I love Edith Wharton's writing and how, for her time, she challenged society's perception of women. But time has taken its toll. The study of Lily Bart, sympathetically and yet clinically carried out, fails to resonate with today.
Intricately plotted, a near perfect mystery/thriller and pretty well written within that genre, it is painful to have to interrupt listening. You will NEVER guess the ending. Narration is very good as well.
I may not feel fondness for them, but I can usually grow interested in unlikeable characters as I come to understand the history or motives that drive them, or even the necessities of the plot. Liking the character is the least of my requirements for a compelling read. In this special case, I spent the entire considerable length of this recording feeling my dislike grow into loathing for the main character and feeling worse and worse about listening. What was the point of this unremitting avalanche of hatred, with every plot development and nuance carefully detailed? She comes across not as mentally ill, but just as a really crummy person.
Why bother listening (or reading) about a person who is unremittingly self absorbed and selfish, who has no redeeming qualities and who is swindled by people equally selfish, albeit more glamorous and well dressed? In my case I guess I was holding out for some meaning beyond that there are people in life one should avoid. The only lesson I learned was to avoid Clare Messud.
I disliked the narration as well, but given how awful the character was, perhaps that was good reading.
Allan Gurganus offers listeners the rare gift of a beautifully crafted piece of fiction and a reading that displays its every nuance. I loved every minute of it and find myself thinking of the book and hearing his voice long after I've finished. The warm and humor of his work, both the writing and the reading, could seem "folksy," but it's deeper than that, and the insights seem more hard won. It left me with a feeling of gratitude that we have this guy around.
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.
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 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.
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