Wild Swans recounts the lives of the author, her mother and grandmother as they live through the transitions of China from an isolated imperial kingdom to the new millenium. It's an important story, dramatically presented in domestic detail which makes daily life an illustration of political realities.
I can't think of a comparison. The combination of historical fact and personal experience presented in a straightforward, no - nonsense way is unusual.
The performance reflects the authorial voice. That said, sometimes the authorial voice was a bit naive and callow, which I found annoying.
Not likely. It's about 23 hours long and laden with detail. It was interesting, but one needed breaks.
I gave a stunningly detailed picture of life in China, particularly during the Cultural Revolution, but for a casual listener, the details were sometimes numbing. This is best suited to a listener with real curiosity about the subject. I'm glad I listened to it, but it is not for anyone wanting a fast paced experience that would sweep one away.
I loved Margery Allingham's mysteries as a girl - such style and elegance. While the narration of The Fashion in Shrouds is pitch perfect and a delight, sadly the writing and the social attitudes in the book are terribly dated. The prose now seems mannered and overly fussy and I found myself impatient at times. But the scenes with Albert Campion's valet, Lugg, are so brilliant that I always went back for again, hoping to hear more of that rasping voice croaking out his sly and cynical zingers.
Everything about this book and the reading is just about perfect. The narrative is skillfully constructed to reveal character and events; the prose is witty, insightful, often funny; the main characters are extremely engaging; and the reading is skillful, especially since there are numerous characters and a wide variety of voices and accents. What is really special about this book, however, is how the author addresses several really important issues in the context of a romantic comic novel - love, loyalty, families, parenting of adult children, aging, racism, xenophobia. It's so satisfying that when I finished I started it all over again, just to be able to listen and hear how well structured it is.
I will say that I had my doubts for the first few minutes, but I was hooked the minute Mrs. Ali came on the scene. A real winner.
I can't think of one thing. I just loathed the content from the first page, especially the personification of Death.
No, I love Young Adult books (I am a librarian).
Yes. The book is not his fault.
I couldn't stand the book. I don't understand the rave reviews generated by the print version.
I would, and have many times, recommended this book to a friend. It is a pure, classic mystery. The reader/listener is all the time being given the necessary clues and also being led down the garden path by the author. Absolutely delicious!
There wasn't one moment that wasn't memorable. The idiot who reviewed it as
Haven't, but she is great.
Yes -- I listened at every moment I could and hated when it was over.
This is a beach book, and while the narration was okay, and the narrator had pretty uninspiring (even at times embarrassingly trite) material to work with, her voice began to irritate me. Every sentence sounded the same, with a strange sound pattern and the breathiness made me think of old time radio thrillers. There was the predictable story, and then the predictable over the top quality of the food descriptions. All together a little too much for my digestion.
Sarah Vowell is one of a kind. Who else could make the Pilgrims and the Puritans really, really interesting and really, really funny? What's amazing about the book is that while being entertaining, the author presents interesting and serious ideas about religion, education, foreign policy, philosophy, racism and a variety of other very serious topics.As a matter of fact, I listened to it twice straight through so I could absorb the ideas that are tossed off casually, sometimes as the punch lines in a paragraph. Her prose and her voice are inseparable, I think. I can't imagine anyone else reading her material.
This audiobook is a pure joy. The narrator reads so beautifully, presenting each character like a present to the listener. The book, of course, is just like that -- the narrator does justice to Ann Patchett's enchanting book.
This audio version of McMurtry's masterpiece does justice to the book, which means it is brilliant. The narrator does an amazing job of presenting each individual character in a huge cast of characters, and his reading of the descriptive passages puts the listener right in the scene, whether it's a dilapidated cabin or the desert at moonrise. I particularly love his presentation of Augustus McCrae -- he uses just the right quality of voice and accent and delivers Gus's zingers with just the right gusto. I could listen all day, and it's painful to have to close down to go do some work!
This book received glowing reviews in the press and I continue to enjoy the narrative despite the narration. I hate to be negative about someone who has actually read a full length novel aloud, but, as a native New Yorker, now exiled in the South, I feel she just doesn't "get" the characters. Plus, her voice is incredibly grating (not in in interesting NY way) and almost everyone sounds the same. I keep listening because I want to know what happens, but I will be very glad to be rid of that voice.
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