This book came recommended to me by at least 3 people, I don't understand why. The main character describes himself as ' a hard man' about every half an hour. He is also very proud of his mad stabbing skills. Give me a break. The story is cheesy, misogynist and more than mildly racist. I made it to the end, but only just. I would never read anything from this author again.
I thought this book offered a really honest view of what it feels like to be 23-ish and in love, albeit not with the right person. My life at university was not filled with nearly as much adultery (that I knew of, maybe), but I think Susan Choi got so much absolutely spot-on. Everything burns brighter when you are that age, and then you lose that intensity as you get older, which is a little bit sad but mostly comfortable and ultimately good. The characters are all annoyingly selfish, I don't think I'd want to be friends with any of them, but I did enjoy this listen very much.
It was difficult to keep all the characters and intrigue straight in my head - and I'm still not entirely sure I know exactly what happened - but I really enjoyed this listen. The whole thing reminded me very much of Dickens in that there was a large cast of very interesting, well-drawn characters and the novel was completely plot-driven. The narration by Mark Meadows is absolutely fantastic. I really don't know if I would have been able to power through the rather confusing beginning if it weren't for him (I listen while I work - so this book might not be quite as mystifying for the completely undistracted listener). And I'm really glad I did power through - I think this was my favorite audible book of the year.
I love Nabokov, especially his short stories, but this production stinks. You can't tell when one story ends and another begins, and I kept on finding myself zoning out while I was listening. For me, a very bad sign with an audiobook. I would happily try this again with another narrator and another production company.
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