Santa Barbara, CA, United States | Member Since 2010
By Rebecca Makkai, maybe.
Not the audibook -- the reader's voice is breathy and juvenile like Amy Adams as a Disney princess. So distracting I couldn't get halfway through the story.
I recommended this book to several friends. I didn't expect to love it, but I really couldn't put it down (er, turn it off). Great main characters, colorful portraits of secondary characters, a real mystery until the end. Well-crafted and smartly sewn together.
Annie Proulx' prose is purposely stilted, and this author does nothing to make it feel more natural. The book is depressing and it's hard to want to keep listening to the disappointments plaguing this unextraordinary protagonist.
The characters and their relationships are compelling—familiar but better than real life. Smarter. Braver. I listened to this book myself, then listened again with my family immediately after, on a road trip -- and was happy to do so. I can't say I've ever done that with another book. Narrator was terrific.
The romantic dinner in Amsterdam. The kiss. The eulogy rehearsal.
I LOVED Alan Cumming's performance. He made every character so different and kept along at a great clip, giving credibility to the invented words of this fictional time and place. But the narrative is SO descriptive of the action (which is constant) that I had a hard time keeping up with picturing it all in my head. I kept getting lost as to who was where and who was whom and ... my sons enjoyed it. Kind of a "boy" book, I'm afraid.
All of the women in the book are voiced as annoyed and annoying -- I hate them all, and realized halfway through the book that it's not the writing, it's the narrator. Couldn't finish the book.
I'd never listen to any book twice. What a silly question.
The telling is as engaging as the story -- Gabrielle Hamilton is a brilliant writer. If she cooks half as deliciously as she writes, I'd eat at her restaurant every day.
She reads the book herself, and while her voice at first bugged me (laid-back, low-drama), once I got to know her through her writing, I was grateful to have that full other dimension with which to understand Ms. Hamilton. I like knowing what I'm hearing is never a mistaken interpretation, but EXACTLY how the author intended it to be read.
Take one Bohemian childhood. Sprinkle in wayward teen years. Bring to a boil.
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