The narrator is fantastic, but I am not moved by the story. Too complicated for me to listen to -- would prefer to read it.
Possibly, but I would read it.
Sumptuous historical mystery!
Michael Maloney is a superb narrator for this wonderful multi-faceted historical family memoir. Got the book in whisper-sync and read it half-and-half on kindle app and listened. Maloney has the golden voice of a Shakespearean actor (sounds a bit like Richard Burton but not nearly as hammy) and reads the book with great flair and enthusiasm, so that even the occasional dry parts with the lists of endless objects in the Ephrussi households are very engaging to listen to. One of the nicest voices of any narrator I have listened to so far.
The story itself is gripping--I had a certain interest in netsuke (though knew little), but found myself completely engrossed and fascinated in all sections of the book except maybe the epilogue, where de Waal describes how he can't let go of the book; he's already made that obvious, so I don't think he needed to add that little bit, but it was interesting to hear him make the analogy with his pottery making, which is always about letting go of the beautiful objects that he sells.
Most moving was the takeover by the Nazis of the Palais Ephrussi in Vienna. This old couple are suddenly prisoners in 2 little windowless rooms of this fantastic fairytale palace, and even though they can exit the grounds, there is no place where Jews are allowed anywhere in the whole city--not even a park bench! Very touching. Also touching is the return of the netsuke to a prominent place in the elegant living room of Uncle Iggie, the author's great uncle, in his elegant house in Tokyo.
Will look for more books narrated by Michael Maloney.
Caring, Intelligent, History
I can't remember any other book at its sort.
Very well done, although he is a fast narrator. Sometimes he speaks too quick.
No. I did it in parts because there is so much to listen to. In fact it's three stories in one book.First the search of the netsukes, then the whole of the family history and then the way Edmund de Waal did his research.
I was so lucky to have seen him in person giving his talk about the book. And then I was so impressed that I bought the book for my husband and I searched for this audible book. And I was lucky to find it.There will be a time that I will read it agian because reading with your ears is quite different than with your eyes. Can't wait to see the film.
A true story that never fails to captivate--have not read the print version, but friends who have read it say the two versions are equally fascinating.
Articulate and understated.
When Emmy and Victor were invaded by the Gestapo and thrown out of their palace.
A truly wonderful book.
...loved the trip through European history ~ Odessa, Vienna, Paris and London. I'd already read the book as did my book group, there's so much detail, 'hearing' it brought out futher insight into the Efrussi family.
Uncle Iggy, who lives in Tokyo, is memorable. the characters are all memorable in their own way.
I'm familiar with Michael Maloney's acting, I recognized his voice pretty quickly. I thought his French sounded excellent. He's just a great talent.
When the book returns to Uncle Iggy at the end and we find out more about him.
One of the best books I've ever read, I've always been a fan of European history, it was my college major.
Some depth of character or plot
Lots of names and dates and places, with no connection
Yes, I loved the story since it was the author researching his own family's history....if you are interested in art or the Belle Epoque era in particular, I recommend this audible book.
One of the great strengths of this book is the level of detail it provides. The whole second part of the book was stunning for how vividly it brought to life the world of Vienna both before and during WWII. It was captivating. For the first part of the book, that dealt so much with art, I found the level of detail a bit overwhelming. As someone who knows little about "the art world" and simply isn't drawn to it that much, it felt like it just went on and on sometimes. But the second part more than made up for it.
It was a powerful experience reading this, and a hugely admirable accomplishment by the author.
I haven't read the print version but I think the proper pronunciation of terms in German and Japanese added alot to the reading. Mr Maloney did a sensitive reading........ he expressed emotions in his voice that he read on the page. It brought it alive and made the listener smile and cry in turn. He also varied the pace to the fit with what he was reading.
I would compare it to The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion because it is a memoir that focuses on one particular part of the memoirist's life. Both writers could skillfully tell us the facts and then plunge us into despair or joy by their reaction to those facts.
He was always speaking as Edmund de Waal.
I've listened to it twice and will probably revisit it in a few years. I also bought the print version so I can see the photographs and copy out some sections that were particularly meaningful to me.
A fantastic book!
This touching story of an Austrian family's history is carefully told through the author's inheritance of a collection of netsukes. Intriguing and thought provoking.