My rating reflects the audiobook, not the book itself. I think that Tree of Smoke might be a very good book to read, but it is a difficult book to listen to. It's not the narrator's fault: he does a superb job of capturing the mood and aiding in characterization.
I'm a big reader, and I like marking in important books. I like underlining important, repeated phrases and flipping back to earlier passages when I sense the author making allusions. I kept wanting to do this with Tree of Smoke, but I couldn't! Specifically, I remember a significant folk tale that is related early in the book that may be a key to understanding the whole, but it occurred so early in this rather long book that I couldn't remember the details of the tale by the end of the book. I needed to be able to flip back and read the folk tale again!
Here's the upshot of my too long review: I would recommend that someone read this book, but I do not recommend the audiobook.
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