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.
Great tension, compelling story, even some LOL humor. I couldn't stop listening until there was nothing left to listen to.
I'm a fan of Rick Hanson's work. He always manages to add information he hasn't used before. I usually go through and bookmark the meditations so I can easily access them later.
This is the type of book I like to listen to a little at a time.
What is the What is an epic story of one man's, and representing many others', story of escape from troubled Sudan. It is a sad, funny, amazing, poignant telling of the story of the List Boys. It is an education and a gift.
The narrator was excellent, as well, adding much to the feeling of being there, of journeying along with Valentino.
I am a Franzen fan but, at least in the audio version, this one was hard to follow and, therefore, it was challenging to get to know and love the characters. There are a lot of them to get to know.
The narrator did a great job. She could have helped the character development by pausing during breaks in the text. Instead, she plunged directly from one to the next, often leaving me to catch up because I hadn't realized there had been a character change.
I still gave it four stars. Franzen is amazing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had quite a number of characters and agendas. The author did a great job of reminding me of each character when I hadn't heard about him/her in awhile. The story became more compelling as it progressed. I would even use the word "amazing"to describe my feeling about how Stephenson managed to funnel all these players into one big story.
Dyer says, "This is a book you won't want to listen to just once,"and he's right.
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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