Engrossing, nuanced, intimate
Maurice was my favorite character because he candidly revealed so many darkly contradictory sides of human nature.
This is Firth's first audible performance and I selected this book because I read an interview in which he described the challenges of doing this sort of work. He said he didn't want to overact the individual characters; he succeeded in making effectively subtle differentiations without slipping into parody or caricature. I would jump at the chance to hear more of his performances.
Since the novel was set more than 60 years ago, I would go to dinner with Maurice and ask him how his perspective about God evolved in the intervening years.
I have recommended this audiobook to several friends.
I felt other reviewers may have expected too much from this book or may not be open to the idea of taking responsibility for ALL the messages sent forth in every human interaction. Deliberately controlling body language and speech in order to gain the cooperation of others is not a violation of ethical human behavior codes. This book reminded me of specific ways in which I need to be more careful. I felt it was well worth the time invested.
Jane Entwhistle continues to narrate her alter-ego Flavia's adventures in a pitch perfect way. Good story, well told. If you have enjoyed the earlier Flavia novels, you will NOT be disappointed with this one!
This book received excellent reviews when it was published and it definitely lived up to the hype. The narration by Rebecca Lowman added another delicious layer of enjoyment because she was SPOT ON; the novel is entirely in the voice of a female narrator and Lowman's voice became the voice of Katy Kontent for me. It sounded as if she were very naturally telling me her own story. When reading the words of other characters, her vocal shifts were distinguishable but not overdone in a way that distracts.
This isn't a quick read, but I felt regret every time I was required to put it aside in order to get on with my daily life. I wanted to "stay tuned" and see what happened next. The story was believable but not predictable, which was intriguing. I would eagerly explore any other novel Towles writes.
At the outset, I didn't know that "Amor" (the author's given name) was actually a man's name. The female lead character's reactions and interior conversations resonate with a woman reader as completely authentic.
As an older reader, this book helped me recall what it is to be in one's mid-twenties and making decisions about who you are and who you will become.
This is an unsolicited review, but one I felt compelled to include it in the list, if it is selected. I look carefully at other listeners' comments before making a selection and I hope this review leads another person to discover this wonderful rendition of a first-rate novel.
The plots of the Isabel Dalhousie novels are subtle: more about human nature and interactions than action or events. That said, this one held together very well and kept me moving forward as interesting things were revealed and just when I (or Isabel) thought I knew something, it was likely to be revealed that maybe we were off base. Nicely done!
Oh, Isabel is always my favorite. I always listen to Porter's performances because her accent gives just the right flavor. To me, she IS Isabel.
I don't listen to this series to get an extreme reaction. I listen because getting inside Isabel's head, where most of the story takes place, reveals things to me about my own interior monologues, both generous and sometimes a tad too quick to intellectualize and draw conclusions.
Eagerly awaiting the next Isabel Dalhousie novel! Each gets better than the last.
Ralph Cosham is an excellent narrator and his comfort with the pronunciations of French Canadian phrases definitely polishes the listening experience.
I highly recommend this series and recommend going through the books in order. The plot lines just get better and better as you get more familiar with the characters. There are threads which weave through and connect the novels. You get very caught up in care and concern about the recurring characters, but each book brings fresh dimensions.
I choose to listen to the Gamache books, narrated by Cosham, rather than reading them myself because he is so very excellent in smoothly transitioning from one character to another. There is enough differentiation for clarity, but he never overacts. Great pronunciation of the French Canadian terms and idioms.
The ending! Don't want to spoil it for others by describing it.
Will try to be patient as I wait for the next in the series. Will do the audiobook version if Cosham is the narrator.
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