I can't understand, when authors write how difficult it is to get their books published, how this one could have made it through. There are a couple of interesting stories buried deep beneath mountains of laborious description, including an awful lot of trivia the narrator, a main character, could not have known. He delivers lines such as,
No. One author doesn't ruin it for the others.
His accent. His ability to distinguish about 50 different voices.
Anna's story was interesting, lousy writing notwithstanding.
I only listened so it's unfair to compare, but, yes, I do think the audio is better. This edition is terrific with five different voices and even some musical interludes for "ambience," in some places. I am really glad I chose to listen.
There is a problem at the end of one of the sections. The audio cuts off mid-sentence and there's no announcement about "This is the end of a section, but not of the book." It doesn't appear much is missed there.
I would not have read the 1870's characters with a French accent so hearing them read that way made them come alive.
Treat Williams' version of Marlowe was quite believable. He sounds like a 50-something bachelor whose work has become his life, who may be getting bored at the routine of work, who may feel he has more past than future.
Every reader performed their character believably, in ways that made it seem I was hearing directly from the characters, not actors. Every one of them returns to mind and I wonder how they're doing now. See how alive they became?
There are five main characters in this book, five separate, interlaced stories.
The most memorable character may be the author, who not only carefully wove the characters together, but also made them endearing and real. Putting it all in a backdrop of the art world was lovely and intelligent. Her use of a few clever writing devices such as the flowered hat and the statement, "I observe your heart is broken. Allow me to repair it for you," were wonderful little surprises.
She SHOWs instead of TELLs the reader her complex and compelling story.
Brava, Elizabeth Kostova!
As soon as I finished listening to The Swan Thieves, I started over and listened to the entire book again...and enjoyed it just as much. Wonderful!
I would recommend this audiobook. The intriguing characters secured my interest quickly and held it through to the end. I found I wanted to get back to the story because I cared what happened to this hapless fellow/narrator. I enjoyed the dual-path storytelling, living the past and present concurrently.
Ron McLarty, reading his own novel, spins it delightfully, making the character seem dull at times, charming at others, interested in the journey more than the destination.
The ending was a bit abrupt, although appropriate for the story. Fortunately, there is an interview with Ron McLarty following the audiobook which provided a gentle withdrawal from the characters Smithy and Bethany.
The main character, Smithy, is catapulted into his journey without a plan, without opinion, without direction. A truly free spirit, working out grief and loss over miles of a traveling meditation on life and love.
Not really. I liked the sense of time passing while Smithy was on his epic ride. I didn't let too much time pass, though. I was eager to return for more of the story.
This is not a blockbuster novel, just a sweet read.
I most certainly will listen to this book again. Stein has enlightened me on what makes a great book great.
Stein makes it personal, using stories from his own experience. He also uses examples from literature, which are readily known and/or accessible. He shows instead of tells, which is one of the basic premises.
This is not fiction. The only
That's just it...this entire book is worth remembering. When I think I'm starting to forget, I will re-listen.
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