I will say this upfront: I just returned from a trip to Wyoming, so my heart and mind were ready to hear these stories. You might even say I longed to hear descriptions of the scenery and the hard scrabble characters who populate it. Nonetheless, this group of stories is so full,so beautifully varied and so exquisite ly written that it would probably have been a treat if I had just returned from New Jersey.
I loved Shipping News because of Proulx's descriptions but also her love for her characters whom I might not give a second glance to if I met them in real life- which is my point. The way she immerses you with her language into the lives of these people is to remind you that it is important to take time with everybody who crosses your path. The story Brokeback Mountain is a case in point. As I am walking for my exercise weeping for these two men whose lives connected and disconnected through no fault of their own, I was so thankful to have rediscovered Proulx's artistry.Finally,the three narrators have the Wyoming voice to a tee. Don't skip this one.
I wish I could read about Olive again for the first time and I am not sure there will ever be a book like that one,but Elizabeth Strout is a great storyteller and the Burgess Boys is another great example of her artistry. She has an affectionate way of drawing her characters that gives you an understanding and appreciation for them that is slowly woven into the story line. Se is a master and I was sorry when this story ended but look forward to her expertise in whatever she sets out to do in the future.
I went to camp,made good friends and grew up on the east coast so this book was an okay read. The characters were well drawn but almost too pat and the story sagged in the middle which I believe is one of the possible shortcomings for a story that takes place over so many years. I enjoyed it and didn't stop reading it, but I wouldn't highly recommend it.
This is a lovely book - one to savor and enjoy. Some might respond to its the slow way the story is revealed but I loved it and fell in love with the main character. The story is excellent and unusual, the setting very accessible and the characters are well drawn and exceptional. There are some places where you can tell this is a first novel, but those places are not in the least way distracting - more charming. This is an author to watch.
I had to stop listening to this book. The more I listened, the more I got saddened and depressed. I was hit over the head over and over how oppressed the main character (and all of his friends and family) were. I like to understand different cultures but I couldn't continue and enjoy the spring weather in Seattle. The story became ponderous and weighed down with the dark nature of its content.
I suppose for some, these kind of edgy stories might be commonplace, but, honestly, I have never read anything like this book. I am used to going from point A to point B with all of the numerous offshoots that an author can muster but I just had to hold on with this journey. The stories are complex, strange and wonderfully buoyant. They are beautifully written so I never let go of where Saunders chose to take me - I loved this read. One needs to be pushed off one's assumptions every once in a while.
I am not sure why I downloaded this as I wasn't expecting to like it -- which isn't like me. Nonetheless, I started and I found it very illuminating. The authors spend a tad too much time with the lack of evidence in the sexual abuse scandals in the last 10 years, but I forgive them. They point up a tendency that is like finding a new lens through which to see life and how we all conduct ourselves. I have found myself just saying that I made a mistake rather than always couching it in a context - that's a change! So, it's not long, it's insightful and well read. That's a good read, isn't it?
I don't know how I am going to go on to my next book. Andrew Solomon's voice, physically and emotionally, has found its way into my soul. If you are reading this review, you know what this book is about (is it dry, you ask?), you know it is very, very long and that some people have said that his narration is flawed.
The book has more than research; it weaves research with case studies that makes the research live and breathe and stay with you far longer than you can imagine (I usually read fiction!). It is very, very long, but I slowed the listening of it down at the very end because I couldn't bear not to be listening to these stories of profound courage. I relished its length.
And Andrew's voice (I am calling him Andrew because he shared his story with me) brings you carefully and warmly into these people's lives while delineating his comprehensive but not boring research. He doesn't compare to Colin Firth but who's comparing? It doesn't matter because once you get the cadence down, he is telling you a startling story and he will capture you. AND he is a beautiful writer.
I am grateful to have been able to listen to this book.
Wonderful characters, compelling story line and exquisite prose - it really doesn't get much better than this. It kept surprising me - the levels of complexities just grew and grew without creating confusion. It is beautifully written and the story is so well crafted that once again, I kept exercising even though I was technically done. This is a story of love and caring that will stay with me for a long time.
Maybe it's because I needed to just fall into a book that the premise of this book appealed to me. And fall into it I did. It is magical, well-written and lyrical. I am not one to give a plot summary - if you choose this, you will find out soon enough. But I will tell you that you probably won't enjoy this book if you can't let yourself be taken away by some elements of fairy tale. The plot is not completely improbable, it just stretches you to let go of the realism of your own life and step into another place and not judge how you got there. A truly wonderful winter read.
This book came at exactly the right time in my life - I needed a lift and it gave it to me. First, it's a great story and you just love Harold from the get go. Secondly, it's a real picture of a relationship that needs some serious help and thirdly, it's about walking which I do regularly. Harold embraces walking slowly and we end up walking with him as he begins to engage with life again through his journey. If you want a respite from the much of the world around us, go with Harold - you won't be disappointed.
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