I would not compare The Secrets of a Fire King to any other short story collection except perhaps Kate Atkinson's It's Not the End of the World, which I keep returning to again and again. Edwards' unique collection of stories begs to be revisited (in my case, listened to again). Each story is a universe--often based on at least one of the ancient Four Elements: Fire, Water, Air, Wind. I don't know if this is intentional, but it causes a linkage of themes in a very subtle way. Here the writing style of author Kim Edwards greatly exceeds The Memory Keeper's Daughter in my opinion. An occasional character do takes another character's face in her hands to make an important statement (a trademark from The Memory Keeper's Daughter). Otherwise, I was literally "blown away" by the creativity of these stories.
Outstanding performance and timing of transitions from one story to the next. It's really difficult for the reader to end one story and not begin the next. The stories are kept separate in one's mind, but many stories end with a cliff-hanger. Each story begins with a dramatically different character, point of view, setting, and time period. Must have been a challenge to prepare the reading. Great performance, BD!
Each one of the short story narrators was fascinating and deserves a free dinner!
Each of the stories is about a "Secret," not just the Fire King. Listen to these stories late at night in the dark before bedtime if you enjoy an escape to completely new experiences.
I loved the range of characters, lots of memorable unique characters, perspectives, and narrators. If I mention some particular favorites, I will ruin the surprises for you.
The suspension of disbelief! Also I can't recall another book that so successfully blends horror, politics, cultural information, and the supernatural. I also loved the inclusion of the "Deleted Chapter."
Their performances were grand. I listened to some sections multiple times just for the beauty of their performances. The variety of different characters with distinct and consistent voices must have been very demanding. They captured the beauty of the language, nearly poetry at times, and added so much. I totally loved the listening experience. Would rate them higher than 5 stars if I could.
There were many cliffhangers in this tale (even close to the end) that made me not want to do anything but listen. But it's long for one sitting even on a hot summer night!
This listening experience took a little orientation time for me, but it was well worth the effort at the start. At the 3/4 point (and I can't tell you why), I was really impressed at how many layers had developed in this story with a bit of humor too.
If you have enjoyed Kate Atkinson's early work (for example, "It's Not the End of the World"), you will love Life After Life. Her art of story-telling, descriptive writing, cleverness, and blend of tragedy and dry humor reach new heights here. She is able to suspend our disbelief time and time again. Each version of Ursula Todd is mesmerizing and essential to the plot. Life After Life is a unique experience.
I love the subtle details that change in each version and determine the future. Every time that Ursula makes a tiny decision (study modern languages, for example) or encounters a person or event, a small recalculation in the trajectory of her life follows. We all make choices in our lives, but most of us just pursue the course that we have chosen and don't have an opportunity to live multiple courses. Ursula does. This novel causes us to rethink our own lives.
"Which scene was your favorite?" is a humorous question for this book. Every time that Ursula is reborn is my favorite. Her birth is slightly different each time.
I totally enjoyed listening to Fenella Woolgar. She brought the language to life.
Can't wait to discuss this in my book group.
one word: epic
Narrators of the story. Each one is completely believable.
I love Toni Morrison's reading style here, such an enhancement to the experience. She seems to lean over the arm of her porch chair and share her story privately and intimately with us as if we are a trustworthy friend. We listen quietly and hope we deserve her trust.
Multiple times, I needed to pause, backtrack, and listen again. I will certainly listen/read this book again and will recommend it for my Literature/Book Group.
I have already recommended the audible version of this book to many people. It will surely become a classic and stand up for generations like the grand bay tree in the story.
Yes, yes, yes. I am recommending this book for my Literature Group. The narrator was excellent and enhanced the experience of a true comic-tragedy. You will really care about the characters and be on the edge of your seat as you listen to this book. Warning: this book is so engrossing that you will find it impossible to get work done once you enter the world of "The Marriage Plot."
All three main characters are splendid and unique. I don't want to give away too much by explaining these characters or their individual quests.
Excellent narrator, contributed greatly to the cliff-hanger effect of each character's narration.
Jeffrey Eugenides deserves an award for this achievement. The interview with the author at the end greatly enhances the experience. Thank you.
The narrator is so excellent that this audio edition of The Good Earth is either equal to or better than the reading experience. It's like attending a performance with a complete cast of characters.
We see the main character as an innocent youth with his dreams, as a hard-working young adult during good times and bad, in the burned out phase of middle years, etc. He makes mistakes and sometimes misses good things (such as his wife) right under his nose.
I also love the descriptions of the earth itself--indeed the Good Earth is an essential
This audible book is worth owning. It's good to reread it at different times in life. Glad that my Book Group has decided to reread it after 20 years.
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