Wow, what a chore. I'm nearly finished listening and wonder why I've stuck with it so long. This book takes place in the 30s and was probably dated even then. I know a few people who were Marjorie's age then and none of them remotely resemble the characters in this book. The conversations between friends and lovers alike pretend to be philosophical, but are simply sophomoric, rude, and demeaning. The characters are one-dimensional - no one grows, no one learns - and meanwhile pretty Marjorie endures it all, moving through her life like a Barbie Doll. Other characters in the book apparently find her to be quick, witty and bright, but those traits surely aren't evident in any of her conversations or decisions. I didn't mind the narration as much as other reviewers, even though I agree that all the Jewish men sounded like they just stepped off the boat.
avid listener, during exercise and travel. Been doing for 30 plus years and probably will never stop. I am trying to read more recently, it requires more downtime.
I really didn't like the main character, Marjorie. I thought she was shallow as a teenager. She did get better with age, though...
I love Wouk! Have read everything I can get my hands on. Loved "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance". I was ready for another epoch, but didn't find it in Marjorie.
Mom, married, website designer, portfolio manager in self-imposed exile (yeah Greg Smith!!), former California native, Episcopalian.
The only thing that saved this book from 1-star is that I finished it. I can generally find something redeeming in most every book but not this one. If I have been too subtle, my recommendation is that you not buy this book.
Marjorie is, at best, one dimensional for 99.9% of the book and the 0.1% section where she isn't a piece of moving wallpaper isn't worth the wait. By the time I was halfway through the book, I just wanted her to give up and "marry the Butcher!" (Sorry, that was Fiddler on the Roof.)
Most of the male characters in the book are pretty interesting, except for their lifelong servitude to the alter of Marjorie. However, even the dynamic Noel becomes annoyingly whiny after the halfway point.
I could not wait for this book to end. If I wasn't such a cheap Scot, I would have shut if off and moved on.
Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.
This could have great story that led somewhere. This was presented as much more than it turned out to be. It wasn't even a love story, but more of a story of a girl SORT-OF "coming of age", but badly. I kept waiting for a pay-off of some kind, some amazing turn of events, some reason I followed this girl through her discovery of what life and love and the theater are about, but got nothing. Even World War II was barely mentioned - and the main characters are all Jewish - and running around Europe in the 30's for goodness sake! I kept waiting for her to become a star, win over the bad boy - or ditch him - his endless dissection of her, him, the world - ack. He was an undiagnosed bi-polar and that is rarely entertaining to listen to. I kept waiting for SOMETHING to happen. It never did. And the story just ended with a lame diary entry for the final chapeter - wrapping up the final 15 years of the story - IN ONE LOUSY CHAPTER! Very sad work from one of the best.
I am already burning The Kitchen House.
The barmitzvah where Marjorie realized her family had merit, as did her religion, and it showed the first glimmers of her maturity beginning.
Sure, the characters had great promise, but they never did anything. Because they were so clear, I kept picturing so many things that COULD happen to all of them, but none of them ever did anything.
I would love for a new writer to take the bones of this one and flesh it out. Use the romances to make her life interesting - add a couple marriages. Use WWII and their Jewish heritage to add to the story. Use the natural drama in those early days of the movies, have her bomb out in the theater, but take ANY of the characters connected to the theater and send them to Hollywood and let her follow them there. Oh, the missed opportunities are endless.
I didn't get very far on this one. When they constantly refer to Marjorie's parents with "the mother said" or "the father said" I was turned off. Can't they have names??! And so much of different individuals, "said this" or "said that" it was tiresome. Not well written, at all. Don't waste your credits or money on this one.