Nice writing but a disappointing read. A chronicle of events (mostly not true, apparently) without much of a story line. The two brothers grow more and more indiosynchratic and reclusive, people and major world events come and go, and then it's over. The ending is fairly disturbing - I had nightmares about being left in the same situation as Homer at the end.
If you're looking for a story about a dog, this isn't it. The author just decided to put the very human (sentient, rational, philosophical) narrator's voice into the head of a dog, whose thoughts we hear so that his eyes (and ears and nose) become our window onto the events. The only really doglike aspect of this character is his unquestioning devotion to his human family.
That said, the "dog's" point of view is interesting and charming so the device works, and the story is complex and engaging. My brother, who is a fan of car racing and an occasional amateur race driver, really liked the car racing element and felt it was authentic and really captured the thrill. I'm not a racing fan but enjoyed getting a glimpse into that world.
When one of my book club members chose this for our next read most of us were pretty skeptical -- reading about someone dissecting a cadaver?? But the book grabs you and holds on to you from first page to last... a wonderful mix of story telling, philosophy, history, science and even humor.
A good story about some good people in a very bad time. Not much has been written about this particular theater of the war, so this book is a good contribution.
Anyone interested in Eastern European history or the end of the cold war will enjoy this inside view of the amazing events and courageous acts which led to the tumbling of first the iron curtain and then the Berlin wall. Who would have thought some obscure Hungarians were behind it all?
I'm a big Barbara Kingsolver fan so really was looking forward to her latest. Unfortunately I haven't been finding it very captivating, and the reader is so annoying I just couldn't stand it and gave up after about an hour of listening. The reader speaks in a sing-song voice, over-emphasizing words and over-enunciating consonants... basically, it sounds like she's reading a picture book aloud to a group of not overly-bright kindergarteners. She also has a slight lisp which is a bit irritating but I would have overlooked that if that were the only problem. Because of my faith in Kingsolver I might try reading the book instead of listening to it, but I have to say it's a pretty slow start and I'm not impressed so far...
Unfortunately, the reading was so slow and tedious I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes. Maybe it's a good book, but I won't know unless I pick it up in paper form.
Many who look forward to this book because they loved "Shadow of the Wind" (as I did) are likely to be disappointed (as I was). The story line is a bit plodding and ultimately there's no satisfying resolution. Coyly dances around a "Faust/Mephistopheles" theme without committing one way or the other. Characters in some cases border on caricature. Highly forgettable book in my opinion.
I've really liked some other books by Muriel Spark (Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; Loitering With Intent; Memento Mori) but this one is quite different and I stopped listening after about the first hour. Very unpleasant characters that I didn't want to spend time on. Maybe the book was going somewhere but I couldn't really tell and couldn't be bothered to find out. The narration was good but perhaps a bit heavy on the accents, almost sounded like caricatures.
A reasonably entertaining mystery story although somewhat predictable. The writing style is literary and colorful, but the characters and the situations they get themselves into are pure soap opera/telenovela (the driving element of the plot is basically infatuated (horny?) teenagers and the bad choices they make, plus some father-son relationship angst). It's set in Spain at the time of Franco, but history and politics are only a colorful backdrop, not an integral element. The reader is very good, but I found it a bit pretentious and distracting that he pronounced "Barcelona" as "Barthelona," "Mercedes" as "Merthedes," etc. (Yes, I know it's historically correct, but it is not customary in English and therefore unnecessarily distracting). I found the intrusive background piano music that popped in from time to time (not just at the ends of chapters) really annoying.
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.