A good read, a fantastic reader, but all the absurd coincidences and implausible plot turns ruined it for me in the end.
The first 2/3 of this book are fantastic on every level, but then it begins to read like an unexciting list, information flying faster and faster at the reader as, somehow, less and less seems to happen. I think this book could have been Pulitzer material if Sacochis had taken another year or two make the final third comparable to the first two thirds.
Great writing, great story. I learned and was entertained, and never felt like the writing was sub-par.
For history buffs, this book is invaluable, but it reads like a long list of names, dates, and events (and then....and then....and then....), and it's impossible to keep track of all the names (and multiple variations on all the names). I mistakenly thought Young Stalin was a fictionalization of real events and would read more like a novel. I wish I'd been right.
Thanks to Ballerini's virtuoso performance, this is a book I'd advise everyone to "ear read" instead of "eye read." His Richard Burton is especially perfect, and he seems to be channeling Lauren Bacall for Dee as well. The book was well wrought, never dull or superficial, but the attempts at final profundity at the end felt a bit forced to me.
Why on earth didn't you set the tabs at the beginning of each individual story? Do you imagine that listeners are so bovine as to have no opinions about which stories they want to hear, that they'd just as soon listen to all of them with no way of returning to a specific story? Other story collections are set up so you can click forward and go to the next story, so why not this one?? Not a single story begins at the beginning of a tab!! So stupid!!
When I realized they didn't even think that I might want to locate a specific story!!
Think about these things from the consumer's point of view, for God's sake. It's like with Infinite Jest, how you decided readers wouldn't care to hear the invaluable footnotes. But at least there was an argument for that boner. There's no excuse for this.
Only to a fellow fan of DFW.
Find someone who can actually imitate DFW. This actor reads well, but it's not the same persona, he sounds like someone imitating a description of the way Wallace talked and not the way Wallace actually talked, which was much more subtle, a little more reedy and gentler. This guy sounds like a football player and not a writer.
For me, yes.
The endless talk about fame got tedious. This book would be better to "eye read," in my opinion, because there were parts I would have liked to skim in order to get to the parts I was interested in.
At the top, except for the frustration over having to run to the book to read the endnotes.
He captured Wallace's narration voice and every character's voice perfectly. This is probably the greatest performance of a book I've ever listened to (and I've listened to about a hundred).
Both, and it made me curse every time I missed an endnote.
Anyone willing to listen to 56 hours of this wouldn't mind listening to another 10 in order to hear all the endnotes. I think it was a terrible mistake not to include them. Other than that, this is one of the greatest books ever written, and one of the greatest performances by a reader.
Advice for listening to 2666: Go with Bolano's drift, surrender to the dream you’ve woken up into here and take in all the sights and sensations the way you would somewhat sleepily from your window’s perch on a guided tour bus through hell. One thing a novel like this lets us do is to live the many lives Rimbaud suggested were due to each of us. All these people’s living rooms, hotel lobbies, bars, ranches, churches, streets and landscapes you would never have access to on your own, Bolano has given you a passport to. Don't listen to this book the way you would a conventional novel that pulls you onwards towards an inevitable conclusion. There is no light at the end of the tunnel you're in here, the book does not gravitate towards a conclusion but rather around and around an abyss at the center, a black hole surrounded by a kaleidoscope of intuitively related experiences and details. Drink the Kool-Aid, buy the ticket, take the ride!
This was a fantastic read. Unlike Bob Dylan (whose memoir I also liked), Keith tells you EVERYTHING you want to know about being in The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World. I learned so much about blues and rock history, about why Keith Richards is one of the greatest guitarists ever, and about why the rest of us could never get away with partying as hard as has. Great narration by Joe Hurley, less great but still okay by Johnny Depp.
This is what happens when someone who’s never been a reader, never studied literature or writing, up and decides he should write a book for the rest of us to read. The writing is mostly amateurish, full of empty and often corny clichés, never penetrating or insightful, and his tone reeks of that combination of self-pity and self-importance common to inexperienced writers (though to the narrator's credit, he manages to capture that tone).
A musician like Bob Dylan can write a decent memoir because he’s extremely well read and a first-rate poet. Keith Richards wrote a great memoir because he’s also well-read and had a decent writer help him. This book will appeal to Eels fans who aren’t interested in literary quality or great story telling, but I can’t see why anyone else would bother. Though he manages to get off an occasional one-liner, Everett's storytelling is strictly ho-hum, even when he's telling of a plane that crashed into his neighborhood.
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