I'm not much for Sci-Fi though I do enjoy Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut. So I hesitated to try this one. Until I heard someone read Chapter 1 on a Selected Shorts podcast and became intrigued. I thoroghly enjoyed this book and didn't want it to end.
The seemingly slow pace was perfect for the very interior quality of the story. We really get to know the main characters through their thoughts. The shifts of perspective among the characters were well timed, not confusing. I thought I might have trouble with the Japanese names so I started out writing them down but there was no need--they were different enough and each character had such unique distinguishing features that it was no problem!
The story of the people of North Korea as told by those who were able to make it out to South Korea is told with compassion and insight. The details provide strong images and we get to know several people in depth and really come to care for them. Karen White describes well what it is like for people who are hungry and also for people who have maybe just enough to eat and must live among the hungry. A powerful picture of what it is like to live in a country where the government is not functioning to help people yet still all powerful--as in it is not okay to complain.
A sit-com is usually based on a lack of honesty and this story is no exception. But I forgave the narrator early on for not wanting to tell his fussy friend about the barely discern-able wine stain on his perfect floor and was rewarded with a really funny tale that kept me entertained & laughing for a couple of days--exactly what I was looking for. Enjoy!
I loved 2666 and didn't want it to end, so naturally I chose this book, recently published posthumously. Some of the characters had the same names as those in 2666, The works of fictional author Archimbaldi showed up--in fact there is a list of his complete works. What's wrong with this, I asked myself? Why am I falling asleep? Why don't I care about these people? This novel lacks the sparkle and polish of Bolano's other works. It lacks humor. I often felt like these were scenes he had tried out for 2666 and then discarded in favor of more interesting ones. t was interested, and I finished it, mainly as a window into Bolano's process and style.
That said, there is a beautiful and touching series of letters near the end of the novel that were worth staying for.
I could not sort out if the narration was a problem or not. It was easy enough to follow.
If you haven't read Roberto Bolano yet, try the Savage Detectives or 2666.
39 hours long and I didn't want it to end.
For one thing, I had no idea where Bolano was going with this one--andl that is a treat. For another, even though this touches on some grim facts of life as humans in the world there are in this book a myriad of interesting tales and people. Very entertaining and often funny Sometimes I found myself in the midst of a conversation and said to myself--wait a minute, who are these people and how are they related to the character I was following? Going back just a few minutes always cleared that up.
On the performances--I enjoyed them all. But the first reader gets extra stars for making a very difficult text enjoyable, funny, easy to follow. There were four professors of German Literature, one from France, one from Italy, one from Spain, and one from England who just kept going to meetings and he made that fascinating. He is the reason I could get into this book--which was utterly rewarding.
In spite of--or because?--the characters are so odd, flawed, not totally consistent (consonant!) annoying even--. I would not have missed this for anything. Like dear friends who are sometimes exasperating, I hung in there with them, listening patiently. And, surprise, when the book came to an end, too quickly, I find I miss them terribly but was very glad they were part of my life.
Michael Ondaatje reads this memoir-like novel so lovingly it s a treat to listen to. in fact, I keep listening again and again to parts at random. In this way the book is a collection of magical stories and can be enjoyed in any order and repeatedly. The magic is in seeing the events unfold on the ship from the point of view of a curious and sensitive child.
Worthy of the prizes. Best narration. Amazing writing. Haunting story. The clash of the immigrant's hard working son and his suburban New Jersey daughter. An intimate portrait of a man's psyche told from the point view of a writer who knew him in his youth, the reader gets closer to a character than his wife or anyone else.
The part of me that loves good literature so amazed to read this, I probably would read it again. It was hard, though--to be left so sad.
I don't follow the stars, much--but read this because of all the rave reviews. I will say Rob is a good story teller. I listened all the way through. And all I thought at the end was, "Gee, Rob Lowe is such a nice guy". And he is. He doesn't name names. Doesn't gossip about his friends. Good qualities. But not a good story.
How can a writer and a reader together make an aging man's musings about his failing memory be so compelling? I asked myself, as I continued listening to the very end. There is a mystery to be solved. Why DID his ex-girlfriend's mother bequeath him a small legacy and the diary of an old friend? And what does his ex mean by saying "you just don't get it", and a haunting line from the diary. The book felt really true about what it is like to be aging and find out things are not as you believed. Good one. Satisfying.
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.