I read the book a few years back and loved it. It is beautifully written, very absorbing, and heartbreaking. This is a great way to re-read the book, or to read it for the first time. Simon Vance is one of the best narrators I've heard, and he does a marvelous job here. A fabulous listen!
I don't really know where to start; I can't say enough good things about this book. It's classified as young adult, but it is far more complex than much of YA literature, and holds its own as adult lit. The story itself is riveting, and the performances could not be better. The two protagonists are voiced perfectly. If the story itself weren't so compelling (which it is), you could just get lost in the characterizations. It's that beautiful. Neither narrator hits a wrong note. The writing is lovely, the story is intense and heartbreaking, and the two women are so *present* and believable. Just go listen to it!
Yet another book I would have missed but for the Daily Deal. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The premise is frightening and all too believable, and the author treats it with seriousness and thought. In the second part of the book, the dialogue and descriptions veer toward the Wild West, but it's not bad, just cliched.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the women are such cardboard characters that it becomes funny. Hey, women can do stuff! They can, uh, sew! Make breakfast! Organize a household! And there must be something else they can do . . . uh, no, can't come up with anything else. Did I mention they make a damned good cup of coffee? It's so retro that it's amusing, not irritating. I know it's 1959, but even considering that, it's unusually pathetic. Perhaps the author didn't know many women.
Anyway, it's definitely worth a listen. It's a plausible view of WWIII and its aftermath. It would be interesting paired with James Howard Kunstler's The World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron, recent imaginings of the life of a small town after the breakdown of the U.S. political system and the disappearance of oil and electricity. I read both of these and can't comment on the audio editions, but I recommend both books.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. It is a lovely story, funny and sad. It's particularly interesting to have this perspective on life inside Germany during World War II. The writing is stunning; the author continues to find unique ways to express everyday experience through the end of the book. I found myself wanting to write down each new turn of phrase; they are that good.
Allan Corduner's narration is spot-on. I hope he will do much more audiobook narration. He's one of the best. His voicing of the characters was distinct, moving, often funny, pitch-perfect . . . one of those books where you feel you know each character and miss them when the book is over.
I can't recommend this one highly enough.
I wanted very much to love this book. I loved Secret History. I'm almost 3/4 of the way through The Goldfinch, trying to hang in there, switching it off in irritation . . . thinking "this is getting such positive reviews; maybe it ends up somewhere better than this," switching it back on . . . and now I'm giving up. It has a great story idea. The opening, particularly once we get to the museum, is very well done. Most of the rest of the book I found incredible repetitive and overwritten. Often the writing is just not good. The author uses seven descriptive terms rather than choosing the best. The protagonist often walks around dazed, confused, blasted out of his mind, stoned out of his mind, and did I mention dazed and confused? It beggars belief that someone this drug- and alcohol-addicted could make it to the age of 27 or 30 able to function in his job and without the people around him noticing. I wanted to send him to rehab. People ask him questions and he repeatedly answers "huh?" "what?" "but –" There is some good in the book, certainly. Boris is a great character and David Pittu does such a good job with him that he keeps talking in my head. Overall I feel David Pittu tries too hard to inflect every single word, and it's exhausting. Let the words speak for themselves. I feel the book is at least half again as long as it should have been. How many detailed and exhaustive scenes of teenage boys getting blasted, stoned and drunk do we need to convey this part of the narrator's life? It just goes on and on. Like my review. So I'll sign off now.
This is a lovely and intense book about (among other things) the consequences of our actions for those we love . . . the two brothers at the center of the book have profound effects on each others' lives, and, rippling outward, on the lives of their parents, spouses, children. Jhumpa Lahiri does a beautiful job of drawing us into the relationship between the brothers and then into the lives of their families.
The narrator is generally excellent; I gave him four stars rather than five because I felt his women sounded a little insipid, but this is a quibble. I will keep an eye out for more of his narration; it was moving without being overbearing.
I did not finish this book, so take that into consideration in reading this review. This book has been recommended to me by several people. I enjoyed the opening and really liked John Randolph Jones's narration. Once we got into the story of his younger self, however, the writing was so cliched and the dialogue so stereotypical that I felt I'd read the book many times before. It seemed like a book that would be titled "I Traveled With the Circus" aimed at 10-year-olds. I came back to it a few times but grew so irritated with the writing that I abandoned the project. I should have listened to Janice!
I hesitated in buying this, but you gotta love the Daily Deal for making those decisions easier. I wasn't sure that I would have the tolerance for the somewhat smartass teenager tone; I think it's perfectly appropriate to the book, but I can only take so much of it. While I enjoyed getting to know the main character, I was most interested in Augustus and especially in his friendship with Isaac. I felt Hazel was a somewhat cliched teen, but Augustus and Isaac broke away from the cliches. The story is moving, heartbreaking, of course, and funny.
Bonhoeffer is one of the most intriguing people from World War II. He and his co-conspirators were so repulsed and horrified by the Nazis that they risked everything to bring them down. Unlike so many, Bonhoeffer and his family recognized the Nazis for what they were when they first came to power, and they worked in many different ways to oppose them. I was particularly interested in the family and in Dietrich's relationship to them. Theirs was a very close family, and Dietrich's co-conspirators included his brothers-in-law. It's a fascinating story and well worth the time.
There was a good deal of repetition, both from the author and in the quoting of Bonhoeffer's writings; I felt the book would have benefited from better editing. I like Malcolm Hillgartner and have listened to one or two other books he has narrated. With this one, however, he goes overboard on the expression, not letting the writing speak for itself, hitting the pathos and tragedy too hard . . . the book's events and Bonhoeffer's writings are so clear and intense that there is no need for this!
I hesitated in buying this, because I didn't finish the last Gamache mystery; it just didn't interest me. This one, though, is gripping and nearly impossible to stop listening to. Louise Penny has done a beautiful job of plotting, weaving the two plots together, and cutting back and forth between them. She has struck a great balance of Gamache, the mysteries, and the Three Pines people. I love that Penny continues to develop the Three Pines characters. Going deeper into their pasts, as well as into the characters of Gamache and his team, is a major strength of the series.
This is the first Louise Penny mystery I've listened to; I read the rest of them, except for the last. Ralph Cosham is as close to a perfect narrator for these books as I can imagine. Now, of course, I need to see what else he has done. I love finding a great narrator!
If you're planning to buy this book regardless of reviews, don't read this; I don't want to prejudice your listening experience. You may do just fine.
I was looking forward to this book so much; I loved Special Topics and really enjoyed Marisha Pessl's writing style. I've stopped halfway through this book, however, and can't go further (though I would like to know the ending). The story is good. The writing, however, is not. Because this is a detective noir novel, perhaps the author wrote this way on purpose, but the writing to me is hackneyed and cliched, with clunky dialogue. The characters take far too long to realize what is obvious to the reader, and when they do, Pessl tends to pound the nail in a few extra times in case we didn't get it. Many aspects of the investigation defy belief, and I'm not talking about the black magic elements. The action seems to arise from the author's need to get certain information across rather than from the nature of the characters; I had trouble believing in the characters and their reactions. The writing is clumsy. Does anyone edit anymore?
The narrator is a reasonable choice for a noir novel; he sounds the part, certainly. He has an irritating tendency. To break sentences into fragments. Rather than allowing them to flow. Which obstructs their meaning. And one has to think about what was just said. Then put it all together. I'm not sure anyone could have done a good job with this dialogue; it's just mediocre, but I felt the narrator overemphasized emotional moments; this coupled with the author's overemphasis made me feel like someone was pounding the novel into my head with a 2 x 4.
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