I love Barbara Kingsolver and especially love to listen to her books on audio.
Although other listeners don't like her to read her own books, I happen to LOVE her voice and the nuance she brings to her own stories. It's the reason I prefer to listen instead of read a B.K. book.
She is a genius at weaving a story around current environmental issues.
Flight Behavior focuses on the consequences of global warming and touches on other subjects like education in poor communities and more. She does all this very subtly without judgment and fanaticism.
I recommend this and all her other books as well.
Barbara Kingsolver is a writer's writer, choosing words to paint illustrations of the situations in which her characters live. Her description of the Dollar General stores in the Appalachians puts you there between the carts with lopsided wheels, observing the clientele. Beautifully researched and unpredictable as always. Enjoy!
I've read everything in print from Kingsolver. The biggest knock I've had on BK is that her writing is as good as it gets, but her stories (with the exception of Poisonwood Bible) typically do not have a lot of content and are not all that interesting. Beautiful to read - just not always that interesting.
Flight is typical of BK in that it is beautiful to read - but different in the sense that her main character is very well developed (a young, married mother of two young children, who wants more out of life), she shares a lot of insights about life (especially about young, mismatched newlyweds and the aspirations of young mothers who put their dreams on hold to raise children), and she draws attention to the risk of ecological disaster (in this case using the conceit of stranded Monarch butterflies).
Although this book was never a page turner - I always looked forward to reading it and never felt bored or restless. She is simply too beautiful and insightful of a writer to leave you uninterested.
Surprisingly, BK disproved the usual rule that authors should not narrate their own books. Although she does not have the chops of a professional narrator, she did an above average job of narrating and she had the obvious advantage of knowing exactly how she wanted each character to sound.
Just because a book is a great read does not mean it is a good listen. However listening to Kingsolver read Flight Behavior only made the book better! This is a fantastic story about a young women finding her independence and passion while dealing with modern global issues that effect our world today. This is a must read.
Being from Kentucky, I thoroughly enjoyed the authenticity of the accent and narration of Barbara Kingsolver. She captured the tone and nuances of the language so exactly that the dialogue was an accurate protrait of the area. Aside from the environmental issues, her portrait of the lifestyle and attitudes of rural southern communities was pitch perfect. The exploration of all the lives of the people there put the difficulties of conveying the critical environmental dangers in full view.
I normally enjoy Barbara Kingsolver, but found this book a little lacking in character development.
This one is not nearly as good as her other reads.
Her reading really lacked any kind of emotion or feeling.
This book is so good in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. The reader who is also the author gives a sterling performance.
The character development (which is so often lacking in so many of today's works) is fantastic. The viewpoint of rural versus urban is also fantastic. I know, I was born rural and moved to the city. The culture shock is quite shocking. Now the reverse is happening, urban or suburban raised going to the country and watching that has been very interesting! Anyways I absolutely love Barbara Kingsolver and read every word she writes. I think she is one of the urban to rural people with the ability to understand and adequately show to all of us the difference in life experiences and knowledge. From this book I get the feeling that she understands the rural poor, especially those who get stuck in 18th century thought and stay there. I meet them weekly in my trips to the local feed store. These denizens hang on to their Fox News with all their might in the hopes that all is well.
The part which is a phenomenal accomplishment is the part where the author through her main characters explain climate change to others. It is the best rebuttal to all the naysayers I have read and Ms. Kingsolver should be the voice for that type of education in all media and everywhere. She gave many acknowledgements in her book to many different people, including Bill McKibben, but her clear explanation of climate change and its proofs left me awed and I had read Bill McKibben.
At an emotional level, the death of a species is another horrible theme of the book and maybe even a little hope is there for overnight or at least one or two generation evolution. Lyall Watson has written a book on quick evolution and proved it. There is the same hope here.
This past year, a single monarch feasted on a sunflower plant in my yard. I live north of the fire ant invasion now in Texas and in a much earlier year I happened outside just as the large monarch butterfly population was heading towards Mexico via the Texas Hill Country 30 miles north of San Antonio and 150 miles south of where I now live seeing the single monarch. That vision near San Antonio of the delicate filtering of millions of these beautiful butterflies I count as one of the premiere memories I have. The other was when about 20 whooping cranes passed overhead on the way to the Texas coast also near San Antonio, Texas.
I ordered milkweed seeds from the group that advocates planting them via the net and I didn't get them in the ground. I will this year though before I plant anything else come spring. Since non-green government took over the State of Texas, they are spraying herbicides on the freeways and roadsides again, but for a while no spraying was done and no mowing was done where a field of flowers lived. Ignorance and stupidity keeps washing back into politics. We are all monarch butterflies because of it. This summer was mostly over 100 degrees with very little rain. I grow my own, but the only garden plant that survived were the weeds. I have learned to love weed salad!
weaving of concern for climate change into story lines of engaging characters.
I will never listen to another "performance" by Barbara Kingsolver. her story was high quality...just wish she'd hire a professional for the performance.
Or at least learn how to pronounce words like hay mow!
Struggle is the word that comes to mind. Downer is another. I don't want to be insensitive. There are some very serious issues discussed in this novel. Global warming, farms across USA, unfulfilled lives, dead end marriages, education, small town life, faith, just to name a few. From the start it was so disappointing to listen to the author narrate her own book. Lets just say, maybe someone else could have done a better job. So sorry just my opinion. I will say if the whole point of this book is to preach and bring awareness she did not miss her mark. Don't get me wrong this book is very well written. In many ways it is brilliant. It just left me exhausted and depressed.
I loved the Bean Trees, Prodigal Summer, and the Poisonwood Bible, so I was excited to see a new Barbara Kingsolver novel come out. Sadly, Flight Behavior was slow, boring, and preachy... even a little depressing. Added to that, the narration was simply awful and hard to listen to.
Barbra Kingsolver's portrayal of a Virgin Islander's accent was at first laughable, and then downright annoying.