Rakoff suffers for his craft and we benefit - a behind the scenes look at the day in the life style journalist and his real life shortcomings. Unabashed and unapologetic, painfully aware of his place in the world and always able to see the humor i any situation, this collection of stories is a great listen, well narrated and had me laughing until I cried several times. I loved his first effort "Fraud" and his appearances on "This American Life" but one need not be a lifelong Rakoff fan to be delighted by these tales.
1. The read, while extremely competent and well done is also shrill and constantly jarring with lots of very high pitched noises and onomatapaeia, which some may love but I found endlessly irritating. I don't mind - even like - a little, but it is unrelenting noises and squealing throughout all 12 hours.
2. the story is slow. very slow. It's not bad, but it is needlessly endless.
3. No payoff, there's no one to really like or feel passionate about following for 12 long hours - not even the narrator/protagonist. She is merely there in service of the story, and carries no more or less weight save her own perspective. This may be better in print than audio, but I kept stopping the listen because I was just sick of hearing about it. I'm not the kind of person who can just walk away, but if I was, I would have abandoned this book around hour three when I realized nothing was ever going to happen.
Although some of the prose was a bit too precious and pretentious (of the aren't we darling and clever Manhattanite variety...), it wasn't the writing that got to me. I hate to say this but it might have, it was so predictable but Cosper does have the occasional excellent redemptive turn of phrase. However, as a book about attending many weddings is likely to - the word "photographer" is repeated often. The narrator can not say it properly, pronouncing it "fertagrapher." That extra R I know should be forgivable, but repeated over and over it eventually drive me to near madness and I jumped ship three and a half hours into the book.
Just when you're sure you know where the story will go next, it zags where you expect a zig. Even in the spots where you canpredict the end point of the journey with accuracy, the path and events it takes to get there are often jarring. This is a masterfully told, complex story well narrated by Martha Plimpton.
I am a big fan of Mr. Palahniuk's fiction, but i have to say this collection of non fiction essays really charmed me. He sees a level of detail and activity in everyday events most don't, and as he is the narrator, there's a certain intimacy to this recording that makes it very pleasant to listen to. This was a great listen - a collection of well told stories that both entertain and provided me with a glimmer of insight into one of my favorite writers.
The story is well written, Lee Smith is a great painter of characters, and the pacing is a bit slow, which I find reflects the genre of 1970s Southern authors. However, I suggest you read the paper version because the narrator is so overwrought, stilted and tedious to listen to I could not take it. Imagine 12 hours listening to someone who took a little too much pride is her elocution lessons - everything so painfully over-enunciated as to sound forced and pretentious, detracting from the story.
There are so many great readers on Audible, better to find one of them instead. Lee Smith has a great story in Fancy Strut, but it's not worth listening to this caricature of a reader who seems to be trying to sound as if her voice is more important than the words it carries.
Okay, I'm a 37 year old white woman, probably not the target demo for this book which is aimed at young men, teenagers, specifically. But since I'm from Michigan and the story takes place there, I was curious. The characters are well developed and engaging, the plot is solid and not predictable (and not too outlandish) and Michael Boatman does a fantastic job narrarating. So well, in fact, I'll be eagerly watching for other titles he reads, as he breathes a lot of life and personality into the story without distracting from my concentrating on the tale. (I find some narrarators are too showy, or unevenly paced, not so here.)
It was light, but smart, and for a fun listen beats the books I am a target market for (Bergdorf Blondes, the Shopaholic books) eighteen ways. The story is moving without being sappy, and the characters are quirky and human. I'd recommend this book to anyone from teenage boys to hipsters to grown men who remember what it's like to go through the awkward teenage years, as well as anyone who who's ever had a boss or a parent they thought they could never beat. It left me smiling and satisfied, and very pleasantly surprised.
This is all the fluff of SITC without any of the warmth of relationships that made the tv series work - Busness basically makes everyone Samantha and Big mistreating one another in a sea of self involvement not abstracted enough to be funny. Sorvino starts out reading well and then completely doubles her speed and begins exchanging shouting the words for genuinly infusing them with emotion. The first half was great, but the second half was abysmal.
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