brilliant, satiric, manic
DFW's first novel, began when he was in graduate school, is a rocket-charged satire of sex, gender politics, and American culture, that manages to create emotional suspense and poignant moments despite its broad humor.
My first time listening to Robert Petkoff, but this is for me the best reading of any of the Audible books I've bought so far.
Absolutely. Rowling remains a fine storyteller, though this book is actually a remarkable and profound work of fiction. It is funny, moving, appalling -- she's found a way to take a middle-class English town, with a horrible ghetto nearby, and extract from it psychologically complex characters determined by their upbringing, social class, and most of all, by their individual traumas. Indeed, Rowling is the modern master of trauma, individual, interpersonal, and familial ... and The Casual Vacancy is all about it. It begins with the death of a man who, we come to learn, has been important, both negatively and positively, for so many others. As the narrative progresses, so our appreciation of him and our sense of loss grows. And so Rowling manages to have us experience grief with a novel at times funny, at others tragic, written with perfect tempo and with unflagging suspense. I enjoyed the week or two that it took for me to listen to it, and I was very moved by the last scenes.
A real achievement - a must read!
I was disappointed by how thin the narrative was. Glass follows some very interesting characters - and I was glad to listen to the book - but he rarely took up the moral and political questions raised by the characters' choices and behaviors. His account of Sumner Jackson, the medical director of the American Hospital in Paris, is eye-opening because of Jackson's remarkable heroism. His account of Charles Bedaux, on the other hand, seems almost naive in his support of him. Glass could have taken the time to grapple with the ways that Bedaux dealt with his relationship with the Nazis and the collaborationists in Paris. Since he didn't, we're left with an uncomfortably thin narrative.Hillgartner has a wonderful French accent, and his voice his compelling ... I think the text itself, and its lack of complexity, would've been a challenge for any narrator.
I wasn't wild about Hill's idiosyncratic reading, though I felt he really understood Bushkin's story.
I've always been an admirer of Carson's genius, and I heard of the terrible difficulties in his personal life. This book, admittedly from a close friend and business associate with his own issues, does open a large window on Carson's troubles. I was saddened by Carson's loneliness and aggressive rejection of people he tried to love.Bushkin's prose is clear and direct, funny and personal. The descriptions of his first meetings with Carson are suspenseful and surprising.
I was also moved by Bushkin's honesty and especially by the way he ends the book.
A great book for anyone interested in Johnny Carson.
Sure - the book unfolds and builds so effectively.
I read Chaos Theory by Gleick after listening to The Information -- another fascinating book. Gleick is the new voice of the history of science.
Gleick's description of how scientists figured out how the talking drums in Africa communicated.
A must read for anyone interested in science and the culture at large. Also Rob Shapiro voices the book perfectly - a pleasure to hear him read.
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