I listened to the audio edition on a long drive alone. Then I bought the e-print book and read it aloud to my wife. Both were moving experiences.
Cheryl Strayed. I understood her grief for her mother due to similar circumstances in my life. Hiking the PCT was an (un-realized) dream of mine in my youth, and is still something I long to do. Cheryl's honesty is her most amazing trait (or at least equal to her story-telling); she somehow manages to be brutally honest, while never being in the least bit offensive.
I listened to Margarette Atwood's "The Year of the Flood." Dunne clearly has range and is very believable in both narrations. I just purchased another of her narrations in Atwood's "The Robber Bride." I am looking forward to it but am saving it for my return drive home in a few weeks' time.
Yes. But I listened to it in two sittings - it was a two day drive!
This is a book which should be read aloud. Listening to the audible version was so satisfying. And then it was amazing to find that reading it to my wife aloud was equally so. I think it has to do with the honesty of voice in the writing. The story begs to be heard.
I bought this at the last minute before a long solo drive as I knew I needed the companion of a book to get me through the miles. Admittedly, I was intrigued by the title and like many commenters here, I assumed it would be more of a travel log. I had no idea what to actually expect with regard to just how interesting (or boring) a reading it might be but took the chance anyway. Unlike many of my disappointed co-commenters, I was struck by my avid joy at having found such a gem which delivered so much more on several levels that I could ever have anticipated. Far from being disappointed to have found out that the book was not a travel log, I simply abandoned that preconception, and associated expectations, and launched with joy (and a lot of tears) into this wonderful story which was about so much more.
Cheryl didn't find lemons and make lemonade. Instead she found rattle snakes where she thought she'd find lemons, and adjusted to their rattle. She found torn feet where she thought she would find deliverance, and worked and worried through the pain of her toes and heels daily. Just as some readers here have done, she found things she hadn't expected. She dealt with the disappointments. And found pain mixed with joy mixed with discovery and fun in the bargain.
The pace of Never Let Me Go is metronomic. As such, the story is woven over a backdrop of slow, rhythmic drone. I have read here that it reads like a girl's diary. Having never read a girl's diary, I can only imagine it, but it may be an apt description. The point is, this droning pace is both deliberate, and essential to the story, and it works extremely well. A key to understanding the characters of the story - Kathy, Ruth and Tommy - is in understanding their place in life, and how normal and unquestioned that place is. It is the understated nature of their plight which leaves the reader/listener moved to the sympathies ultimately evoked. It isn't great tragedy. It's banal tragedy. Just as most tragedies we face in life are. And so it is tragedy milled down to the texture of our lives, and it is believable. The Sci-Fi and Socio-Alternate premises of the story, told in any more bombastic manner, could not possibly be accepted with the sense of truth Ishiguro manages to write. I fully accept the existence, and fates, of these poor creatures as real.
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