I thought the themes and characters of this book would appeal to me, but after almost 20 chapters I just can't keep going right now. I'll try to finish it some other time, and will update this review if I change my mind, but it just doesn't stack up. Mostly, I think, it's the narrator. Hard to put my finger on what I don't like about her, but I just can't get to like her voice or way of reading. Too 'breathy" I saw her described in another review, and I agree with that. But also something about her cadences and intonation - too dramatic for some parts, too flat for others? Not really sure how to describe it, but it doesn't work for me.
And the story is slow. You can kind of guess where it's going but it's taking a really long time to get there, with no clear reason for all the stuff in the meantime. And some parts of the plot and some characters' words and actions seem two-dimensional, not nuanced enough, and/or unrealistic. Greta is too uniformly cruel and creepy to June, the mom is not engaged with her kids or the brother in the way one would be under the cirvcumstances, the dad might as well have been left out so far, there's been so little about him. And they all have attitudes about AIDS that seem really dated for a novel from 2012. Maybe it's the difference between the world I inhabit and the "real" world, but I think we've come a ways since most people saw gays and AIDS in this light.
Might be more appealing to teens.
While the writing is excellent, I found myself not caring what happened to either self-absorbed sister and while yes, the author does perfectly capture what it's like to have a sister you both love and hate - in the end I just couldn't wait for the book to end. Narration was monotone and off as others have mentioned, it frequently took me out of the story.
No, I would definitely NOT try another book by this author. Very weird story. A fourteen year old in love with her uncle? Absentee parents - her sister is a horrible person. It was all too much to believe. And the narrator? No thank you! Others have described her as very flat and lifeless. That's an understatement.
She could have refrained from writing such a ridiculous story.
She was very 'breathy', almost whispering at times, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. And very painful to listen to. Much too monotone.
I still cannot believe I finished this book. I almost never quit a book once I start it. I'm always hopeful something will make it better. Well, this one proved me wrong and only got worse. More than a few times during this book I wanted to move on - I now know that's exactly what I should have done. Spared myself the agony of finishing this awful piece of nonsense. Seriously? A fourteen year old takes a dying aids patient out of a hospital in the middle of the night and brings him to her parents home? Knowing how her parents feel about this man? And the cage in the basement? Who is giving this book five stars? Pranksters?
I live, breathe, read.
I’ve been playing this weird reading game with the books in my personal library lately. I don’t ever buy books on a whim. I usually either know what they’re about, or have heard of them through a second hand source, like a review or an NPR author interview. In the last few years however, my memory has gotten very shoddy, so I’m starting to have a hard time remembering why I bought certain books, or what they’re even about without reading the dust jacket. That’s where the dangerous fun comes into play! I’ve stopped reading my dust jackets! I know, right? Crazy book lady has gotten in over her heard. I’m just picking them up and reading them. Who the heck does that?
This Russian Reading Roulette game motivated me to pick up Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Days after finishing it, I’m still wondering what the heck I just read. I don’t even know how to talk about it. Is that weird? Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome book! I think I’m probably just suffering from sensory overload. It is a thickly layered book about family, first loves, friendship, and so many other things. I also felt like it was told in an odd sort of modern day fairy tale way. Well, sort of modern. It’s set in 1987—thus the basis of its appeal! So there you have it. A review that tells you almost nothing about what this book is about. If I’ve piqued your curiosity, then good! Maybe this book will motivate you to play the game, too.
We'll written from start to finish. No student should leave high school without reading this and talking about it in English class. As the fifteen year old narrator reflects on her complicated family relationships we learn about her as well as her parents, her sister, her uncle and his partner. The characters are complex and beautifully revealed by the author Carol Rifka Brunt. In Brunt's hands the AIDs crisis of the 80s is sensitively and gently handled. Having lived in the New York City area I found the portrayal of a young girl coming of age near the City and dealing with the loss of her gifted uncle to AIDS to be credible and deeply engaging. I am looking forward to Brunt's next effort
I enjoyed the story, but the narrator didn't add the richness they usually do. I was into the story enough to keep listening, but her voice and performance didn't add to the story at all.
I liked the flashbacks the story brought to a time in my life when it was first touched by AIDS and the panic it brought when mentioned. I thought it was a complex story with the potential for strong, defined characters, but I think the writer missed an opportunity and the narrator's whininess left me wishing for someone else performing.
It's a peek into a gay life - interesting and sympathetic.
least? The family relationships: parents - children. Also the improbability of some of the story-line.
I was born in the mid-80s, so the beginning of the AIDS epidemic is something I'm familiar with but don't know much about. This book really shined a light on that time for me without making the story about the disease. Instead, the book focused on what it means to be a family (in the most authentic, least saccharine way) and did an amazing job of describing how confusing and challenging it can be to be an adolescent at any time. This was a great book, and I'd recommend it to anyone – even if it wasn't typically their thing!
This is typically not the kind of book I'd pick up, so I don't have any other books to compare it to. But I'd seen positive reviews of it on some book blogs I follow and decided to listen to the audio version; I'm glad I did!
In recommending it to a friend, I sent the following quote: “Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a charming, sure-handed, and deeply sympathetic debut. Brunt writes about family, adolescence, and the human heart with great candor, insight, and pathos.”—Jonathan Evison, New York Times bestselling author of West of Here
That captured my feelings about the book exactly.
I kept listening to this because with all the hoohah & good reviews. It is bottomlessly neurotic & relentlessly self absorbed. It doesn't get any better. Pitiful.