Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2011
Maybe because I'm such a fan of her other work, I am more critical, but I thought this book was a bust.
I thought the characters were really dull and not fleshed out well. I certainly didn't sympathize with them, nor did I care what happened to them. I didn't get a good sense of their motivation for the choices they made- and overall it was just dull. That's the best I can say.
If you want to read Lahiri, I suggest starting with something else- if I had read this first, I wouldn't have gone back for any more.
Sure- The Namesake is a masterpiece and 10x better.
Yes, I thought he did a nice job.
There was a moment where a character goes through a big shift (sorry I don't want to write out a big spoiler, but it's about 3/4 way through and you'll know it when you hear it), and it was just so out of left field and silly, all I could do was roll my eyes. Usually Jhumpa Lahiri's characters are so complex, and through her writing you really understand them- good and bad. But here- it was like reading about a family of paper dolls. Flat and dimension-less.
YES! It was so brilliant- the writing is great and the performances just made it that much better.
Listening to this book was a real treat. I laughed, I sighed- it was great. Even my husband, who is not an audiobook listener, came in to the kitchen one night as I listened to it and was prepping dinner, and even he became enthralled. I would highly recommend to anyone.
A Fine Balance is one of my favorite books, so having it to listen to in the car is a nice treat.
This book is an epic, sweeping novel about a really troubled time in India's history. It is written such that you feel every emotion, you see the landscape... few writers have Mistry's gift. His writing is amazing. I would read (and have!) anything he writes.
I was not happy with the narration- mostly because I'm Indian, and almost every Hindi word was mispronounced. These were not difficult words- any Indian could have told the narrator how to pronounce, but as I listened it was just really off-putting.
For example, "loata" is pronounced "low-ta", not "low-AH-ta", and loata is a super common indian word so hearing it wrong over and over was painful. Same with so many others, and even the names. "Naaa-waaaz" (Nawaz) should have been "Na-waaaz." I could go on and on. So while I think the book is literally a masterpiece, I was disappointed at the narration. However if you are not a Hindi/Urdu speaker, you'll probably be none the wiser and enjoy it.
Better story and different narrator. So basically, this would have had to be a totally different book :)
For starters I thought the material was terrible. Anne and Sam sure are self righteous! I didn't "like" any of the people in the book and I thought they all thought too highly of themselves. Even the self-deprecation was like "humble-bragging." Not appealing.
Sorry Anne but you are a terrible narrator. Flat and emotionless. Maybe a different narrator would have made this more palatable... but I doubt it.
I thought the premise was fascinating, and as it started out I was really into it. About halfway through, though, it just got ridiculous. I was rolling my eyes left and right, thinking "come ON, Ann Patchett, really?!?" And I like her other stuff. Do yourself a favor and read Bel Canto before you waste a credit on this.
I don't want to give away the story but it goes from believable and engaging to downright ridiculous. I couldn't wait for it to be over.
I thought the writing was lush and beautiful, and so descriptive- I could really see what the author was describing. The book started out nicely, and then I think it just fell flat. It just never went anywhere- there's all this buildup... to... nothing. I was disappointed. I would recommend it for the beautiful description and fantastic narration, but other than that, this book is a C+.
I haven't read the print version but I thought the audiobook was amazing. They could not have found a better voice for Hildy.
Hildy! The narrator does the best job really getting you to visualize the character.
I have to agree with all the other reviewers- the narrator makes this a can't-miss audiobook. The story is great- I thought it was really interesting, but also pretty dark. Some amazon reviews of the book described it as lighthearted and funny. It had funny moments, yes, but the subject matter is not funny- so don't expect light chick-lit. But that being said, I really loved this audiobook and would highly recommend it.
The story is epic! You're really drawn in to the lives of these characters.
I have read this book in print a dozen times, but it was a treat to have the audiobook going in the car and on the treadmill. I really enjoyed it.
The reviews really led me wrong on this one. This was so saccharine sweet and silly... I just couldn't like it. Every time there was a moment where you thought, oh, look! Some conflict! Nope, it was cleared up in 5 minutes. Whew! Back to sunny and cheery.
I thought this was just too fluffy to like. If you're looking for something in this vein, I'd stick to The Help.
The narration was great- the story was lacking.
Maybe a few years ago I'd have appreciated this more- but now I need at least SOME substance and I just didn't get it from this book.
I thought the book started out strong- it was interesting and engaging. And then... it just seemed to lose its way. I understand all the thematic elements so it's not that I don't appreciate them- I just thought as the book progressed, the story lacked focus. I started liking Little Bee less and by the end I was just glad it was over. I didn't feel strongly about the book despite the author's best efforts to make this heart-wrenching.
I liked Little Bee's voice.
I thought the performance was better than the story itself.
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