This novel is s.l.o.w... Wow, I kept thinking something exciting was going to happen--it never did.
FB has no real characters to fall in love with.
This is a novel to skip--even if you love butterflies.
I love Ms. Kingsolver's writing and have read most of her books, but I will never listen to the audio version of another one that she reads. This book, although not one of my favorites of hers, was a good story, and in the typical Kingsolver fashion, manages to educate about an important topic while keeping us entertained using wonderful prose and interesting characters. There was a lot of scientific detail about Monarch butterflies that some might find tedious, but I enjoyed. Apparently I'm as big a nerd as she is.
However, she's not an actor and does not do her work justice by performing the reading herself. Her voice doesn't have the full, round tones we've come to expect in an audio book. I have seen her in person, when she read a few pages of a book and that was great, but she doesn't have the talent or training to pull off an entire novel.
Her reading of the dialog was actually okay: not great, but a good amateur performance. I'm no linguist so I can't say whether her accents were accurate, but they were good enough for my untrained ear. Certainly better than I would have done in my head had I read the book. It was the narrative portions of the book that drove me to distraction. It was plodding and cumbersome, and I was constantly aware of her trying to enunciate each word carefully. The intonations were exaggerated and it felt like I was being read to by a kindergarten teacher who couldn't break out of her usual role.
Please, Ms Kingsolver, keep to what you were born to do: write. After all, would any of us have benefited if Arthur Miller insisted he had to play Willie Loman?
Someone who does not think about a character's ringing true--someone who may like stories about women who feel a bit sorry for themselves while at the same time believing they have all or none of the answers to Life.
Let someone else read her work. A reader she is not. Make her characters ring true. Don't use the plight of the butterflies as a cover for a Bridges of Madison County type book.
Slow, lack of variation in reading, almost as if she didn't understand the book. Actually this might be true. She is not a reader.
For me, none.
Don't waste your time or money. She has written good books, but this one is a disaster.
I found this book to be laborious and dull. Not at all like "Poisonwood". Some things just seemed to be amateurish (the mother-in-law especially) in character development and the relationship with the lead. I really struggled to read the whole thing. I didn't care what happened. And I am an ecologically supportive kind of person with a certified Monarch Habitat. It should have interested me. But no.
Add some energy, some real tension. The tension was weak.
Dull. Hire a trained professional. Sorry to be mean - but it may have been better if performed better.
Mother-in-law. Weird dead newborn with 'fur'. That was silly.
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.
The narration is perfect for the story, but the environmental message behind the plot is a little heavy handed. If you already know a lot about ecology, the revelations of the main character aren't as awe inspiring as the author would like them to be. If you are looking for your first Kingsolver book, listen to The Poisonwood Bible. It is riveting!
Aspiring paperback novelist, living a small town life with a big imagination
Why she chose to narrate her own book, I cannot begin to understand...
As a reader I found it distracting and annoying to be read to as though I were under the age of five or mentally challenged. The story itself is lovely and very interesting as it addresses the extinction of, not only the monarch butterfly, but our very ecosystem as we know it. The characters are well developed - I already picture Jessica Chastain cast in in the role of Dellarobia for the big screen - and Dr. Byron, her intellectual crush, who is described as a gorgeous African American scientist. However, the muddied accent audibly bestowed upon him by the author makes him sound like a depressed Jamaican crossed with Arnold Schwarzenegger; I cringed each time "he" spoke.
Unfortunately, Ms. Kingsolver joins the ranks of Anne Lamott and Colm Tolbin in a group of authors who should never read aloud. In my brief history with audible performances the only author who successfully narrates his own story is the beguiling Michael Ondaatje whose melodious reading of THE CAT'S TABLE is one of the best performances I've had the pleasure of listening to.
Do yourself a favor and buy a hard copy or an e-book version of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR for best results.
The story was OK but mediocre. It is no Poisonwood Bible.
The ending was OK.
The audio was pretty well done.
I have loved every book by Barbara Kingsolver, but I was half way through this one still waiting to love it. I couldn't stand the main character and her endless whining about her life. It all seemed to trite. And the names of the characters were so absurd it made me feel like the author was making fun of the poor, that they would name their children such stupid things. I just felt angry listening to the book and not at the book "bad guys." Every character was either good or bad, ignorant or brilliant .One dimensional. I gave up.
If you are a huge Barbara Kingsolver fan, you may enjoy it.
No, not this genre but maybe the author.
I would have preferred another reader, as I found Barbara Kingsolver's voice and her attempt at different accents with the various characters distracting.
The characters were well developed and by the end, you felt you knew them.
The book seemed an odd mix of plots, with one story being life on the farm, and another somewhat disconnected one about butterflies. I felt I was being preached at about environmental issues.