This book draws you in immediately. The narrator is perfect in his rendition of the story from the first-person perspective, and captured the tone and emotions of the main character Charlie so well. I'm glad I didn't just read it on the page, because now I couldn't imagine wanting anyone else's voice in my head telling this story. The book itself struck me as such an honest and accurate depiction of life as a young teenager, and how important and significant everything seems at the time, at that age. Song lyrics, book choices, friendships, family... It transported me back to the conflicts and constant emotional highs and lows of that age and that time in our lives, which become so easy to forget as an adult. Listening to this book was a romantic and nostalgic experience that made me think both fondly and sympathetically to my own high school days. A touching and beautiful story.
The performance. Wow. They could not have picked a better voice for Charlie. Not only that, but the voices that Galvin used for the other characters were fantastic.
I related to it better than I did in high school...maybe because of the benefit of over a decade of hindsight. I'm not sure. Charlie remains the anonymous wallflower who I remember empathizing with as a teenager. So many of us who have grown up as introverts can recall wanting to "participate" more, and the impact that connecting with people who accepted us as we were had on us.
The writing is at some times juvenile...as it should be. It is done in the voice of a young, adolescent writer. Chbosky's writing is sometimes clunky and pretentious. It's supposed to be. Charlie is wise beyond his years, but he is still a teenager.
The genius of the story is the performance (not just by the narrator, but by the author).
I got this as a Daily Deal months ago, but it would have been worth the credit. If you never read this as a teenager, I recommend it. If you did read it...that's all the more reason to hear it performed this way. A huge bravo to Noah Galvin.
I am amazed that people could compare the two books. I found Perks to be gooie with pretension and endlessly smurfy with attempted cleverness. Yuck. Somehow the narrator managed to make it even more corny with his 'adorable' diction intoning the simple pleasures of his profound little excursions through adolescence. There was not a single funny moment and I couldn't wait for it to end.
Something that was not written for coming of age high-school kids.
Alex from Apples text to speech engine
It made me think about what makes a book disappointing; a monotonous progression of obvious ideas presented as if they were profound insights. It also makes me want to read Catcher in the Rye again to see if I can determine what made it a great book.
SPOLIER ALERT!!! I really liked the story, but have no clue why they had to end the story the way they did. I feel I would have given it more stars, but the last chapter just murked up the whole plot.
Love my family....along with guitars, cameras, and a good book!
This is a truly special book. It was one of those experiences where I just don't want it to end! All of the characters in this novel were perfect. Perfectly written, and perfectly imperfect in their struggles. The best thing about this audio recording was the narrator. He really made the experience for me. Fantastic job.
It took me a little while to get into Noah Galvin's narration. At first I thought it sounded stiff, like he was simply reading a book rather than getting into character. Then, all of a sudden I realized I was wrong. The fact that he seemed removed from the story at first WAS completely in character. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and Galvin's narration. Bravo!
Loved it. Like "the fault in our stars" I tore through this one in 2 days. This is a book that will take you through the american high school growing up experience. It doesn't attempt to avoid any part of it, which is why it is often found on banned book lists at schools. I think it is easy to see why (though the author is apparently surprised). There is drug use, there is sexual stuff, some violence. Having said that, I don't think it is a book that emphasizes any of it, but simply acknowledges: these things are a part of the culture.
I really appreciate that is doesn't overhype any part of life. It is not trying to sell you anything and that is so refreshing.
The story is set up as a character named charlie writing letters to a more mature person he has never met, a person who "listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people just because you could have." Someone describes charlie as being a "wallflower" --a person who observes things and doesn't participate. He tries and begins to participate a bit more often. He finds a group of friends that is something like the 90's equivalent of the modern "hipster" crowd, who likes to listen to music, read books, is not inclined towards pop culture, experiments with some drugs and alcohol.
This book is full of observations on the american culture from a wallflower perspective- someone who is in it, but observing it as much as participating in it. In retrospect it is beautiful for taking a calm look at it, not worried, but seeing what is there.
This book would be most valuable to the adolescents who are going through, and about to go through the experiences described. They will know that there are many parts that are socially constructed and they should know it is all a phase and to feel confident in who they are, there is more to life than what you experience as an adolescent. Experience that time, don't miss it, but be yourself, even if there is no immediate popularity, you will be fine.
Some parents would feel nervous about some of the topics in the book. But to be honest, that is life. I'm reminded of a certain man from Galilee who was eventually killed saying "don't worry about your life" and a certain hobbit from the shire saying "it's dangerous business to walk out your front door" ... it is. There are great experiences and ones that hurt and are sad. That's life. This book is a snapshot of life. If I continue to work with this age group, I will often recommend it.
It is a touching book about a boy named Charlie and all of the pressures that come with being a teen. The book is told in a narrative format where you the reader are receiving letters from Charlie as he describes the highs and lows of his first year in high school. We meet his friends, family and discover the tragedy in his life. I was engrossed with the characters from the beginning and couldn't stop listening.
The narrator, Noah Galvin, was one of the best I have ever heard read a book. He read the book with emotion and heart. When Charlie was sad or depressed Noah read like he was on the verge of tears and when he was happy he was shouting and laughing.
The Perks audio is one of my favorites thus far. It's really well done and the story lends itself well to the audiobook format.
The best part of the story itself is the way Charlie's character grows throughout and the way everything comes together at the end.
Noah Galvin's performance stands out in how well his voice fits with the character, and how convincing his voice was for a young teen boy's.
Though I enjoyed it immensely, I'm not sure I would have wanted to spend my entire day doing nothing but listening to Perks.
It's not likely that I would listen again since I'll probably remember the story for a long time. It was very interesting and moving.
The different relationships felt very real. The twist at the end was very unexpected.
This is my only one and it was very impressive. Noah is extremely talented and can really make you believe a different character is speaking.
I don't want to give it away.
Very good listen