Yes. The stories had interesting forms, moving ideas, and revealed a sensitive portrayal of the ordinary human being.
The quirky style and the heartfelt understanding of people.
His own accent, his midwestern rhythm of speech, his own portrayal of the characters as he imagined them.
This may be a great book with great stories but I will never know because I had to turn it off after about 30 minutes. George Saunders may be a great writer but I will bet most listeners will not last the whole book.
You might think an author reading his own words would lend some magic or special understanding to the work (think Dylan Thomas or Stephen King or Garrison Keillor) but not in this case. He may know just what to emphasize or just where to go quiet, but he is inept as a reader, in my opinion. Saunders reads so fast that whole passages are lost. He reads with such a pronounced lisp that words mash together in a syllabant stew, losing even more meaning. I'm NOT making fun of his speech pattern but it is so annoying to listen to it makes me think he (or the publisher) should have chosen someone with a pleasant voice that conveys the emotion as well as the meaning of the words.
It's really too bad because this is probably one of those books that works better in print than on audio. The media is touting this as one of the best books of the year but I suggest you get the real book, even an e-book, but skip the audio.
I found the narration to be pretty good. With a few exceptions, I like it when authors read their own material. I think he did a good job with pacing and tone.
To be honest, I wouldn't recommend this book. The first couple of stories are good because they are fresh and new, especially for a first-time Saunders listener. The plots are intriguing and presented in a good way - a key word here, a phrase there - like slowing opening a present by the corners. But it just started getting repetitive. The characters seemed so similar, their situations were different in the details but not that different in the nature of the conflict. The internal conversations of the characters went from interesting and entertaining to repetitive and predictable. A couple of times while I was listening in my car, I found myself talking to the narration saying, "Yes, I get it. Move on!"
It seems like a lot of people like this book, so who am I to say. I don't usually write reviews, but wanted to give me thoughts, for what they're worth (probably not much).
Not what I expected! After listening to the first chapter I was thoroughly upset by the foul language. I guess some people find this type of book entertaining but for me it was deplorable.
I had brief experience with reading some george saunders essays, and the nominal story here, 10th of december. But it's the other stories that I heard in this book that are my favorites. I'm not always a fan of short fiction, but aside from being a fun writer, George Saunders really has something to SAY in these stories. He touches on themes of love, insanity, prejudice, and suicide. And he does it well.
Avid audiobook listener and reader. I work in the tech industry, but like to go outside my comfort zone with fiction and non-fiction.
Yes. For the one negative that I have with the book: I had a very hard time telling when one story stopped, and the next one began.
The author reading the book gave the stories a unique voice and the voice of how it should be read.
His "Wisconsin"-style accent. Funny and interesting.
The stories were imaginative and interesting. I enjoyed every one of them and thought they were the most original ideas I have heard in a long time.
George Saunders is a wonderful writer who has a great talent for reading his own work. The stories are very imaginative and unusual. This is a book I have listened to repeatedly because I enjoy it so much. The humour and inventive and fresh style of writing amazes me.
It stands out on its own.
He has such a flair for reading.
It is a very thought provoking book and yes it made me laugh.
Its a very good listen.
I loved both the story and performance of the book. Stories are both funny and deeply touching. Didn't have any real expectations and was carried away by it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Listening to the author read his own words was great. I loved listening to his quirky way of speaking the quirky words, with quirky pauses, in his quirky stories. Listened to it twice so as not to miss anything. Tempted to listen a third time! So happy that I took a chance on a recommendation by one of Audible's editors. Thank you.