Being from Kentucky, I thoroughly enjoyed the authenticity of the accent and narration of Barbara Kingsolver. She captured the tone and nuances of the language so exactly that the dialogue was an accurate protrait of the area. Aside from the environmental issues, her portrait of the lifestyle and attitudes of rural southern communities was pitch perfect. The exploration of all the lives of the people there put the difficulties of conveying the critical environmental dangers in full view.
Listening to this was like hearing every frame of a long movie, in excruciating detail described along with totally irrelevant conversations. The conversations of a group of travelers in front of him getting off the plane, the menu in a coffee house, the details of an airline ticket. And on top of it the narratormakes every five words into a melodramatic, mystery thriller cadence for 32 hours. And his voice for every female character made me cringe. The basic story was interesting, but could have been written in two thirds the words.It was as though every scene was described in two or three ways because the writer couldn't choose which one to use.
Aside from that, I found the character unsympathetic, though I really wanted to care for him, given the hard luck he had.
I really struggled to finish this.
One of the funniest books I've ever read! But it has some real lessons as well. One that I'll listen to again and again when I need a lift in spirit!
It was very hard to follow this book because it jumped from one story to another in the space of a sentence. I had to back up and listen again often. I really didn't enjoy the various stories, it was almost like a collection of short stories, sort of like a Cloud Atlas but not as epic.
I usually enjoy accented narration as a way to relate to a different culture but these were two heavy and often hard to comprehend.
The narrator for Vera was good, but the other two were not. The man had no inflection to speak of and ended every sentence in the same tone. The voice for Mary did the same; every sentence ended in a dramatic whisper and did not convey this character and killed the male voices. Otherwise, the book itself was absolutely stunning!!!! The themes were beautifully interwoven - time, history, family, parenting, self awareness. I am listening again despite my disappointment in the narration.
When my book club chose this book, I thought "Oh no, another "issues" book. It was, but not in the way I expected. It brought a whole new understanding for me and I will remember the story for a long time. I recommended it to my husband. There were issues but told through the eyes of WW2 veterans, farm wives who are trapped in toil and the cruelty to a race that lasted well into the 20th century. All a different take on the stories we like to glorify about the rural south. My only complaint is with the recording which on multiple occasions repeated itself for a few lines.
There really was no story, just a chronology of an era through a midwestern woman's life. It was a pleasant book and had some salient views of society and morals and non-standard relationships, but no real tension or depth.
Julie Harris's narration is delicious. It is not a theatrical performance, she is unabashedly reading a book to you. The story is incredible - not about Africa but about LIVING in Africa, about experiencing history instead of hearing about it.
The overreaching narration was terrible, I felt like she was reading a children's book to a toddler. It was distracting to have the dialogue in the narrator's voice at some times and another person's voice in other places. It gave two different images of some characters.
The story was enjoyable, but underdeveloped. Never knew what Michael's point was.
Alice in Wonderland but with real people and a "real world". I could have gone on listening to this book - 900 pages was too short .
I don't think I have ever been able to see and feel characters like I did in this book. Unlike ones where the first chapter was used to tell you what a character was like, you felt these characters grow and evolve throughout the book like a faint portrait that gradually sharpens to clarity.
The ONLY issue I had was with the narration. The three narrators didn't always pronounce names the same way which led to some sorting out on my part.
Never heavy handed or obtuse, the story was as straightforward as a child's fairly tale but with the subtlties and nuances that appeal to adults.
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