Listening to this audiobook prompted me to listen to two more Ann Patchett books and to seek other books narrated by Hope Davis. The central character is sympathetic, though the twist that resolves the story seems far fetched. You have to love the crusty 70-something researcher that she has to track down. Like Patchett's Bel Canto, you have an unusual cast of characters involved in unusual relationships; pushing the bounds of convention makes for an interesting, though not always believable, tale.
I'll start out by saying this was entertaining and engrossing, and the reader was excellent ...but..
Maybe it's just me because I am a scientist and develop drugs. The entire premise was completely inaccurate, and illogical to boot. Okay, so there's artistic license. This is far beyond that. NO company is going to fund something and not require a detailed regular report from the researcher. And no company would consider letting a funded researcher develop a drug's efficacy and safety in a makeshift lab and not know all the details. To say that drug development is so much more involved than that is an understatement.
And the feasibility of "the drug" that they kept referring to was ludicrous. They did all this work for years and then decided all of a sudden that it wasn't something people wanted? Without discussing that with the funding company!? Isn't that what happens BEFORE all the research even begins? (hint: It is).I kept hoping it wasn't going to be that simplistic and, well, dumb, but alas. Plus, their use of the term "vaccine" wasn't really kosher, but that artistic license I'll grant.
I don't want to seem pedantic, but COME ON.
Love the story and characters, some of the reviews were a tad negative but I've always been a fan of Patchett's and this book didn't let me down. A nice change of pace!
Ann Patchett is a remarkable storyteller -- this book is fabulous! She paints a vivid picture of the location and the people . . . she story is thought-provoking and inspiriing.
Long dull and boring story. Half of it is about the protagonist's daddy issues. flashbacks and dreams and constantly searching for the daddy that abandoned her as a child. She finds him in her lover, in a Brazilian, and even her old mentor, who happens to be a 70 year old pregnant woman. This book is a waste of time.
I read the reviews and decided to get the book. In my opinion, the story line was pretty good, but everything else fell short. I have never read an Ann Patchett book, but I found this one doesn't deliver. I kept listening and waiting for something -- anything -- to happen, but then the book ended. I was left with the feeling that I was robbed. I invested myself in this book, but did not get anything in return. Moreover, Hope Davis does not improve upon the story. The narration was flat and monotonic, and there was clearly no passion or feeling that was conveyed adequately. For anyone who is looking for a good read that delivers in narration, plot line, and emotion/feeling -- this is not the book to reach for.
Loved this book - such beautiful writing - Hope Davis' narration was spot on - there is a synergistic relationship between the writing and the narration that's hard to describe - quite compelling - it just works on a vey high level.
The ending seemed a little rushed compared to the rest of the book. Overall, I recommend it highly.
Loved everything about this book. Great story and characters. If I could give Hope Davis more than five stars for her performance I would.
The writer never tires of describing the space around her so you always feel as though you're included. While the writing follows a predictable cadance the story concept is not a believable one. I found that it was hard to beleive a large drug company would allow so much "hands off" in the management & R&D of this new drug. Parts of the story after half-way through were laborious to listen to. The romantic ending was totally unexpected & with all the descriptive rhettoric throughout the story I felt that little was given to this tender monent. It feels as though the writer runs out of steam & just wants to get the story over in about two chapters. Overall, the writer has a gift for descriptive characters and scenes. The narrarrator was soft spoken & seemed to do a good job at drawing her character from the descriptions given.
Doctor working for pharmaceutical company treks to Amazon to find the body of dead cubicle-mate, who went to the Amazon searching for doctor's former heartless medical school professor who ruined her life, but is now working on a cure for menopause. With a plot like that, a lot could have happened. In fact, it doesn't. The story got a little goofy --- Martins, Raps, martinets -- and then it got unbelievable, reminding me a little of Jurassic Park when science goes strange. The reader is excellent and kept the book entertaining. The characters were interesting --- Marina was a little too Pollyanna-ish, but Dr. Swenson was a tough old bird and very easy to like. The book gets more stars because of her. I wish the book had just been about her. And I jwish the plot had been more realistic.