I heard this book reviewed on NPR and was happy to see that it was available on Audible. The NPR review mentioned Attenberg's unflinchingly honest character portrayals and that piqued my interest. During several of the first chapters, I wasn't sure if I really liked the book, or if I was easily delighted by the amazingly accurate portrayal of life on the North side of the Chicago metro area. I'm originally from there, and the detail the author paints on that setting is so realistic, I felt like I was home for the holidays.
But as I got to the end of the book, I can confirm that it was the story in its entirety that charmed me. To be sure, I was left wanting so much more. It felt like it ended too soon, I wanted to know so much more about the characters past and present. That is bad news for me, but a credit to the author. Speaking of credits, I usually download really long tomes to get my credit worth in Audible, so this was an usually short book for me.
Ringwald did a nice job narrating. She was a little bit stilted at times, but it did not interfere with my enjoyment of this book and the sound of her voice likely contributed to the overall nostalgia I experienced visiting Superdogs on Milwaukee, Wicker Park, and Polish nail salons in Skokie.
I really enjoyed this story and was eager to get back to listening to it. It is a great premise. I love a good sympathy for the devil story. That said:
1) I only tolerated the narrator. Maybe it was the director's fault. His reading of the protagonist's lines didn't resonate with what we know about Ig. Ig is kind of a big wimp, and nothing makes him seem otherwise, except for the narrator's intonation. The acting didn't match the writing.
2) Hill is a better storyteller than he is a writer. He is still early in his career and I want to read more by him, but he was often too "on the nose."
3) I didn't like any of the characters to really root for them. Sometimes that is OK in a book, but with this book, everyone was so terrible that I wanted someone, anyone, to be vaguely likeable.
Those are a few caveats about what was ultimately a fun listening experience.
There isn't much to say regarding the content here as this is America's novel for the 20th Century. I did want to mention that Tim Robbins was one of the only male narrators that totally pulled off reading as a women. There have been a few narrators where it was really hard to take the falsetto, but Robbins managed to be endearing through and through. Even if you've read Gatsby several times, I recommend listening to Robbins' performance.
Not much to add to others' rave reviews. This is a classic for a reason, after all. I had this with me on a recent business trip. It was a pretty intense one, with tons of meetings, red-eye flights, and I'm a nervous flier as it is. Both Carnegie and MacMillan were wonderfully reassuring and empowering in every way. I'm sure I'll revisit this file often.
I went outside of my comfort zone with this book. It was turned into a Lifetime movie, definitely not my thing. But it was so much fun! I really cared about the characters and could not wait to hear more as their individual mysteries unraveled.
All three protagonists were wonderful in their own way.
I have not heard Ms. Dunne read before, but I really enjoyed her. I forgot I was listening to a single person, but she wasn't over the top. Pretty flawless.
Absolutely, I was antisocial during this story. I had my ear phones in all the time.
This was a riveting story about terrible people. This is my first Wolfe and it won't be my last. The portraits of his characters are among the most vividly rendered I can recall any author pulling off. The narrator was quite skilled in pulling off the accents. His weakness was little Campbell, he sounded kind of crazy voicing a little girl, but that is an infrequent issue.
They are all terrible people, let's be honest. Even little Campbell was annoying. Anyway, that is the fun of the book!
The society dinner party was a great opportunity to peak at and giggle at how the
I happened to be listening to the story when there was a very similar story dominating the news. It is interesting how little has changed in the 20+ years since Wolfe wrote the book.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.