I just don't know what to rate this book. As far as the writing itself, it was beautifully written. But the story, frankly, made me a little sick to my stomach. It is the story of a pedophile who is so crazy about this 12 year old girl that he marries her mother so he can have access to her. You start to believe that Lolita welcomes this until she gets a good chance to run away, and then she is gone. By then she is more like 16 or 17. Well this man is certifiably crazy, although he puts on a great exterior. He is educated, handsome, extremely polite and thoughtful. In short, someone who would be attractive to most women, and certainly to young girls. My heart just breaks for Lolita, whose real name is Dolores. He just starts calling her Lolita. It somehow evolves from her nickname of "Lo" into the more seductive sounding Lolita. What she must have gone through!!
Now with that said, I come back to the writing itself. Yes it is beautiful. It is even tastefully done. There are no graphic details other than a kiss, but of course it is extremely suggestive. It seems to me that it takes a lot more skill to suggest what is going on than it does to spell it all out. This book is tastefully written. I guess my heart breaks for Humbert as well. It is truly a sad, sad book. Haven't had something affect me like this since "Tess of the d'Urbervilles." I don't recommend either book, btw, not unless you are into heavy, sad but beautifully written books. I think I have to give this book three stars, sort of in the middle of things, because I sit the fence on it. I can't say that I'm sorry I read it, but it makes me sick to think about it very much.
I am sure one of the reasons I continued with this book is Jeremy Irons' narration. He is, as you would expect, a fabulous narrator. It is easy to fall in love with him. So, fabulous writing, fabulous narration, but sad story equals at the very least an interesting book. I know I should give it a five if I were true to my formula which is, if a book changes my life, it is an automatic 5, even if I didn't like it so much. But something just prevents me from doing that. I will always remember this book, but I will never read it again.
I think David Sedaris is extremely funny, and also a very deep thinker. He has a way of writing that both entertains and makes you think. He has absolutely no compunction, which I like, but sometimes he gets a little rank, and for me at least, crosses that line of what is in good taste and what just shouldn't be said. I forgave him of his imperfections a long time ago, not that it is my place or job to do that, but in my mind at least, I just accept him for what he is. And what he is is brilliant with human frailties, not so different from me. Minus the brilliant part. His books, which he narrates himself, are not for everyone so be advised if you are easily offended. But if you want some side-splitting laughs coupled with some very deep and meaningful writing, perhaps like me, you can look past the human aspect and into the heart of a great writer. There you will see much to be learned.
Who knew that being the daughter of a compulsive hoarder would precipitate so much dysfunction? This is an eye-opening book written by the only child of a man who could not throw anything away, and a woman who was a compulsive shopper. Not a good combination. The reasons for these dysfunctions are deep-seated and hard to remove. As part of her journey, Kimberly had to accept the fact that they would probably never change. It was a rough journey for all of them, but beautiful to watch as Kimberly was able to achieve her own goals. Very well written and narrated, this book was a great listen.
To think that this is a true story is just heartbreaking. And of course heart warming in the end. I had never heard of this book until recently, probably because of the recent movie based on this story. I have not yet seen the movie, but am looking forward to seeing it soon.
This man, Solomon Northup, deserves respect and admiration from everyone. He handled his situation about as well as it could be handled, but more importantly, he never gave up his hope of freedom and seeing his wife and children again. Intelligent, well-spoken, and classy in so many ways, he was despised by lesser white men who were determined to hold him down and to claim that they "owned him."
Many nations can look back on certain parts of their history with shame and embarrassment, and the USA is no exception. Slavery is a mark upon us and our history that we have to live with, but we don't have to perpetuate. Although we as a nation and a people have come a long way since 1853, there are still those who continue to hate and mistreat others because the color of their skin is not to their liking. This can be said of people on both sides of the issue. Isn't it about time that this whole nonsense stop and we fulfill the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and love people because of the content of their character? Let's teach our children to be better than this horrendous history that destroyed so many valuable lives. It is really the only way we can affect a true change.
Louis Gossett Jr. is an amazing narrator, at times making me believe that he was Solomon Northup. Certainly he must have known the man, and yet it is not possible. So good!!!
I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I thought I would. I have read a lot of books about Lincoln and the Civil War, but this one made me feel like I was right there. After reading about the death of Lincoln, I felt the need to mourn, and briefly wondered why no one else was feeling that way. There is so much information in this book that I found myself paying closer attention than usual so I would not miss anything. It moves along at a fast pace and reads like a novel.
Although I am not convinced that I want to read O'Reilly's other "Killing" books, I highly recommend this one.
I often shy away from books read by the author, but in this case, O'Reilly did a great job of narrating.
I think Beck has hit on a winning format for teaching the lessons of history. This book is highly enjoyable and informative. Although it took me a little while to get caught up in it, I ended up really looking forward to the next installment each time. This would be a good book to read with a child.
I haven't decided if the governess is telling the truth or trying to hide something about herself. Or maybe she is delusional.
I read this book in the 9th grade, and only remembered the remarkable ending, and that I liked the book. So now, many years later, I listened to it read by Nadia May, and fell in love with the story again. What a lesson this story teaches us! If you have never read it, put it on your bucket list.
I have to say I admire the girl more than I imagined I would. She is strong and smart. And it doesn't hurt that she plays the harp (so do I). I can't even imagine the horror of the things she went through. The physical abuse was horrific, but the mental abuse was even worse.
I also admire her family. Her parents handled the situation about as well as it could be handled. I'm proud of them for never giving up, when the rest of us were sure she was dead. It gives me courage to read their stories and see how people can be strong in the face of devastating circumstances. It makes my troubles look small by comparison.
I'm not usually a fan of authors reading their own books, and I am sure Elizabeth would be the first to say she is not a professional narrator. Still, there was something honest and convincing in the way she read. When she emphasized a word or phrase, I knew it was authentic, and not a reader's interpretation of the author's intent. I like that a lot. It reminds me of another incredibly strong girl, Jaycie Dugard, who also read her own story.
Here's to you, Elizabeth. You did what you had to do, and you survived to tell about it--and you did it with style.
This book put so many things about the beginnings of the civil war into perspective for me. I really did not know many of these things. It helps me make sense of it all. Of course, no war makes sense, but now I can see better how it came to be. For example, I never really understood about Fort Sumpter, and now I do. I think I had it backwards in my mind, something like the north firing on the south who were in the fort. Truth is, it is exactly the opposite of that. I also did not realize the role California, Kansas and other non-southern states played in the war. I certainly never understood how Lincoln's view of slavery and the war changed over time. I did not realize that the war was, at least outwardly, not about abolition, but about state's rights. As time went on, it had to be about slavery. How could half of the country fight for freedom and then turn around and approve slavery for the other half of the country? And many more interesting things. I really want to read this book again sometime. I am sure it will be even better the second time.
I happen to have a large book about Michelangelo that contains detailed photos of almost all of his work. It was so helpful to keep it nearby so that I could refer to it as I read/listened to this book. I also had a hard copy of the book, which also helped me understand it. That is the best way to read a book, particularly one about an artist from a foreign country.
In those days in Florence, Italy, it was thought that if you had to use your hands to make a living, you were somehow a failure. Consequently, he was the only person in his family who earned any money, and he had to support all of them, not only his parents, siblings and their families, but his aunt and uncle also. in fact, until he declared his emancipation from his father, somewhere around the age of 27, his father was entitled to all his earnings. it made life hard for him. Most of his work was commissioned by the pope, which was also difficult because the pope could be fickle and withdraw support at any time. Or a pope may die, and the next pope may order all of his work to be destroyed. But he was compelled by something inside of him to create the things that he did.
To say Michelangelo was gifted, a genius, is almost an understatement. He was driven to do what he did. Each and every detail had to be perfect or he could not live with himself. Although I have never seen any of his works in real life, the pictures that I have seen of them and the descriptions I have read about them have made me feel as if I know them. To be able to catch a glimpse of what he must have been thinking and feeling at the time of the creation of his art work was truly delightful. Here is a trivia fact I did not know: Michelangelo lived to be nearly 90 years old, and was still sculpting right up until his death.
And it is a compelling story, well told, if not always historically verifiable, by Irving Stone.
I really liked the narration of Arthur Morey. He did a great job of the Italian pronunciations, and characterizations from old to young.
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