I found this book difficult to get through. Unlike some other listeners I think the problem is that it is too well written. I know people who treat each other this way. Elizabeth Strout nailed it. The relationship between the brothers was so difficult during the first third of the book that I cried and would not have continued if it were not my book club's choice for this month. There are no likable characters in this book. Bob is nice, but a little to vague to be truly admirable. Otherwise everyone is so damaged it is painful. It reminds me a little bit of Mrs.Bridge, but perhaps that is just because that book depressed me as well. The story never really lightens at any point. I think the ending is supposed to be happy, and for two characters there is hope. Again I want to stress that the writing is good and the narration good; the book is just pretty much a downer from start to finish.
I enjoyed the story of the Burgess boys and their sister, even though I didn't particularly like or relate to any of them. The insight into human behaviour and society's reaction when confronted with refugees was very well portrayed by Elizabeth Strout. The narrator was very good.
I would listen to this book again. Strout does a wonderful job with character development. Each one is real and believable!
Actually, when has Elizabeth Strout written a bad book? Done with her inimitable style and inimitable observations of how we humans behave, both badly and well. A gem.
Love books with a lot of heart. Deep character development and intelligent writers.
Absolutely, the reader is one of my favorites. Every word is spoken with emotion.
When Jim admitted he was the one who killed his father not Bob.
I liked Pam.
Although Jim was the villain of the story he was also the most interesting. I would take Jim out and just let him talk about everything.
Elizabeth Strout does an excellent job of weaving a story together. Her characters are in-depth, lovable and flawed. She is a keen observer of family dynamics and the listener can see how everything fits together at the end.
A great story but didn't always keep me engrossed. Not sure why. The performance was good, so it must be the writing. Sorry, Elizabeth Burgess, i know you're a successful writer. I just wasn't all that engaged throughout.
This is absolutely the worst book I have ever listened to. I kept waiting for something to happen. A complete waste of my time. Awful!
Never, ever, ever should someone try to "do" a Maine accent. Either you have an original one or don't attempt this. I found the readers attempt to "do" this accent distracting at best and highly irritating at worst. It was uneven, as though she would remember here or there that she was supposed to be reading a character from Maine. This made the book much less of an enjoyable experience for me. I probably would have liked the book much better if I'd just read it rather than listened to it.
This is the most important thing I have to say about this book. Having loved Olive Kitteridge, I had anticipated also enjoying The Burgess Boys. Alas, the reader's "Maine accent" was painful to listen to, which is ironic as, early on in the book, mention is made of how difficult it is to fake a Maine accent. This is one book I would have doubtless enjoyed more in print.
The characters were mostly unlikeable from beginning to end, which made it difficult to become interested in their fates. Also, I find the exploitation of current events tiresome but that may not be the case for all readers as evidenced by the popularity of authors such as Jodi Picoult.
My advice is to always listen to the Audible sample before buying an audiobook, although, in this case, the offending "accent" wasn't evident from the sample.
I liked the characters most of the time and there was room for change. There was movement towards accepting the hand that was dealt and coming to terms with long held secrets and lies. Did I love listening to it? No, not really. I thought the characters were dreadfully slow in seeing what was real and the emphasis on a new culture diluting the character of the a staid little town just felt overblown to me.