This was a bookclub pick...so I had to stick with it. I'll start by saying that the narration was superb! The story was interesting enough...easy to predict some of the events, but I was really ambivalent about the main character. Can't say I was eager to keep listening. When I got to the end I was really underwhelmed. Would I recommend?...probably not. There is however, a pretty graphic foot-binding description. Curiosity got me to look up Chinese footbinding on Google Images... put it all in perspective.
I really enjoyed this book. The story kept me wanting more and the narration kept me listening. Excellent! Max's story is heartbreaking...but I highly recommend. BTW...this is not the story of Brad Pitt's movie Benjamin Buttons, it's 10Xs better... similar circumstance but entirely different storyline.
I try to stay away from abridged editions and should have with this one. This book was a selection by my bookclub...it's an easy listen, mostly because there is A LOT cut out of this abridged version. There were references to people that were never mentioned earlier and had me asking "who are they referring to?" I had to go out and actually buy the print edition and skimmed through to catch up on what I missed...which was quite a bit. Inspirational story (enjoyed even more by the religious members of our group.)
I really didn't know what to expect of this based on the mixed reviews. I found myself laughing out loud for most of the book. There were some spots that dragged on a little, but overall the book was fun and left me wanting more. Fisher Stevens was great as narrator. I do agree with previous reviews that the author seemed to want to hurry up and end the book...so the last few chapters were disappointing (hence the 4 stars). However the journey is not always about the destination and the ride to get to the end was enjoyable.
Based on previous mixed reviews, I was not overly excited to download this book but it was this month's pick for my bookclub so the decision was made. I was very glad it was chosen, it would have been a shame if I had passed on this. One of my favorite reads was Brooks' "A Year of Wonders" and I think this was even better. The story and writing style were superb. The narrator was easy to listen to...a very appropriate voice for the characters. I was always excited to get back to listen as the story moved forward (not always the case for all audio books). I am now looking forward to our next bookclub meeting because the book will most definitely stimulate a lot of conversation about who we are behind closed doors, how we shape conversation to protect ourselves and others, as well as the dynamics of our true beliefs. I highly recommend.
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