Grace Conlin does a terrific job of narrating the story. The novel itself is actually more a series of short stories more than a coherent novel. But the characters are memorable and many parts of it are engaging. The themes of pre-WW II German culture and anti-Semitism are explored well. Her insights about marriage and relationships are spot on. Definitely engaging even if it doesn't have a compelling overall narrative.
I found myself mesmerized by this book. Proust is a master of describing the intimate details of his thinking. Very little happens in the book outwardly. Essentially the narrator tells of his summer in a town on the Norman coast. And the characters, including the narrator, aren't particularly admirable. But it's absolutely fascinating to listen to his riffs on a wide variety of subjects, from sexuality to arts and artists to creativity to memory. Very hard to describe, but it's like listening to someone describing the incredibly interesting things they see inside a microscope looking at human character. The reader is good. Definitely kept my interest alive.
What an incredible story! It reads almost like a thriller. Bonhoeffer's fight with the Nazis extends more than a dozen years. I learned an incredible amount about how some brave Christians stood up to Hitler. Although they ultimately lost the battle, they clearly won in the long run because of their principled position. The reader does a terrific job of keeping your interest because he's clearly very passionate about the story. You never get the idea that he's just reading a text. Anyone who wants to learn more about the reality of life under the Nazis should read this book. Can't recommend it highly enough.
A retelling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel, as well as Adam and Eve, Noah's ark, etc. Saramago's writing style is engaging because it's so unusual. But his iconoclastic attitude towards the Bible and religion wears thin after a while leaving this reader at least wanting more depth and less caricature. Worth reading if you want something quick and mildly diverting. At least Kevin Pariseau does a great job of bringing the characters to life.
Bulgakov's imagination is incredible. This is Faust on steroids. The basic plot line revolves around the devil coming to Moscow in the Stalin era. If you can accept that as the premise, you'll enjoy this highly entertaining, often laugh-outloud funny book. Despite the sometimes outrageous scenes, the book will also make you think about such issues as good and evil, Pilate vs. Jesus, Soviet secret police, etc. No wonder my Russian friends tell me this is the most popular novel among today's Russians.
Julian Rhind-Tutt is just fantastic as a reader. He has a different voice for the many different characters, making it easy to follow a Russian story where everyone seems to have at least three different names.
Well-told story of an Ethiopian immigrant who runs a corner grocery store in Washington, DC. The characters come to life in Dion Graham's narration. Especially good is his African accents as well as the various American characters. High recommend it as an engaging story.
For Trollope lovers like myself, this book is one of his best, with some unforgettable characters like Melmotte, the larger-than-life swindler. The story, though set more than 100 years ago, has contemporary echoes in the big financial scandals (Madoff, etc.). Timothy West is a great reader, unlike Flo Gibson, whose mechanical, sing-song version of this book was so awful that I bought this one. I'm glad I did.
I love Trollope, and I think this is his very best book. Great characters and a very dramatic plot. I'd highly recommend the book to anyone who likes Victorian novels or anyone who wants a little historical perspective on our current financial crisis. The main character would have fit in real well in the Wall Street of today. At times I absolutely loved Flo Gibson's narration. She was especially good in doing the various dialects for some of the minor characters. She did a good job of differentiating among the different characters' voices. But sometimes there was a kind of singsong quality that was quite distracting. However, as the book went on, I think she got more into the book, and I didn't find her style as distracting.
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