While I can understand that BeBe Winans really wanted the listeners to hear his story in his words, I found his story to sound less convincing because it sounded like he was just reading the book out loud. Since this is his experience and his observations I expected to hear more emotion.
I think another narrator may have made the book easier to listen to.
I do not think this book needs a follow up because the author accomplished his goal. He allowed the listener to share in his personal relationship with Whitney Houston, which demolished negative perceptions of who she was and made her a loving, caring, giving human being with struggles just like the rest of us only on a grander scale.
I have listened to so many audiobooks that I have lost count. Among those that I have listened to there are a few that stand out and Shantaram is definitely one of the stand out books. While listening to the book I had to keep reminding myself that it was a work of fiction. Often times I felt like I was sitting around with a friend who was telling me of his life's adventures. I have recommended this book to quite a few of my friends. I would absolutely rate this book in my top ten all time reads (listens).
The narrator was fabulous. His performance was natural and true. There was never a time while listening to the book that I felt like I was listening to a book. It truly felt like he was talking to me. I will certainly seek out other books that he has narrated.
This story was so vivid that I ran the gamut of emotions from anger to joy. There were times when I would laugh out loud and awaken my husband from his sleep. The characters were genuine and believable. They seemed like real people that you'd come across in your own life.
As a self-proclaimed shopaholic, I really expected to hear the secrets I wish I could admit to. Unfortunately, I found neither interest nor connection with this character.
I really tried several times to listen to this book, but it never captured my attention.
I was expecting a more mature character, but instead it felt like I was overhearing a phone conversation between my teenage daughter and her friends. I'm not sure this book was written for a mature listener. It reminds me of a made for t.v. Disney movie.
Straight to the point and easy to understand, Swagger was really eye opening because while many of us know the hopelessness that our boys face, no one has really broken it down in such a basic way as this.
The story was honest and actually made me evaluate what my teenage son is exposed to and how much control I have over what influences him. It made for easy dialogue with my son.
The part of this book that got my attention and made me pause (and rewind) was the section on hip hop and rap music and its lyrics. Wow! I've heard these songs, but have not really paid attention to the lyrics and the meaning behind the songs. From now on, I will definitely seek out the lyrics to songs I hear my kids and their friends singing.
I found myself shaking my head in agreement, disgust, frustration, and finally hope. This book has prompted me to have new conversations with my teenage son. And interestingly enough, he opened up about his opinions on these topics more than I thought he would.
While listening to this book in our family room, I caught my son tuning in. His interest was peaked and we had great conversations about what the book was saying. While we have always talk about "stuff" this book opened up meaningful dialogue. It is a good tool to use to get insight into the mind of a young man so that action can be taken before he falls victim to the hopelessness awaiting our boys. It gives him a chance at survival.
While reading this book I felt like I was in a room of my married girlfriends and everyone was being open and honest about their marriages. There was something to learn from each story. I am proud to confess that my husband and I have been married for 17 years and there were good times and there were bad times, but this book let know me know that I/we are not alone. Marriage is an adventure to be shared.By the way my husband overheard me listening and enjoyed the book too.
She was personable. I felt like she was right in the room talking to me.
Throw away the cookie cutter and find what works for you.
I'd like to see Iris's other books available on audible soon.
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