't get enough. I wish there had been sequels, more books written about minor characters, anything, everything. More more more!
Get this book! You won't be sorry.
No not of Ken Kesey. I didn't like that the first person would switch between characters without announce that it did. I wouldn't know who "I" was for a while. Yes to Tom.
It shares some things with East of Eden. The two rival brothers their differences.
I wished that Tom Stechschulte would have made the voices of the two main characters more different to help tell who's talking/thinking.
No I don't think it does. The world and place in the book isn't a place that I'd like to visit again for a good while. To store succeed in its goals and doesn't need to say more on these characteristics.
There were many characters and turns of phrase that I hoped to remember as I listened to this beautifully written book. However, the insight, humor and beauty of the prose were not enough to make up for the maddeningly slow unfolding of the story. If Kesey had been forced to make the book half as long, I think it would be a masterpiece. As it is, it came across as an author in love with his admittedly outstanding ability to describe character, scene and emotion. The story was secondary.
The performance of the book is outstanding.
The audio edition was great. Was it better than the print version? I can't go that far. The audio edition did have great inflection though. The narrator, Tom Stechschulte, does an excellent job of differentiating between the characters. Sometimes I had trouble following the time sequence and the switch in orientation in the audio edition that I did not have in the book, but it was still an excellent production.
It is difficult to compare this book to other books. It is quite unique in many ways. The author writes in first person from the viewpoint of several different characters and then switches to the third person and back again. I have never seen another book do it quite like this. It makes it a little hard to follow at times, but it also made it a very interesting style. I liked it, but I don't think many authors could pull it off.Ken Kesey's other book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, was not at all like this. The current book is much more realistic in that it is dealing with a family, the logging Stamper Family of Oregon, and their problems--problems that exist in most families. The biggest problem being, like most families, a failure to communicate.
There are many, many scenes that I really enjoyed, but there are two scenes that really stick out. One is when Joe Ben Stamper has a log fall on him and he is pinned in the river with the water rising. Hank Stamper gives his cousin breaths of air while he is underwater, but the two can't help but laughing which has deleterious effects.
The other scene that I particularly liked is the very end where Viv, Hank's wife and Lee's love interest is in the bus leaving town while Hank and his brother Lee, having reconciled to save the family business, are running the logs down the river. Meanwhile the frustrated union organizers are lined up on the riverbank where they see logs going downriver and are shocked to see the unique symbol of defiance and disdain for them displayed on the roof of the tugboat.
This was a book that is nearly impossible to listen to in one sitting, but you want to anyway. I found myself getting up in the middle of the night to listen just a while longer. It is a shame that Ken Kesey was not more prolific.
I've listened to other novels that change from third person to first person, but this is the only one I've listened to that has more than one giving his first person account along with a third person account. The narrator is pretty good, but I do wish he had used different voices for the first person accounts. Sometimes it took a bit to realize which character was talking.
Never Give an Inch
All of it except for the 70s reminders
You need this book.