I approached this book with trepidation as it did not sound interesting to me. I had to give it a chance. It was a wonderful literary experience. It was heartbreaking. Rowling once again excels at the descriptions of children - they are real, not stylized, not stereotyped. Also the children moved the story to its climax. Decide if you can balance the pain with the beauty.
When things did not turn out as planned which was most of the time.
This book had a number of modern day components. The thing I thought was most interesting was the attitudes between the different classes of people. Political process 2012 in a nutshell. Depending on what your experience is dictates how well you are able to deal with differences and challenges. It also dictates how well you sympathize. But when the challenges come closer to home is when compassion begins to surface.
Yes. It was very nice to listen to the book in the English accent. I think it added something to the story that a print book would not have given.
All of the characters in the book.
This was my first Tom Hollander's performance. I thought he did an excellent job with the bok.
The lives of a small town
Overall I though the narrator did a great job. At the beginning of the book, I felt like there were way too many characters to follow but it was masterfully how Rowling linked the lives of all of the characters together. The storry is a sad and a little dark.
I prefer books to be alternatingly silly, depressing and weird, much like myself! Favorite authors: Douglas Coupland, Meg Cabot, Neil Gaiman
People have been way too hard on this book. I admit for the first three hours I was not enjoying myself and I found the amount of characters hard to follow, especially since it was told primarily in third person. I had no idea how much I depend upon the narrator using different voices to tell characters apart!
Once you get used to the style and get to know the characters this is an engrossing book exploring how people can so easily hurt each other, especially their children, without ever realizing it. Each character was rich in detail and emotion and I loved how by seeing so many points of view you could see every angle of every situation and understand all the reasons people make the horrible choices that hurt the ones they love.
I am recommending this book to fans of literature and wonderful characters, but not to fans of happy endings and whimsy. That will not be in this story. But if you want to read something thought provoking and detailed, this is an amazing book. I feel that if this had been Rowling's first book it would be getting critical praise instead of the lukewarm reception it has received because of people's pre-conceived notions of who she is and her writing style.
I loved Tom Hollander's performance because after a while it was nearly invisible- his voice so embodied the characters- young and old- that I was listening to *them* not a man reading a story aloud.
This is not a book like her previous ones, and I would never, ever recommend it as such.
What it is, though, is a beautifully wrought character piece about the people in a town. It made me think a lot about George Elliot's Middlemarch. The characters you like, and the ones you don't and watching them revolve around each other- it is funny, sad, shocking, kind and all of the things that people really are. The book lost my boyfriend almost instantly, but slowly drew me in, bit by bit, till now that I am at the end of it I feel like I know those people and what they would be like now that the story is over. Ever feel at the end of a long classic that you miss the characters? This is one of those for me. These are not pretty people, this isn't a fantasy. I loved it!
Highly recommended to the right reader- be sure you are clear about the book you are getting!
Near the top
None of the characters could be described as favorites because they all have the faults that we can too easily recognise in ourselves
I had not but I will seek them out in future.
This is a really amazing book. I had never read any of JK Rowling's children's books so I had no particular expectations. I certainly did not expect to come across one of the best books I have ever encountered.I can imagine that this book could be a bit of a battle to read, as it depends heavily on detail to bring out the grittiness of the stories. However as an audiobook it works wonderfully.
Great writers like Hemingway, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald et al really give you the viewpoint of the main character or characters and you see the world through other eyes, with their motivations and feelings and reactions. Here Rowling does the incredible feat of totally getting into the heads of at least a dozen characters and weaves a fascinating tapestry. It's like The Great Gatsby and Crime and Punishment and Catcher in the Rye put together, "on steroids." Of course, that takes a certain deliberate pacing to accomplish that but that's cool - this is literature, not an adventure story, and I savored every moment.
I'm actually glad that she made such a radical departure from the Harry Potter genre here (though I was a big fan of them too) - like an actor shedding type casting, she is free to go just anywhere now with her next one, and with her prodigious talent, I am looking forward to that even more than before.
The narration, too, is spot-on.
The book is excellent and the reading was enjoyable. It was perfectly tailored to the mood of the novel and the listening experience was delightful.
In the middle
Horrible - Definitely wanted a different ending or more to the story.
Fats because he thought he was all that but really isn't.