Molly Ringwald read in a flat tone that reflected the flatness of the characters and of the story. The director did not tell Ms. Ringwald how to pronounce the Yiddish and Hebrew words correctly - and this was a book about Chicago Jews!
This book was the "Debbie Downer" (if you remember this skit on "Saturday Night Live") of books. The characters were depressing and there was no humor. The entire book was just character sketches. The point of view shifted from one character to another and the author gave back story for each, which halted any forward momentum and prevented this reader from becoming invested in the characters because we were often told what had happened to them rather than being a part of the action. Even the first hand action that did occur was meandering, with no clear goal for the story and no ramping up of tension. It was just a story about depressing people with depressing lives. To me, that's not a story.
It was like paying for a ticket for a scenic train ride through rolling hills and getting a ride on a slow train in an underground subway with banal signs inside the cabin and rare glimpses of the various characters painted on the tunnel walls that pass by you too quickly.
All of the twists and turns. It kept me guessing and in suspense the entire book.
Don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't say.
I just thought it was a brilliantly crafted novel.
I loved the story and the psychological aspects behind both of the main characters. I liked the ending as well. I loved how the reader got to know both of the main characters through a linking character whom we never got to know first hand except through the thoughts of the other two characters. Very ingenious.
I would compare it to other books that are character driven rather than action driven. This book has more thought than action, but it never felt slow.
The reader who played Arthur Opp (Keith Szarabajka) was fabulous. The reader who played Kell Keller (Kirby Heyborne) sucked, in my opinion. I would have liked to give the performance a 5 for Szarabajka, but had to bring it to a 4 because of Heyborne. I'll tell you why. Heyborne read his part in a sing song voice that you hear so often at author readings. Meaning, he "read" his part rather than "acted" it. I was totally into the story whenever Szarabajka was reading, but was taken out of the story when Heyborne was reading. I tolerated it because the story itself was so compelling. This is the long and short of it: I didn't "feel" Kell Keller through Heyborne. I truly "felt" Arthur Opp through Szarabajka. I think Heyborne could become a better reader if he worked on "being" the character more. It is easy to criticize, I know. I am not an actor, just a reader. I'm just saying how I felt about the narration and hopefully it is constructive criticism for Heyborne and helpful to other readers. My apologies to Heyborne.
Arthur Opp and Charlene because of the interesting psychology behind both of their characters.
It is a book that I would recommend to others.
I would compare it to other books whose narrator and main character is one who is afflicted with a psychological disease. It was fascinating! It was a completely different story than the movie, by the way. But, Jennifer Lawrence was perfect for the movie. I thought the book was fantastic.
No, I have not. I LOVED Ray Porter's performance. I have not heard him read before, but will search him out again. He portrayed the character perfectly, in my opinion.
Interesting book to read. I love books that get into the human psyche and why people act, think and feel they way they do.
This book gets at the core of what it is to be human. Yes, it is about the Great Migration, but it is about love, loss, regret, hope and so many other more subtle emotional aspects of the human psyche and heart. I was amazed by this author's ability to evoke so many different emotions in me. It was a wonderful intertwined tale that I will recommend to others. Thank you, Oprah, for recommending this one. Absolutely fabulous.
The narrators were all wonderful.
Too many to detail.
Read this book!
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