I was so glad to find an audiobook that was both quality literary fiction and beautifully narrated. An intelligent and thoughtful story. Best I've had in a long time!
The themes are universal, the feel,suburban Melbourne.
Barracuda is about finding a place in the world and a meaning for one's life. The reader experiences Danny's torment and his battle with the world as he struggles to become someone of worth.
Not for the faint-hearted, it is often harsh and confronting. It is also tender and compassionate. It's a very moving book and the pain and sadness of it all linger long in ones heart.
Listening to Davina Porter narrate this tale of a time traveling saucy wench makes me cringe! The romantic (read 'sexy' ) bits, always trying in audio, sound ridiculous coming from her perfectly enunciated mouth. I know, I'm getting old, and I'm way past this kind of book.
I optimistically used a large slab of my downloading capacity to hear this lengthy book (I usually love lengthy books). A complete waste of computer space and my time. My worst ever purchase on audible. Needless to say I only listened to the first section till I could stand no more. A long, drawn out period of nothingness.
Barbara Kingsolver is an excellent writer. Sometimes a little slow to get into, but always worth the effort. A good story, thoughtful, and very well written.
I found the Beautiful Ruins to be such a mixed bag. Some parts seemed quite tacky while others could be so moving to bring a tear to the eye! The extremes of location, Hollywood and Italy in the 60's,are an unlikely combination and I often didn't know what to think. Yet, when it was all over I missed it, so on the whole, despite the weirdness, I'm giving it thumbs up!
Having recently had to make a very long car trip at short notice, I was very lucky to have Isabella on my Ipod. A great story, well read, beautifully enunciated, it was an excellent companion, and helped make my journey less tedious.
Like the reader of the introduction, Richard Dawkins, I first read The Black Cloud many years ago. I was fascinated then by the debate over the universe...Steady State (the Hoyle thesis) or the Big Bang, which is now widely accepted. Even today, while the Steady State theory might be out of favour, I still prefer a variation on this, rather than the Big Bang. Its still a fascinating question! Thus the novel is about what might be going on out there in the vastness, and Hoyle's description of how the human race might respond to something quite different to us dropping by is amusing. The book is quaintly dated in some ways, but still worth it, especially if you were around at the time when it was written.
Dawkins' introduction was interesting and established the time frame and scientific context in which the novel was written. It would be very useful for those who are not familiar with the book.The reader ,Jack Klaff, was a bit "prim", that Tony Blair type of British accent, and the accents he gave his non British characters were at times excruciating. (I'm sure his Australian listeners would wince at the Aussie scientist, but perhaps that's just being petty!) Apart from that, it was well done.
This book was fascinating to listen to at a time,rather later than some earlier reviews, when a new wave of unrest sweeps through middle eastern muslim countries.Just what is behind it all is something of a mystery, but the persisting differences in world views that Pagden discusses continue with undiminished potency today. The book illuminates so many salient points in the long and everlasting socio- religious history of the human race.One muslim belief I share: history does repeats itself, on and on and on.
I am only partway through this novel and feel that, given the right conditions, it could be an enjoyable experience. However each time I go back to it I am put off by that dreadful voice the narrator, Nigel Hawthorne, gives to the poor old butler! Why in heavens name doesn't he use a normal voice? I'm not sure if I can listen to the end with this awful narration. It certainly undermines the book as an audio experience.
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