This book is different. Worth the read if you are looking for a change of pace. I often read mysteries, historical fiction.
Even Hope Davis's weak, nasal voice can't hurt this novel. (She's a fine actor but few actors are also fine readers.) Don't look for wild action, except for a few scenes. Patchett's fiction unfolds slowly but with a relentless tension. Characters are vividly drawn and the setting, especially in the Amazon, becomes a character in itself.
The book starts slow but gets rolling in the second half. Part of the problem is the narrator, who has a wide range with regard to creating the characters through voices, but who reads the book in sort of a sad-sack manner otherwise. The main character just seems too maudlin. Perhaps that is what the author wanted.....a feeling of an impending doom. When we finally get to something approaching a plot, the book and the narrator seem to magically improve so that the end product is one worth listening to. Much of the plot is a bit fanciful, but if you can suspend disbelief for a few hours, some degree of pleasure is likely to land on you.
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
I truly enjoyed State of Wonder, but I'm having some trouble articulating just why I liked it so much. I think that it is mainly due to the compelling, semi-scientific story and Ann Patchett's skillful use of language and storytelling. Dr. Marina Singh and Dr. Annick Swenson are both very interesting, well-written characters, and the exploration of their teacher-student relationship is a large part of what makes this book great. Mentors are often held in awe along with a small bit of fear, espec...moreI truly enjoyed State of Wonder, but I'm having some trouble articulating just why I liked it so much. I think that it is mainly due to the compelling, semi-scientific story and Ann Patchett's skillful use of language and storytelling. Dr. Marina Singh and Dr. Annick Swenson are both very interesting, well-written characters, and the exploration of their teacher-student relationship is a large part of what makes this book great. Mentors are often held in awe along with a small bit of fear, especially when they have had a large part in shaping your life, but that relationship changes when both people mature and their paths diverge. I won't recount the storyline, but I found myself immersed in this book in spite of some of the more ludicrous details of the plot. I don't think that a pharmaceutical company would keep sending lab scientists to the jungle in search of the previously "lost" scientist, and the fertility drug research seemed very strange to me. I think a safe and efficacious anti-malarial would have been quite believable. It is due to Patchett's writing skill, replete with details of insects and anacondas, that I loved this book despite some of the less believable details.
The story got bogged down in the beginning, The last half was good, It held my interest, but the ending came much too quickly. The author had good material and a good story going.......and then it ended. Why?
While I enjoyed the book, I felt it was a little drawn out and fairly predictable. The narration, however, was fantastic.
I read so I can write
I wasn't sure what to expect from this story. It was one that I thought might be worth reading. It was amazing. The characters are strong, the story has mystery and interest and kept me from first to finish. Worth your time and credit. Great narration as well.
I loved listening to this book because of the different accents.
When many truths were revealed it was so fascinating and in some ways unexpected.
This was one of the best books I have ever listened to. I was indeed sad when it ended. Patchett's writing is so detailed and the characters and plot are interwoven but yet, easy to follow. The character development was exceptional. I would love to see a part two of this particular story.
This book came highly recommended and I was not disappointed. This is the first book by Patchett I've read and I'm eager now to get into her other works. Patchett's prose is lovely and some of her imagery will stick with me always. We come to know her characters gradually, as circumstances and dialog lead them to reveal more of their personal histories, motives, desires, and regrets.
This is a definite "re-listen."
Hope Davis does a skilled job of narration. I'm adding her to my list of favorites!