The story itself.
The final scenes with Julius and Gwen in the hospital as she delivered her baby, and then when he left and went looking for Titus...I found Julius to become a great hero of this novel and really liked it.
I think the way he performed all the women and children sounded the same...and sometimes I that annoyed me. His encapsulation of the 70's vibe of Nat and Archy were on point, though.
No, but it was a good, solid story.
this book really took me by surprise. i listened to the first chapter and honestly thought -- i'm not going to make it through. it seemed...er...do i want to say pretentious? maybe? or...perhaps i'll just say, it seemed like it was going to be too much for me. just too much.
but something kept me listening. and i'm super glad i did.
i found the lives of archy and gwen, nat and aviva, julius and titus, so enthralling....i ached for more of each of their stories. yeh, i totally just said that.
it's funny, because i know that this book was intended to be about the two men -- archy and nat -- but i found myself more riveted with the other characters' stories. i mean, i loved those guys. archy was a particularly intriguing character. i wanted him to do the right things. i rooted for him to be the good guy.
but overall, gwen was my favorite character in this book. she was tender but serious. a no nonsense woman who was raised to never sit by and let her situation get out of control. yet, all the lives around her were out of control....and she struggled to take charge and be the woman she was intended to be. her sensibility was right on.
i also loved julius. he was such a sorry little boy. my heart went out to him every time he looked at or thought about titus. i think he was one of the true heroes of this novel. as i said, his scenes at the end of the book when gwen was in labor were truly special.
this is another book where all the ancillary characters were so strong and well developed. 'chan the man,' gibson goode, 'the king of bling', luther...every single one of them had depth and purpose. i enjoyed each and every story that intertwined with our main protagonists.
i think the most interesting part of this book was the underlying (and at times overlying) element of race that was the theme of the novel. the world views that are so different between nat and archy, aviva and gwen, titus and julius. the ability they have to coexist, as best friends, business partners, lovers...yet the inability to absolutely understand the other's point of view...never able to grasp the uniqueness of the other's race. and the wedges that formed between them all because of race.
this is a really really stark but beautifully written novel. it's so sad...full of winter and death and really nothing hopeful to cling to. but gosh if it wasn't a great book.
its the story of a mother and son out to avenge the deaths of their murdered family. at the start, their relationship is tepid at best...but this was not a novel of family ties binding together in the face of adversity. the relationship between Elspeth and Caleb was as sad and cold and stark as the wintery scenery...and it remained so through most of the book. the secrets that they both keep throughout the novel are detrimental to their relationship and their lives. and they never come to understand the other's emotional needs enough to help the other through. it's a painful story to read...because there is really no redemption. even if they succeed in getting revenge...you know their lives will never be redeemed.
kate udall reads this book with perfection.
tragedy oozes from every sentence in this novel...in the sadness and emotion evident in every choice that both main characters make. it's a moving desperate story that is so full of violence it's sometimes shocking in it's outright nature, but so brings you into the minds and hearts of these two characters...it's a haunting story not to be missed.
when i read "heartbreaking work of...blah blah blah" i vowed i'd never read another eggers book. but this, being a novel, and being of the variety i prefer to read, and having such great buzz, i gave it a try. so glad i broke my own rule. this book was great.
Mae was such a great awful character. i loved and hated her, so much. loved how terrible every decision she made was, how vulnerable she was, how cringe-worthy her inner thoughts were. loved how she never disappointed in being awful. i loved that she was, truly, the ultimate go-getter...even though the "getting" was often at the expense of everyone else in her life. i hated her because...well....she's really quite hateable.
the novel overall was written so well...it kept me emotional the entire time i was reading. emotions like anger, frustration, shock, annoyance and mirth. i laughed out loud at so many parts of this book, i can't even tell you. (i can tell you, however, that i don't laugh at books...so i kept surprising myself). Mercer's dialogue amused me the most...i found his observations and social commentary quite hysterical, probably because in this book full of absurdly blind followers -- his was the voice of reason and reality.
i feel that my problem with eggers previously might have been the memoir genre? i will be trying another novel of his soon...hoping to be as pleased as i was with these results.
in the middle of an isolated Iceland farm, the true story of Agnes' crime is told...along with her last year of life before her execution.
agnes is one of the most riveting and upsetting characters i've read in a long time. her voice (in intermittent chapters) is so true and sad and doomed. as she shifts from prisoner, to farmhand, to a member of the family -- i grew to love Agnes so much as a person. as i read, i knew where she was headed -- but of course i was hoping the entire time her fate would change.
really well written book, smart in how it portrays relationships and the changes in perceptions and opinions (both in agnes' past and in her present)...brilliant in it's quiet stark sentences. i loved it.
ps...the fact that this is a true story makes it even more chilling and sad.
oh mr. king. you've outdone yourself with this book.
i not only loved this story as i love a good stephen king story. but i just loved it. period.
this novel has a lot of stephen king-isms in it. it has the supernatural aspect, the rabbit hole to another time.....it has the mystical yellow, orange, black, green card man...it has the everyman turned hero.....it has the most realistic dialogue that a person can write (is it weird that i love stephen king's dialogue).
but it also has a lot more than that. it has love, true heartbreaking love (contrary to his own statements, stephen king can write love stories). it has moral dilemmas. it poses questions about what one man can do to history. it poses questions about how one single blink by one single person can effect the entire world's future.
i loved this book. it kept me on my toes. will he save or kill kennedy in the end? i mean, that's history, right? the narrator kept saying that the past was obdurate...but he sure tried to combat that. did he succeed?
i think that even if you aren't a stephen king fan, you'll love this book. and it's a great place to start if you've never read king before (wait, you've never read king before???? where have you been???)
it's one of the best american novels i've read in a long while.
i'm a fan of stephen king. i love all his books...the straightforward horror stories, the more sentimental stories, the weird, magical, mystical, and murderous stories. but i recognize that some of his writing is better than others. and when he gets it right...he really gets it right. this story gets it right.
i also will admit that The Shining was one of the scariest stephen king books i've ever read...hell, one of the scariest BOOKS in general i've ever read. and this book did not disappoint as a follow up. this story of and adult danny torrance is really quite thrilling. full of the classic king creepiness. there's a 'big bad' worth losing sleep over, an anti-hero and full on heroine that capture your heart. and there's a cast of supporting characters that only help to build up the novel and make it full of depth, excitement, terror and imagination.
will patton is one of my favorite narrators (along with kate mulgrew and a few non-celebs), i found him to be the perfect voice of an older and much more turmoiled danny. great choice.
one of the best, most solid, most beautiful and sad and crazy young adult novels i've ever read. ever.
i love eleanor
i love park
i love their narrators
i love this book.
i can definitely understand why this novel has been put on many of the 'best of' lists for this year.
i found it quite amusing and full of witty commentary, observations and opinions about race in America. i neither liked nor disliked either of the main characters...and i didn't really have any deep interest in whether their spanning relationship worked out or if it didn't.
but overall i enjoyed both of their separate life experiences and found the relationships they had with each other and with their friends and family very realistic. both characters made bad decisions...and good decisions...but the way they both displayed and celebrated their race differently living in the modern world in America, Nigeria and England under the racial pretense of this book was very interesting.
it wasn't my personal favorite of 2013, but it's a solid read that i'm not sorry i took on.
the narrator was awesome.
i really did not like this book....but i stuck it out to the end just to see if it would live up to the rave reviews of everyone i know. for me, it didn't.
it's hard to explain, but i felt like this book was so long and so wordy...but actually said nothing. i think it tried to tell so much, over so much time, that it couldn't really delve into any one moment in the story or into any real details about the characters so that the reader could dig in and get involved. the whole time i read this, i felt like i was floating above the story...and watching it happen in such a cursory way...but i was never able to get inside the story, experiencing it, feeling it, caring about it.
the other big flaw that i found with the novel is that i did not believe in the tragic "love story" that was supposed to be the center of this book. it didn't seem like there was real urgency or emotion or any type of drive to compel the reader to root for these two to finally get together. neither one of these two (Enza or Ciro) were all that likeable. i guess Enza had more redeeming qualities than Ciro...but i didn't really care about either one of them. and i certainly had no investment in their relationship. i felt like there was this big lead up to them finally getting together, but honestly, i didn't care if they did or not.
this novel was seriously disturbing, but really good.
it's extremely emotional. an intimate portrayal of a soldier and all the mistakes he makes in relationships, in war, in love. it's truly moving and tragic and very powerful.
the narrator brought tristan to life in a really wonderful way...making him just sympathetic enough for you to want to read on (listen), but also bringing the ringing truth about his decisions into plain sight.
it's a book that will stick with you a while.
this book was extremely interesting to listen to. when i was in college, i had a professor who's main profession was translating Italian poetry into English for American audiences. i had many conversations with him regarding his choice to be a translator...and his feelings on how a translator often has a more difficult task than an original author. getting into the mind of the author, trying to make the correct choices when there are often multiple "English" translations for a foreign language word. i admit i was in awe of him, as he showed me some of his translations and how different they could be by changing just one word's meaning. we would dissect sentences from his translated poetry and he would tweak one word, one phrase...and turn the poem on it's head.
that being said, the sentiment in Hanne Schubert's dialogue about translation hit me in a familiar place. and the idea of Hanne's life being turned on it's head after her fall was extremely congruent with the ideas of her translations.
i don't want to say too much about the novel, as i felt it was a very intriguing and deeply moving portrait of a very layered female character. but what i will say is that Hanne is one of the most complex and difficult characters i have encountered in awhile. i am still conflicted by her...i'm not sure i like her, not sure i dislike her...definitely feel very mixed emotions. but i did enjoy reading about her...and her discovery of herself, the good, the bad and the extremely ugly.
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