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 book was pretty intense. what an amazing story of family loyalty and faith in someone who clearly seems insane! i think that at the heart of it, that's what this story is about -- i mean, the mystery around her circumstances were really strange and disturbing -- but the family/friends that stood by her believing every step of the way there was a reason, and a cure, for her problems is what resonated most with me.
another "zombie" novel that really doesn't have anything to do with traditional zombies. there were actually times i forgot that i was reading about zombies. there is no real flesh/brain eating, no scary chases through the woods with moaning and dragging limbs. not that that matters...per se...if the novel is good enough to sustain the story.
what there is, however, is a relatively smartly written novel about prejudice and humanity. its an interesting social statement. a bit long winded at parts, and i wasn't all that happy with the final few pages...not a real resolution as much as a ho hum shrug of the shoulders.
there were times i hated this book, and times i loved this book, and then times i hated it again. and that is why i'm giving it 5 stars.
i have a very soft spot in my heart for books that invoke in me extreme emotions. this book did that. enter -- soft spot.
but seriously. i think that Harriet "Harry" Burden was fantastic. the chapters narrated by her were just the pinnacle of perfection. this novel is a moving and interesting portrait of an extremely unique and obscure artist. the rest of the cast of characters narrating the other portions, some boring and annoying, some riveting and empathetic, made this a well rounded story.
it's definitely not the type of novel for everyone, but it was for me.
loved this story. laughed out loud so much while listening to it. it's one of those madcap stories with a zany mix of characters who bring absolute perfection to their specific roles in the story.
i love the hundred-year-old man...and i love his story. finding out his past, and how he rubbed elbows with presidents and world leaders just made it even more humorous.
the narrator was perfect -- a dry english gentleman's voice telling this silly little story.
this is the kind of book that your read to put a smile on your face, and don't want to take it too seriously.
i love amy greene. i want her to write stories like this (and Bloodroot) forever and ever.
as with Bloodroot, this book is perfectly written. not a wasted word, not a misplaced thought. the characters are so full of emotion and sadness and nuance. i truly believe that they are jumping off the pages and living in the real world.
this is a story of family. a mother's love (both annie and beulah). how far someone will go for what they believe in.
it's just amazing, beautifully written - beautifully read and will be revisited soon.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.