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Beth

I am a voracious reader with fairly eclectic taste. I like both fiction and non-fiction, biography, history and current events. I like well written mysteries and suspense and I love 19th and 20th century classical literature as well as modern fiction. My favorite author is Philip Roth but I also love Trollope, Hardy, Jonathan Franzen, Jane Austen and Edith Wharton. My favorite biographer is Robert Caro.

Member Since 2001

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  • Farther Away: Essays

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By Jonathan Franzen, Scott Shepherd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. These pieces deliver on Franzen’s implicit promise to conceal nothing.

    Doggy Bird says: "Two different readers, two different experiences"
    "Two different readers, two different experiences"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked the first two essays read by the author and felt the book was read poorly by the reader that followed. This was not the case with Franzen's other books of essays which included essays read both by the author and a reader but where the combination was not so mismatched.

    The second reader of FARTHER AWAY does not have a voice suited for a literary text. His voice sounds like Rod Serling or some cowboy story narrator, not like an author of serious reflective essays about literature. He sounds like the Marlboro Man. He reads too fast and without knowledge, including how to pronounce the names of other authors correctly. His words can be understood but the pace is so 'off' one essay sometimes ends and a new one is begun without him even pausing for a breath. You just suddenly realize the topic has changed.

    That said, I enjoyed the essays themselves enough to purchase a hard copy of the book so that I could read it at my own pace and reread things that needed my own reflection. But I would not have needed to do that if the second reader had been more appropriately chosen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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