Franzen's ability to get deep inside the heads of his characters and reveal their thoughts, emotions, and motivations is fascinating. Some characters are likeable. Others are not. But they are a very human mix of fear, frailty, hope and desire.
It's unlikely I would have purchased and read this book, but the audible version of this early 20th Century novel made it easy/accessible. I was engaged with the story and impressed with Lawrence's telling of this simple, yet deeply woven, tale. As an contemporary American woman, I experienced the stifling atmosphere The Lost Girl lived in is a reminder of how many women have lived (and some do today), and could better appreciate her desire to break from it, and the courage needed to do so. The prejudices and racism of the day are also reminders of how far we have come (or not).
The detail of the physical descriptions and the inner psychological detail of the characters kept me very engaged. He also keeps the story current and "unstuffy," though the level of the writing is very high. Unusual situations and reactions are coupled with very human reactions and interactions.
I got to learn why these books are a hit and wanted to understand what my grandchildren were reading. . . wanted to read the first book before I saw the movies. Now I'm listening to the third one!
Katniss, of course, as she's central to the story, but I really like Peeta for his gentleness and constancy. Gale is interesting, but not drawn out much.
When Katnis is honoring Rue at the time of her death--with the flowers and the singing.
So much has been said (negatively) about the violence and children killing children, etc. I found a lot more philosophical substance and a lot less violence than I expected. I certainly don't feel the violence is gratuitous,as it is directly related to the authoritarian nature of the capitol, and the iron hand it has on the districts, as well as the basic human instinct for survival (think Lord of the Flies). I ended up believing the Hunger Games series is sort of like the books Animal Farm and 1984 were for my generation (I graduated in 1966). The Hunger Games also raise consciousness by exposing political authoritarianism, cultural brainwashing and vapidity, and the lack of human empathy that results in true evil. I know my 16-year old grandson will be reflecting on the books at this level, and I hope many others will, as well.
Fascinating history and philosophy lessons, not to mention economics, politics, etc., etc., are all contained in Hitchens essays (a title that is a little misleading as many are book reviews--but certainly more essay-like and with way more depth than the usual book review). His breadth is breath-taking and the language/vocabulary extraordinary. Sometimes I didn't know the meaning of a marvelous word he was stringing together in a powerful phrase with other wonderful words, and,since I was listening in the car, I couldn't stop to look it up, An intellectual challenge and delight!
Not applicable, though I appreciated the essays/reviews involving the founding fathers, Carl Marx, and other well known historical figures.
The personal history of Karl Marx and how his work has been distorted was of great interest.
Intelligent, well-written, engaging history. I learned so much about Catherine and Russian history. Very enjoyable!
How Catherine was made
None due to Deakins performance, which was fairly straightforward. I can't say he added anything significant to the story with his reading, but he did not take anything away from it, and his voice was consistent and engaging.
The Education of an Empress
The story was set in Provence and went from present day to an earlier day. An engaging story. Mysterious but not scary. Enjoyed the women's voices.
The discovery of the bodies, as it was a turning point in the story.
Soft and delicate; easy to listen to.
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