One couldn't ask for more than Hope Davis narrating Ann Patchett's latest novel. Generally, I listen to non-fiction and read fiction, feeling that the voices of fiction are better left to my imagination. But this experience has changed my mind, and I just downloaded other novels narrated by Davis. She is supremely talented - the characterizations through voicealone are amazing. I would say she even gives voice to the Amazon. She and Patchett are a superb combination.
Ann Patchett writes well and her stories are not only gripping but she can be very unsentimental as she doles out the fate of beloved characters. I could 't put it down. Also, very well read by Hope Davis.
Padgett's Bel Canto earned her many accolades and State of Wonder deserves just as many, if not more. Once again, Padgett has taken an usual situation and made it deliciously credible. Her character development is one of the reasons the story is so believable. Another is the vast amount of research Padgett obviously did on the subject matters. This one will not disappoint any reader!
After a slow start the story began to engage my interest, but I have to agree that the ending felt abrupt and left too much of the story unresolved to be satisfying. I thought of numerous other ways Patchett could have ended the story that would have provided the reader/listener a more complete sense of conclusion, and which would have made more sense given the cast of characters.
Hope Davis rendered a serviceable performance, providing enough nuanced character differentiation for the characters to stand on their own.
An overall okay listen, but nothing about the story or the performance was so outstanding as to warrant more than 3 stars IMHO.
First, listening to this is like having a voice mail machine or Kindle voice read it to you....flat, dull and boring.
Then, the book is so absurd, and boring that I have given up and gone to something else for fear I'll have road rage listening and driving at the same time.
Fortunately this is a "cyber" book or I'd throw it out the car window...but then my iPod would be gone. It really doesn't rate one star but there are no half stars
This was a great listen all the way through - holding my attention from the beginning, but getting progressively suspenseful to the very end. Great, great book. The narrator reads well and has a nice, low, female voice.
I listen to these audibles in my car, on long drives to work. I found that I was listening at home, running to the store, on walks. Hope Davis was a great narrator for a fascinating story about anthropology, obsession, dedication, fear, and the strange paths that life takes us. Wasn't sure about the ending---couldn't decide if it fit or was a deux et machina supreme, though. No matter---replete with human characters and adventure, mystery, romance, life and death....
This is definitely a 3.5 star book. The writing is so beautiful and striking that I just couldn't stop listening - it's certainly the most understated yet engaging description of a jungle I've ever read. But for most of the book, there was a total lack of forward momentum - after the first third of the book or so, I felt kind of like I was hanging around in the jungle with the main character waiting for some larger purpose to emerge. Maybe that's the effect the author intended, but it left me rather frustrated. Given how long I felt that way, the ending seemed like more of a cop-out than a resolution.