I listened to this audiobook in one day, since it is less than an hour long. I cried no fewer than 4 times. I often hear the stories on NPR and am often amazed at how listening to a few minutes of someone else's story changes mine. I never had a sense of just how important the steel industry was in Pittsburg until I heard one of these stories. Another, of a couple discussing the wife's recent diagnosis of Altzheimer's and what it means for them now and in the future.
This book is a reminder that listening intently is giving a gift to the story teller. As I rush around in the next few weeks, I hope to be able to remember that more fully. This was the perfect book to listen to at the holidays.
At times, it was difficult for me to determine if it was just the so-so narration (mispronunciation of fairly common words, adult-sounding voice for a 17 year old speaker, etc.) or if it was the actual dialogue that doesn't sound realistic for even the most sophisticated 17 year old classical musician.
SPOILERS: Oddly, I didn't have a hard time with believing that Mia was lingering between life and death and having flashbacks and flash-forwards. But so much of the dialogue was completely unbelievable:
Who plays their boyfriend like a cello at 15? I just didn't believe it.
The mothering role with Teddy seemed a little over-the-top.
The punk singer who came to the ER to distract the nurses.
The power of a few minutes of a cello recording to snap her to her senses and make a choice between life and death. (Guess which one a 17 year old with a hot boyfriend picks?)
Disappointing, especially after so many VERY POSITIVE reviews.
I decided to listen to this audiobook, to get inspiration to work on my dissertation. Even though it is a completely different type of writing, this audiobook provided grammatical guidance, ideas for developing writing style, and more importantly ideas for developing in the habits of mind and practice essential to getting started and completing the project.
All the while, King tells us bits of his personal life story to illustrate points and to explain where his ideas came from. Wow.
Recently I've listened to his 11 /22/ 63, which is an amazing book, and between these two books, I really have developed an appreciation for King's ability to think through complicated storylines, and to narrate in very simple language. This is a skill we all could use.
Spoiler alert: King tells us about his terrible car accident in the summer of 2001 at the end of this book. He continued to work at On Writing while recovering. This alone was worth the purchase price for me. I can't recommend this book more highly. ( With apologies to Stephen for using an adverb.)
The prayers themselves are nice, beautiful, soulful; Marianne Williamson at her best. BUT, it doesn't work as well with the audio format. It would be great if the production was split into chapters/prayers with headings so one could forward specifically to what she's looking for.
This audio book is a terrific blend-- part memoir, part music history.
Because many of my own memories of the 80's and 90's are knitted together with the music of that era, I truly appreciated Sheffield's ability to move between telling his own story and it's relationship with the music of that time. Music is the vehicle by which Sheffield can tell his story-- one even suspects that the story wouldn't be a story at all if music weren't part of it.
This is a terrific book for anyone who grew up in the 80's-- particularly those who can hear a song and remember, say, driving in a car up I-95 with 4 other teenage girls screaming the words to "Push it (Real Good)", or walking down the streets of NYC singing "Nothing Compares to YOOOOUUU!" with your BFF, or dancing with a crush to "Crazy For You," or cramming into a recording booth on the Wildwood Boardwalk to sing "Livin' On A Prayer" with your 3 sisters (and one of you still has the cassingle produced from said recording booth... somewhere). These are my own memories, but they might as well be Sheffield's. You'll enjoy every bit of this trip in the way-back machine.
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