This book was recommended by my daughter's partner. As I was listening, I came across person after person who had read it in their late teens, early twenties. I am in my mid 50's so I felt a little ashamed that I'd missed this one! I even came across a waitress in a coffee shop in Sydney (a young girl) who was so excited to see me reading/listening to her favourite book!
It is now dated in many ways and it was, at times, important that I kept my mind focused on the era in which it was written. The utopian ideals of the people who have escaped the mindless world that they used to inhabit, still today need to be explored in a ( I hate to say this) 'best practise' sort of way before I m convinced that their way of life will work long term.
Despite this, the story was great, the characters engaging, likeable, hateable, annoying, charming, and engaging.
This is a time piece that needs to be read by all who have an interest in the ways in which our world has been viewed over the decades of the 20th century.
Having read this book 5 or more years ago, I was tentative about listening to it, much in the same way that seeing a movie of a book you've read can often disappoint. Humphrey Bower saved me from that kind of despair ... Thanks Mr Bower.
I have not travelled to India but now feel I can taste, smell, hear and see this most fascinating and diverse culture. The depth of feeling and the complexity of the myriad of characters in this novel are compelling and engaging. This personal journey's, unravelling in experiences of great fortune and desperate despair, connected me to Lin Ba Ba's world and at times, he felt like a brother having a deep and meaningful conversation with me.
The story is unbelievable. There are people I know who say it is highly exaggerated, some who say it's all true. It seems unbelievable to me, but in a deeply moving way. This is a man who tries to face himself, tries to see, to forgive and to change. Despite all his crimes, all the responsibility he abandoned, I admired his courage, insights and philosophical reflections on the world, on humanity and what it means to be free.
This is a time filler listen. Good for listening on the go when you don't need to be immersed in the world of words and fully focused in a deep and consuming story. I'm lost for words of praise because, although I enjoyed most of the stories, none stood out and grabbed my attention.
Janis Ian's voice does deserve a mention - soft, strong and deliberate -,it's always a pleasure to hear.
As an Australian, far removed in distance from the horrors of 'Katrina', but close because of television and news media, I wanted to hear this story. Especially because I'm a Registered Nurse, the fact that the scene reported what happened in a hospital, stirred my interest further.
The propensity to litigate is something that I have been sad to see grow in Australia over the past few decades. It is something I've always regarded as 'American' and I found it difficult to listen to the hours of dialogue that related the seemingly infinite ways individuals, companies and corporations sue, counter sue, wriggle and squirm to avoid basic responsibilities and accept the vagaries of life without the need to feed media and lawyers vast sums of money stretching and distorting facts, omitting details, and generally bludgeoning society with half truths and more.
The detail in this book is magnificently detailed. The balanced view cannot be faulted. The horror for those involved is clear. That wrongs were committed - well - I'm not sure. How can any of us judge how we might behave in such a situation. Not only during 'Katrina' but in the life we would then have to lead afterwards.
My husband died 13 years ago, of an aggressive cancer, that removed his quality of life from the day he was diagnosed until the day he died 9 months later. In his last month of life, he woke up every morning crying, begging me to kill him. He would have taken his own life if he had been able. Despite the fact that his eventual death has left a hole in my life that nothing will ever replace, I would have been willing to make his journey toward his inevitable end more expedient had it been legally possible. We afford our pets such respect.
There can be no legal judgement about such matters. Compassion and kindness in the face of suffering are the only two things that really matter and if there is a god, I believe he would agree.
Corporations should not be permitted to manage health facilities. The incongruities that exist in their basic functioning a re not compatible and will inevitably lead to more situations like 'Memorial' if it is allowed to continue.
This is quite a beautiful story, imagined in the cold of the far, far north. You can feel the climate, the extremes of weather, of temperament, of love and loss, of being lost. You can see the beauty of the environment and feel placed there with the characters, some emerging from the ice of their past, some content with the raw pace of surviving.
And the child, she is beautiful, foreign, mysterious and elusive.
But I felt let down by this book, the ending felt contrived, as if the ideas were cut short at their birth and the child leaves the story deflated like a balloon loosing all it's air as soon as it reaches it's capacity. There could have been so much more....
Exquisite story, rich in depth of characters, beauty of human connection and the intensity of soul. I found it difficult to sleep while there were still words to hear of this novel. Thank you Donna Tartt...your work reflected a world both familiar and foreign and will remain with me, like the Goldfinch did to the characters who loved it's timeless beauty.
I love being transported back into earlier centuries and 'The Signature of All Things' did this expertly. I found the story rich and exciting, epic in proportions and fascinating. At one stage I thought that Elizabeth Gilbert must have studied botany herself, so detailed is the information about plants. And to then place all that information in another century shows her skill as a storyteller. Ugly Alma is a wonderful heroine and many of her ponderings about life, love and the universe have been my own, making her even more likeable as a character.
My reason for only giving the story 3 stars is that I found the last third of the book somewhat tedious and slow, despite the fact that many issues are resolved here.
All in all, though, I enjoyed this book thoroughly.
I downloaded this story simply because of the title"Brown Dog". Call me crazy but by the time I finished listening to the story of the hapless, hopeless, gentle, unaffected man, I was in love. Such a wonderful depiction of North American wilderness added immensely to this sometimes very funny, sometimes excruciatingly poignant story. Some overtly 'scenic' reflections of BD's sex life made me laugh out loud and/or cry.
What a deeply "human" man, is Brown Dog.
When I finished listening to this beautiful story, I thought that the characters must be real...must have existed and that the story was in fact, true. I went to the internet to see if there really was a Dr Thomas Stone, Liver Surgeon. Such was the presence of all the characters in this story of love, faith, loyalty, hope, despair, delusion and more.
I rarely, if ever, consider re reading or re listening to books, but I think, in a while, I will listen to this one again, listen to the innocent Marion/Shiva unveil Ethiopia, the town of Missing, it's inhabitants, their culture, faith, the sounds and smells of it, the way they love and hate, live and die, judge and forgive.
Then Ethiopia comes to America and the story unfolds with poignant tears.
Haruki Murakami is one of the most interesting writers I've had the good fortune to be exposed to. Norwegian Wood is NOT my favourite and by no means gives the listener the full picture of his ability to create worlds where the tricks of thinking become a reality played out with excruciating intensity. The novel gives you an idea though and is well worth a listen to get the idea.
More Murakami please Audible!
If you are looking for a standard tale of an English high society woman making it in the wilderness of America in the making, then this is for you. Nothing outstanding but engaging enough to keep me listening to the end. Not much more to remark on.
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