This book really felt like a waste of time. All of the characters are uninteresting, average, everyday people, including the highjacker. They're self-absorbed and whiny and it is very difficult, from the first moment, to really care what happens to them. The whole book felt like I was watching some yokel being interviewed on the news and feeling embarrassed to be watching it. The use of September 11th as a backdrop feels cheap, given the shallowness of the characters.
The narrator was okay, though he did make the women awfully whiny, though I never could decide whether that was his fault or the author's.
I've stopped listening to this book and come back to it twice now (listening to a couple of other books in between to take a break) and have gotten almost halfway through, but just cannot get into it. There doesn't appear to be any real plotline, just the random interactions of a group of drug-addicted losers who have absurd debates with one another that might be bearable if they were funny at all (but they just come off as pathetic). One of the addicts is an undercover cop who seems confused about what is and is not reality, though this didn't add much drama to the story for me. I find I really don't care what happens to any of the characters and don't know that I'll ever bother to finish the book. After only getting through five hours or so, I'm off to take yet another break with another book.
This book definitely had its funny moments and is probably worth reading if you're in the mood for something light that doesn't require you to think much. I just wish I could have sympathised with the protagonist. She is completely willing to do horrible things to get what she wants and doesn't really feel bad about it until someone calls her on it. Even worse, she is extremely quick to judge the actions of those around her even as she does things that are, at times, far worse.
I think it's worth mentioning that there are a couple of semi-graphic sex scenes in this book. I'd avoid it if that sort of thing offends you at all. I wasn't offended myself, but did think it was a bit out of place in this type of book.
The reader is a bit whiny though does a pretty good job on the female characters' voices. The men, however, all have the exact same voice, speak very slowly for no apparent reason, and sound clinically depressed. It reminded me of British actors portraying American characters. They typically seem to believe that speaking in the flattest tone possible produces an American accent. This reader seems to have a similar view on men's voices.
This is a wonderful book about an incredible man. It's amazing how much this "everyman" accomplished during his presidency. McCullough's research is amazing. I've read both "Truman" and "John Adams" and both are well worth the unabridged listen. I would love to see McCullough do Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt (both of them), and Kennedy now.
Yes, this author is poetic, at least in his own mind. He is so busy trying to be poetic, he forgets to tell any kind of story. The description of the 1951 baseball game at the beginning is compelling enough, but then he leaps forward 40 years to a character who's first person narration is chiefly composed of snipets of bad dialogue that seem to have been dumped into a blender and then poured onto the page in no particular order. Not only is it almost nonsensical, it's downright boring.
If you're still undecided, I strongly recommend reading the customer reviews on Amazon.com. There are dozens of them and they are very informative. I didn't do so and had to give up after five hours of Mr. Delillo's "poetry."
I don't know how anyone could sit through this audiobook. The narrator is horrible. She's mumbling one minute and shrieking the next. I've tried to listen to it a few times now and cannot get through more than five or ten minutes.
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