At first I thought, "it's just me, I'm too dumb to get it."
So, I started the reading over and over and over again. But after many attempts, I decided (my acuity and intelligence notwithstanding) that the presentation of this material is very poor; I could not tell where one thought ended and the next began. I believe that the reader did not know either.
I would skip this rendering. There is another unabridged version on Audible. Try that.
'Uncle Tom's Cabin' is a story about the appropriation of human labor. The means have changed, and to some extent the locale, but we are still doing this to one another. Chapter 19, St. Clare's and Miss Ophelia's conversation contrasting slavery in the US and industrial servitude in Britain, raises issues as relevant today as they were 150 years ago.
Mirron Willis' reading is wonderful. He brings the characters to life. Stowe's story telling is vivid and the theater Willis creates is exciting.
...and sometimes clever dialog about sums it up. The best thing about this book was the narration; the reader is a one woman theater.
Proust enters into a level a description that I've never encountered before. Characters' thoughts and feelings are drawn with unusual detail.
We have all experienced the things he describes, for instance, how a cascade of memories and sentiments is brought to mind by a small stimulus, like a biscuit. But I, for one, have been taught to regard such reminiscence as useless and to get past it, rather than as something to embrace and study.
Proust does not think these things are useless. They are really the subject of his work.
Proust's characters are some of the dullest members of the idle rich imaginable. They interact, but they don't actually do anything.
I often wondered if I was supposed to laugh at what was going on (which isn't much.) I thought of Seinfeld, the TV show about nothing. This book is about that same nothing.
Yet, when I picked up a science fiction short story after finishing Swann, its clich?d and abbreviated depiction of feelings left me hungry for Proust's gifted portrayals.
The story is well narrated.
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