Both are excellent. I listened first, then went and read it in order to study it and learn from a master.
Cee, she learns to stand tall and believe in herself regardless of her childhood and the wrong done to her.
Hard to pick, but three come to mind. First, the opening poem, it brings chills down the spine. Next, when Cee tells Frank that she has a right to cry. And finally, the ending poem and all its potential meanings. I'll give you the first just so you don't miss it on the audio version:
“Whose house is this?
Whose night keeps out the light
In here? Say, who owns this house?
It’s not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter
With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats;
Of fields wide as arms open for me.
This house is strange. Its shadows lie.
Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?”
I don't know about you, but this resonates deep within me. It's the story of growing up, of finding yourself. Of finding out that home, for good or bad, has made a lasting impression on you, and, just maybe, you can reconcile yourself with that. Perhaps, on a grander scale, it is also a reconciliation to the awareness and owning of our country, good and bad.
Finally, perhaps you can reconcile yourself with you, good and bad
I love the book for the imagery of the time that it invokes, and for the depth of each character that the author gives us. I love the use of many literary styles, and the fact that the book is still very accessible. I love the ending.
Here is the low down:
Frank is a Korean vet who was treated equally in the war but slips back into segregated America as it if it is still the norm, which is a good subtle shock for the modern reader, so far away from it. But Frank has bigger worries, mainly that he is haunted by the war. This book is the story of his quest to find his sister, and during his travels he finds himself. This is a very American theme, in the fashion of Mark Twain and Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain). Frank breaks through and speaks to the reader, and occasionally to the author; this is a highly effective, somewhat twisted, way to jar the reader out of the story itself and into deeper thought. Toni Morrison is skilled enough to pull it off.
Cee (Ycidra) is Frank's sister, who thinks that maybe she'd have learned to think for herself if Frank hadn't been there to constantly protect her. She is an accident waiting to happen, a consummate victim, although she doesn't try to be, so trouble finds her when Frank leaves for the war. She and Frank bind each other to this earth, and eventually save each other, once they learn their own self worth. Something in that reminds me of Celie in the Color Purple, and Cee's story is very much an American girl coming of age story, with the honest portrayal of the plight of the black woman.
There are other memorable characters, some snapshots, some deeper, and plenty of themes, all delivered in a punch at 160 pages on my Kindle. Morrison trueists don't like this book very much because it doesn't use the magical realism style that they all love. If that includes you, know that this is American realism fiction, and take the time to think deeper than the story. Ask yourself how the author is so talented to make us care in such a short time. Look at the wording and sentences, and see how she shows rather than tells. Search for all those little details that make the writing so good. Learn from a living legend, who makes you dissatisfied with the humdrum.
This children's story will teach you about the Horrors of WWI while making you fall in love with a boy and his horse. Excellent for kids of all ages.
If you have never fallen in love with The Iliad, please listen to this right now, and hear the story the way the ancient Greeks did. Enthralling story telling about the human experience, not just a war book. And the narrator is a master, too.
Unfortunately, I think today's woman will be utterly bored with this. I was. Not up to the rest of Wouk's offerings.
It's hard to shock a veteran lawyer, but this book did it. Wish I had known this years ago. This book is not another fad diet book, rather, it is a food industry exposé. Even if you take it with a proverbial grain if salt, you'll be disturbed. I grew up on a farm where we ate mostly the food we raised. Now I'm even more motivated to return to the ways of my youth.
I do agree that the narrator is a bit too dramatic; it is distracting. But don't let it discourage you from this important work.
I read this years ago, when it first came out. I decided to revisit by audio, and it was even better through this format. Brooks is a master at taking a historical situation and getting you to understand that there are never any easy answers. I recently heard a lecture where she explained that this story is based on the actual historical village that did just what is depicted here. Can you even imagine?
I enjoyed getting daily motivational tips to eat right, excercise more often and smarter, and get more quality sleep. I also bought the book, but I honestly think the audio version was more motivational for me, as it only took about 5ish minutes a day.
I read this after having the fortune of acting in the local production of Vagina Monologues. It is a completely different work and very informative, fast read. If you think you already know it all, think again. Read and learn my friends. Thank you Wolf!
Hilary Mantel became my new favorite author after reading this book, and I have rushed to read her other historical political fiction books. Amazingly lyrical, Mantel gives a new view to the Henry VIII era and a different understanding of Cromwell, which is always great fun. At the same time, she helped me understand what I had been missing in historical fiction. I'm glad to know that it does still belong as a high form of literary art. I want more of this!
P.S. I did have to go back and check the book to follow, on occasion. But if you like a smart book, that is a plus. Mantel subscribes to the theory that readers are smart enough to get it, so authors shouldn't dumb it down for them. Thank you, Mantel, you've renewed my love of historical fiction.
I love a book that takes me out of my world and plants me right into a new world, and teaches me something I didn't know that I needed to know. This book delivers, I'm so glad it was written and that I read it. Laugh out loud funny, poignant and truthful. Can't get much better than that.
Excellent narration and very enjoyable twisting historical mystery set in the time of Chaucer, chalk full of famous personalities, written by a professor who obviously knows his stuff. If you are much on historical fiction, you'll probably have read Kathryn, as in the mistress of John of Gaunt who has some famous Henries in his line of descendants. I had to read along with the audio to keep all the names/ events straight at first. Many memorable characters that aren't always what they seem. Very good book.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.