I'm new to audible books and have quickly learned one lesson. A good read doesn't necessarily make good listening. The post birthday world has a central characted from south London, Hearing that accent in his speech is key. Disappointingly, this narrator has a completely unbeleivable English accent. I am English and could have forgiven an English accent from another region, but this is not recognizable. She makes Ramsey sound as if he lived half his life in a southern staate! Irritating to listen to and spoiled my enjoyment of the book.
The story of Hemmingway as told through the voice of his first wife, Hadley. I felt I was going to learn a lot about a great American author whom I knew little about and whose work I was not very familiar with. I learned Hemingway is not a likeable man - A womanizer to the point where he expected his wife to move in with him and his lover and enjoy the 'conveniences' of the threesome. An alcoholic - every event every day is described in terms of the drink that accompanied it - champagne breakfasts, absinthe with friends etc etc. I reserve judgement on his novels as I am about to start The sun also rises.
The Paris Wife limps along from one scene to the next showing Hemingway indulging in wine, women and song. We move from one town to the next to explore which women he was lusting after and which drinks he was partaking of. I marveled at the patience of his wife, grew irritated at him and his faults, and wished the book would come to an end.
I read reviews of this and with great anticipation bought the book - couldn't wait to delve into these pages - Mantel is lauded as a wonderful writer and this period of history has always been fascinating to me. I admit, it was disappointing. Extra stars to Vance who told the story masterfully and has a wonderful voice. But Mantel's style wasn't music to my ears. I found some of the descriptions of court politics tedious and the numerous characters - apart from the key players - hard to keep separate. Especially irritating was this use of the pronoun 'he' followed by the name 'Cromwell'. What an awkward construction! Why not use simply 'Cromwell', unless the use of 'he' is clear who it refers to?
I am a great fan of historical fiction and was hoping to discover a new favourite author - but it's back to Ken Follett for me!
LOL that someone described Follett and Lee, the narrator, as the Dream Team. That's it in a nutshell. I read (listened) to Follett's Pillars of the Earth and marvelled at how he took an era and wove together such remarkable human interest stories with a text book of historical facts. He did the same with Fall of Giants. Incredible detail about the war and life at the time, but presented in such an easy to digest fashion, following the interwoven lives of aristocracy in Europe, miners from Wales.and assorted characters in the US. It is a long read (listen) but it is captivating and interesting from start to finish. Follett and Lee have managed double-handedly (does such a word exist?) to make me a convert of historical fiction.
Did Tim Robbins, an actor I admire, read this book so incredibly slowly because it is short and he wanted to spin it out to 5 hours? Did he use the same monotone voice for almost all the characters because he forgot his acting skills? And why did he talk so quietly into the microphone that I had to turn the volume way up to catch it all?
I know this book is a classic and I never read it growing up so felt it was time to see what the hype was all about. I still don't know but I do look forward to seeing the movie and perhaps - contrary to the usual scenario - I will enjoy the movie more than the book.
Great historical fiction
I learned so much about this era and the lives of the slaves on plantations in the south. Fascinating, sad and at times appalling. There were a lot of characters in the story - every female character seems to have a new baby every other chapter and it was a bit hard to keep everyone straight ! But I realized you only need to keep the relationships of the main characters in order - who fathered whom -.
The ending is bitter sweet and our heroine Lavinia doesnt end up with her all ducks in a row - happy marriage, beautiful children and wonderful home. So for that I was grateful as the story took on a more realistic tone. There is tragedy, there is heartache, decisions and actions go wrong. But you don;t drown in the misery of the lives of slaves - you learn how family can be comprised of people who arent biologically related and that these bonds can withstand many tests.
Really enjoyed the Irish narrator, Cassidty, who brought the character of the small irish immigrant girl, Lavinia, to life.
I am not a big fan of time travel stories. When I hit the 'purchase' button I thought I was buying a book which explored what happened that day and why - a historical fiction perhaps. So I was surprised to discover the concept was about stepping back in time, changing the past and the ramifications of that. I found it fascinating. the tale has a perfect blend of romance, historical fact telling, adventure, character development and suspense. All beautifully told by Craig Watson.
yes, but impossible given its length. however - a great book for a long plane journey or train ride.
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