I listen to several books a week due to the nature of my work. After nodding off and forcing myself to listen to a mere 2 1/2 hrs of this I give up. Listen to War and Peace or Wouk's Winds of War and War and Remembrance--all excellent.
Zackman's monotone drone and s l o w manner of speaking made it an agonizing 2 1/2 hrs, I'll steer clear of her in the future.
The book may be a better read on paper. I won't give up on Wouk.
Too slow. She read sooo slow. I turned the speed to 1 1/2 and it sounded a little better.
Can't say...I have only listened to a few chapters.
Herman Wouk is a fantastic author. I love all his books. This is the first I have listened to. I was very disappointed. Have to say I am sorry I used the credits.
I thought the book was going to be a relatively superficial coming of age story. However, the social, political, and philosophical ideas explored make the story rich and thought provoking. Even though the story takes place between 1934 - 1940, the issues explored in the novel are as contemporary now as then. A bonus is Wouk's wonderful sense of humor sprinkled throughout the book.
The narration of Gabra Zachman was, with a couple of reservations, just amazing! She did a variety of characters -- male, female, young, elderly, middle aged, some with eastern European accents. I felt that her younger men (George, Sandy, Wally) were the weakest characterizations in that they sounded too much like young women in their breathlessness. Initially, I wasn't all that impressed with her Noel as I thought it was too harsh sounding, but as the recording went on, it grew on me. Marsha sounded more refined that I expected but it was a good overall performance. I think her best characterizations were the Morgensterns, and other older characters.
It is a saga and, therefore, a commitment of time. I had forgotten how long the book actually is as it has been several years since the last time I read it. It gives a wonderful picture of what life for an upper middle class Jewish family during the 1930's may have actually been..It covered six years in the life of the main character, Marjorie, from age 18 to 24 (and the years 1933-1939). I think the fact that we, the reader and/or listener, know what is coming over the course of the next 15 years makes it very moving, especially as events take the characters closer to World War II.
I have not listened to any other Gabra Zackman performances, but I will be on the look-out for them.
I would actually like to take Marjorie and her mother out to dinner. Much of their relationship reminds me of that of myself and my own mother, who passed away in 2001.
I was very impressed with the overall performance and the ability of the narrator to do a variety of voices. I felt that the author did stretch out some scenes past the time I found them interesting, something I did not notice with the book but which were more obvious in the recorded version.
Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!
Unfortunately, I think today's woman will be utterly bored with this. I was. Not up to the rest of Wouk's offerings.
Avid reader, picky about narrators.
The narrator was really bad.
Complex and engaging plot.
Over-acting, over-pronouncing, and sing-song. Narrator is extremely self-conscious.
Save your money.
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.
This was the worst book ever!! No story,, blah blah.. no point and no story at all
By Herman Wouk, yes; by Gabra Zackman, no.
Can't think of one at the moment.
The narrator's performance of some characters was quite good however the character Marjorie sounded quite flat. Also, even though the voices changed for each character, the narrator said "he said" or "she said" after nearl every statement. It's redundant and makes the story longer than it needs to be. I think the story is longer than it needs to be anyway.
No. Enough is enough.
I loved this book when I was a young woman. It is a little old-fashioned but the writing is vintage Wouk. A plain story of a striving girl who knows what she wants, "Marjorie Morningstar" is probably best enjoyed as a printed book.
This audio version is NOT worth the high price. If you still want to purchase it after reading this review, do so with a credit. The reader ends every sentence (not an exaggeration) with a breathy downturn in her voice, as you might if you wanted to make a particularly emotional moment more poignant.
The best readers are those who read as if they have read the text many times before, who know not only what the words are and how to pronounce them, but know what how the particular sentence fits into the paragraph/page/chapter/greater story, too. They emphasize the right words, portray appropriate emotions with changes in their voice, etc. This narrator reads every sentence with the same gravitas, as if every sentence is a pronouncement, a key idea, a highlight. That cheapens every sentence and bores this reader, anyway.
I do not recommend this audio book.