This is a wonderful book for these times - a way to remember to slow down, appreciate what we have and just forget for a few hours the bad news we hear every day. It is beautifully recorded and the writing is superb. Its sensuality is another example of what a treat it is to listen to a book.
I started to write that anybody over 50 ought to read this book, but that isn't true - everybody ought to read this book and wrestle with the idea of the end of life either for ourselves or our parents. Gawande is a superb researcher, a clear writer and he never loses the reader as he educates us about the american way of the end of life. A must read.
This book chronicles a wonderful story about a chance encounter between a homeless boy and a magazine executive. Unfortunately, the writing is so weak, including grammatical errors, that I couldn't concentrate on the compelling nature of the story. It should have moved almost by itself - just needed a really good editor. Not my favorite.
I don't remember how I found this book, but it popped into my life and, as soon as I finished it, I started it all over again. I know now that I have many other Toibin books that will sustain me through the dark PNWest winter which makes me very happy.
First of all, the narration on this is phenomenal. I had thought it was more than one person until I went back to check. Fiona Shaw makes this novel come alive and Colm Toibin gives her a lot to work with - beautifully drawn characters, simple but compelling story line and an undercurrent of sorrow turning to coping turning to joy. I loved it.
I have liked Jane Smiley in the past - A Thousand Acres was one of my all time favorites. This story is SO slow, so cumbersome and so full of unnecessary detail that I want to scream from the sidelines - "Jane, get on with it!" The premise that she would think her characterization of a child's view of the world would sustain us for a very long time was, in my mind, not a good calculation. I didn't even want to finish this. That doesn't happen very often with me.
I never would have read the first one of Rob Lowe's books but I did because my daughter told me I would like it. I loved that one. This one not so much -- I still think he is a great writer and his self-effacing manner in regards to describing his life is so delightful, so one might say "what is there not to love?" It's the story - he preaches a bit too much. He took a good thing and stretched it too thin on another attempt. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him because I learned quickly in his first book that he is waaaay more than just a pretty face, but this one didn't measure up.
I loved this book. I am not sure I can articulate everything about why,but I will try -- it is a wonderful story and pulls in many,many layers of human angst and resolution at just the right time while keeping the story line sane and magical at the same time. Ruth Ozeki reads it beautifully (not always the case with authors) and the characters are well drawn with a clear and significant plunge into new worlds. It was this - the fact that the book took me to another world. that captivated me
The fall season is a good time to be transported to another place while a transition is happening before our eyes. Don't miss this one.
I enjoyed this book, but I wouldn't ever recommend it to anyone. I enjoyed it because I wanted to have more of an insight into Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and thought starting with their marriage was a good beginning. So it was a very personal motivation and it succeeded in that the book does chronicle the marriage, poke into many of the rumors and paint the two main characters as noteworthy to be sure. BUT I now expect my non-fiction forays to be told by a good story teller - I guess I am spoiled, but this book just sort of loped along and relied on its facts rather than its art.
While I have had some good reads this spring, nothing compares to the joy I have experienced in reading this beautifully written book. One of the first things I thought of when I finished it is that I have to start all over again sometime so I can stop thinking about the content and just bask in its exquisite language and imagery.
I have read numerous books about World War II and the ones I have liked will stay in my memory for a long time. I have not listened to one as good as The Book Thief until this book, however - funny how they both center on a child's perspective. From the thoughtful characterization to the masterful unfolding of the plot, this is a book that cries out for you to download it right away.
I have read a lot of John Irving - some very good, some not so good. My favorite book of all time is A Prayer for Owen Meany. He can't write another one of those and I knew that when I started this book. Nonetheless, the characters are very well drawn, quirky, very human and quite Owenesque. I liked this book, the story is solid but it was missing the tight, clearly crafted writing that I think of when I think of Irving. I am glad I read it, but I am not going to run out and tell everybody to read it.
I was completely enthralled with the beginning half of this book - the author wove a good story and kept me entranced with true events about a disturbing time. I found myself suggesting this to many other "boomers" who might, like I, have protested the Vietnam War in the 60s, didn't know the clear response to people like us from the FBI and have been intrigued by the despotism of J. Edgar Hoover.
It is a good read but not all the way through. I got bogged down with the level of detail that Betty Medsger used and found that her story telling ability didn't continue through the second half of the book.
Like a former reader, I also found it puzzling why a man read the book when it is written by a woman. I also found the editorializing he did through the way he read the book to be annoying.
Despite all of this, I didn't stop reading the book because I do think those at the heart of the book - the men and women who carried out the burglary -- need to be honored and praised for their courage. Each of us needs to know what despicable acts were perpetrated in the name of democracy and learn from the knowledge.
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