I love E. Lynn Harris's novels and hadn't gotten around to the memoir, though it was highly recommended by a colleague. When I heard he'd passed this summer, I really wanted to read it. The books is excellent: 5 stars. The narrator, though, wasn't as good as those who've done Harris's novels. For the first couple of hours he sounded uncomfortable with Harris's voice. I think I'd like to read this one again on paper to get my own feel for it.
I'm about halfway through this book right now and honestly, I'm not sure if it's horribly written or just read that way. The Narrator runs the full range from Barbie to Disney Princess, and when she attempts to do Latino accents I feel like I'm stuck in some horrible fifties film.
Butler Bass's discussion of transformation within mainline Christian churches is at times engaging, facile, enlightening, smug, and rose-colored. I had read a lot of reviews of the print book and many seemed to be from non-Mainline Christians reacting to the implied criticism of fundamentalism. So I expected it to be smart, critical, and pointed. Instead it's bland Americana. So far there is one hopeful moment when she refers to the African American church, but then she veered of on Desmond Tutu. She's doing case studies of different congregation, but it's less like participant-observer scholarship and more like postcards from a road trip. In the diversity section she raves about the diversity of several of the churches only to follow up by saying that the only area in which they are not diverse is racially.
Again, if it weren't for the narrator's tone I could perhaps be more generous, but it's just so spunky it seems totally out of place dealing with serious subjects.
Ken Wilson has a dull introduction to Nabhan's book, and his convoluted writing style ruined the narrator for me. Gave up on this after little more than an hour. I'll try reading this book on paper to see if it Nabhan holds my attention better.
I was looking for a good Venice mystery for my mom to read when she's there.
A Noble Radiance is a pretty good read, although I find the main character rather maudlin and self-indulgent. Anna Fields, the narrator, is superb. If you like her in this, listen to her in Louise Erdrich's novels, where she has much better writing to work with.
Prob'ly best for those who are already fans of the series. Because of all the snarky comments about tourists, I prob'ly won't pick this for my mom.
Erdrich wrote TRACKS in 1988 and FOUR SOULS in 2004--nearly two decades separate the writing of these two books, yet, listening to them both, all of that seems purely imaginary in the "real" time of the two novels. Erdrich's writing is finely honed: her characters Fleur and Nanapush will stick with you. Anna Fields does a magnificent job with the narration!
This is a great collection of EZ short stories by Walter Mosley. They come between A Little Yellow Dog and Little Scarlet, and fill in a lot of the gaps between those two novels. Really enjoyable. ME Willis is a delight. Characters like Mama Joe, bring added depth. Gone Fishing was written before these stories, and there's references to what happened.
If you want a novel, then you won't be satisfied with short stories, but I really enjoyed seeing how Mosley works with the short story form and also the way the stories link together.
And this is exactly why! I'm a big fan of Tananarive Due's THE GOOD HOUSE. Fabulous. Creepy. Scary (for me--I know you hardcore horror fans have a much higher tolerance!). I must be the only reader in north America who loathes Stephen King, and I'm not usually a fan of horror. (I'm more science- and speculative fiction). I can't praise this book enough. (as a side note, I was also introduced the cubano group The Orishas through this novel). This is a long book, so near the end you may find yourself running into a bookstore so you can finish it quickly, but I see that as proof that the author totally draws us in.
Mosley is great! Paris Minton and Fearless Jones are an interesting departure from EZ Rawlins and Mouse. I really enjoy how Paris keeps emphasizing himself as a coward. And it's great to see Mosley's Los Angeles from a couple different angles. Don Cheadle gives a GREAT reading. This is what audiobooks are all about! I haven't liked a reading so much since Ossie Davis.
It's amazing to me how much Mouse--Raymond Alexander--haunts this novel. There's some odd revision going on---prob'ly only noticeable if, like me, you're listening to the books one right after another.
The narrator, ME Willis, is pretty good. He uses more accents to distinguish between characters, especially the women. It can be a bit jarring, since characters from previous novels (with different narrators) suddenly have these whole other ways of talking. The accent for Primo is lousy---pure Frito Bandito. Plus, I guess I just got hooked on Stanley Bennet Clay's characterization of Mouse and Primo.
I listened to Black Betty and White Butterfly--both read by Stanley Bennet Clay, who makes Mosley's characters come alive. Mosley's YA novel, 47, is read by Ossie Davis, and will make you mourn that artist's passing all over again. In contrast, this narrator, Howard Weinberger, is AWFUL! I want my moeny back!
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