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Christine

Old Greenwich, CT, United States | Member Since 2000

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  • In Sunlight and in Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (73)

    New York in 1947 glows with postwar energy. Harry Copeland, an elite paratrooper who fought behind enemy lines in Europe, returns home to run the family business. In a single, magical encounter on the Staten Island ferry, the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale falls for him instantly but too late to prevent her engagement to a much older man. Harry and Catherine pursue one another in a romance played out in postwar America’s Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, and the haunts of gangsters.

    Leslie says: "Great Insomnia Listening"
    "Could not keep going"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Mark Helprin and/or Sean Runnette?

    No. Perhaps the narrator was handicapped by the material, which was tedious and overwritten, but the combination of Helprin's diarrhea of words and Runnette's whispery earnestness was deadly.


    What could Mark Helprin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Cut out half the words and rethink the ones he kept. Can't say about the story line because after two hours of listening I'd just gotten to the boy meets girl part.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

    Yes, my real problem with this book was the author.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book on the recommendation of someone without noticing that it was by the same author as Fred and Frederika, another book I was unable to finish. Helprin is overly enamored by his own writing - much of which is nonsensical. When the words he has assembled do make sense, too often they are hammering the reader over the head with political or social philosophies inappropriate to the era in which the story takes place. After listening to two hours I realized In Sunlight and in Shadow is layered with pretty words and endless descriptions that give an appearance of something important, but underneath the book its pretentious drivel. And that's when I decided to turn it off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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