This book is a "classic". Normally for me that's a must read, but a combination of a selfish & otherwise uninteresting character along side "adequate" narration made this book a drag to listen to.
I'm not sure who would enjoy this one.
Not a chance. I stuck with it only because it was so highly rated elsewhere but I think this is one that has been oversold. It doesn't live up to it's hype.
I finished it as I wanted to do it justice. I've read it. I won't be reading that one again & I won't recommend it to anyone else.
I love Simon Vance's narration - he's my favourite reader, but I did not enjoy his performance of this story. If he couldn't save this no-one can, but in the future I'll definitely be listening to other books he's narrated.
This book appeared on a top 100 books of all time. Not in my top 100 that's for sure. Give it a miss, try something else.
A beautifully written tribute to the grief Julian Barnes feels over the death of his wife. The thoughts he shares are keen. He is eloquent on the loss we fear most.
I really wanted to read this to learn more about the situation in Darfur. I enjoy supplementing news & non-fiction with fiction stories as they can provide wonderful perspective when the author has spent time in the country as Rebecca Tinsley has.
This was listed under literature, which it certainly isn't. The language used to tell the story seems childlike - not simple in a good way. In fact sometimes there is too much.
I felt unable to relate to any of the characters, or to feel anything for them. All I felt was annoyance with the author for having done such a poor job of telling their story. Her characters deserved better from her.
The issues the book is dealing with are incredibly important & need to be told. But this is not the author for the job. For good examples I'd suggested Katherine Boo (non-fiction), Khaled Hosseini and Anthony Marra.
The sound quality of the recording was fine. The voices chosen for the characters were not great. Some of the voices sounded so unrealistic it made connecting with the character even harder. It distracted even further from the poor writing. From both a story & narrative perspective it felt like listening to a children's book.
Overall this was a particular letdown as I am not aware of any other fiction based around the issues in Darfur. This is it & it doesn't live up to expectations.
There is a problem with the sound quality on this version of the book. It begins in chapter 2 & is very intrusive. I'd advise bypassing this version until Audible can get a quality recording.
The publisher's description of the story did little to inspire me to read this book, I picked it up on sale & was blown away.
Arthur is on first meeting, not terribly likeable. I could pity him, but there is a sense of dishonesty because he is dishonest. He doesn't like who he is & is unwilling to let others know what his life is, to the point of putting on a shirt & tie to answer the door to the grocery delivery man so he can pretend he has been working all day, while in reality he is housebound, completely alone & does little more than eat and watch daytime television.
We begin to see through him though & what follows is a deeply moving story of loneliness.
Kel, the popular athletic teenager is equally lonely & his story is heartbreaking from the beginning as he does his best to care for his alcoholic mother without any outside support.
The two stories are told in parallel until their connection becomes apparent.
Some audio books I find I can become involved in doing something else while listening. In the case of this book I didn't want to. I found I quickly became emotionally invested in the stories of the two main characters (and the other characters also).
My only regret is that I didn't pick this book up earlier. It is absolutely a wonderful read.
The narration is spot on.
This is the easiest review I've ever written.
If you're going to read The Importance of Being Earnest this is the copy you want. The performance is incredibly delightful & there is no way you'll have the same experience simply reading the text. I have read the text & loved it but there really is no comparison. Short of seeing it performed at the theatre this is it.
The story itself is a hilarious "romp", it keeps your attention 100% and is wonderfully amusing.
I'm already looking forward to listening to this performance again.
I enjoyed this story greatly. It is beautifully written although I felt it stumbled at one or two points. It's easy to connect with the characters & the descriptive prose is delightful - neither over or under done. It was easy to read in one sitting as the story is a compelling one.
The stumbles were very small & barely detract from the story - a short cheesy kiss scene, and a brief but dated description of a mobile phone. It's a shame as without those two extremely minor points I felt the story could almost sit beside Khaled Hosseini's work (The Kite Runner). If you enjoy Khaled Hosseini's work you will probably enjoy this book as well. In spite of my comment about these stumbles they really were the only weak points in an otherwise great novel.
From this book I learned about the diversity that exists in the young country that is Pakistan. It added a further & fascinating dimension to news coverage & other stories I've read about the area.
It is a beautiful debut novel & I look forward to seeing more from Fatima Bhutto.
I looked at several reviews online before buying this (not including the ones here on audible). I saw the book described as a combination of Nabokov & Salinger. Nothing could live up to that hype, but this doesn't even come close.
It's a simple, easy read. It's not exceptional prose, it's not great literature. It barely held my interest as the characters lacked depth & the situations were fairly predictable.
It flows fairly smoothly from beginning to end & will certainly appeal to many readers.
I was expecting a great deal more from it & am disappointed. If the storyline description appeals to you & you enjoy a lazy read then you will very likely enjoy this book. But don't believe the hype.
In spite of the bleak setting for this book, every piece of this story is incredibly beautiful. Subtle, wonderful prose, and pure delight at every word.
I adore this story & it is a new favourite, one of the most beautiful books I've read. I'm so pleased I picked it up.
If you enjoyed Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns I am certain you will enjoy this book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
The narrator did a wonderful job in my opinion.
It's impossible for me not to compare this to the other three Lionel Shriver books I've read this year - they are the reason I returned to purchase this book, however The New Republic does not stand up next to "We Need to Talk About Kevin" or "So Much for That".
The story is dull and Shriver's usually strong narrative voice doesn't come through at all. And without spoiling the end, the ending really makes little sense. I had hoped Shriver would use Barrington Saddler's presence to introduce a twist as she did with her characters in "Big Brother". No twist and no logic to the end of this story.
The New Republic needs to stand on it's own merit & not on the reputation the author has from her later works. Shriver is an excellent writer, but this book is not excellent. It's not even good. It has no redeeming qualities beyond an interesting idea.
Jeremy Irons gives a perfect performance as Humbert Humbert (the narrator & fictional author of the story). His tone creates exactly the right amount of compulsion to listen while remaining a repellent character. If you know you want to read Lolita then this is the version you want.
As for the story, the way Nabokov brings the reader in as co-conspirator is both attractive & repellent. If we do not read Humbert's book, his crimes are not witnessed - possibly never committed. As reader we are complicit in every aspect of his crimes.
It's an incredible tale & we are invited right into Humbert's mind, where we are manipulated much the same way he manipulates everyone else around him.
The prose is remarkable. It is possible that Humbert is the most detested fictional character in the world while his story of "Lolita" is one of the finest stories ever written.
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