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Greg

Oakland, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
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  • 46 titles in library
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  • The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edmund de Waal
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (240)

    The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

    Amazon Customer says: "A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi"
    "Thoroughly absorbing despite major narrator flaw"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Hare with Amber Eyes the most enjoyable?

    Listening to the story of the Ephrussi family took me to so much history that is interesting to me: art and collecting in the Impressionist period, the Jews in France and Austria, and the lives of people who help define and participate in their times. The personal journey of the author in learning about his family was beautifully described.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hare with Amber Eyes?

    Each period of the story was memorable: the relationship of Charles Ephrussi with the Impressionists and with Proust, the hideous fulmination of Viennese anti-Semitism, the relationship of the author with his great uncle in Japan.


    What aspect of Michael Maloney’s performance would you have changed?

    His inaccurate pronunciation of the word "netsuke." Considering that the journey of the netsuke collection is the core of the story and that it is the most important single word in the story, it is hard to understand how the pronunciation was overlooked.
    There was a podcast with the author at the end of the book. He says the word correctly, of course, and that just made the error worse.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, if I had that much time! I listened in huge chunks of time while I was working. It is also so good that I was sorry when it ended.


    Any additional comments?

    The book reads like a really good work of fiction which made it even more amazing that it is a true story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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