I was surprised by this book; it is original, full of suspense and astute psychological insight. "Little bee," the tile, sounds so innocent, but it deals with very adult topics and is not for the faint of heart! I thought the reading by Anne Flosnik was very well done. When I first heard the Nigerain accent, I thought: "oh, no!" but I quicky got used to it and thought the reader did a great job sustaining the characters throughout the novel. Another reviewer said the ending left you hanging, but I beg to differ!
I noticed that many of the readers who hated this book gave up on it a couple of hours into it. I was ready to do so at a certain point in the book when something horrific is implied to have happened to the main character. I was disgusted and offended, but then came to realize that this was part of McEwan's humor. Very male humor, I might add. I am so happy I stuck with the book. It is smart and at times absolutely hilarious! The main character is not exactly likeable, I agree, but that's not the point! McEwan gets into some current debates about science and that political rhetoric that uses science to support one side or the other. Some very astute observations here, and well told, both by McEwan and by his reader, whose deadpan style is perfect for the genre.
I enjoyed the book, although it has some really trite narrative devices, but OK, I can be a sport about it. But the reading was irritating. The only accent the reader got right was the Sir Teibing character. The French accents were absolutely horrible, the other British accents totally misplaced (e.g. the librarian speaking in some version of a working class accent -- I don't think so!) The worst was Sophie's feminine whispering in some imagined French accent for hours on end. I found it hard to take.
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