Haruki Murakami seems to have an endless imagination! In this novel he manages to create an intense examination of the meaning of 'mind' in a world ruled by the control of information collection. At times I needed to go back and re-listen to paragraphs as the deep and oblique and sometimes beautiful images float from his words and touch something deep inside.
This is no ordinary story and if you have ever questioned what it means to be 'mindful', both literally and psychologically, this book will take you away.
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.
I will never be able to watch children, whether they are simply looking with interest or acting with innocent malice, playing with ants again without thinking of this novel. All of us have heard a story of children who pull wings from moths or playfully lead a trail of ants into disaster. Some of us will have our own story.
Under the Dome turns these mostly innocent, playful events into a 'Lord of the Flies' like story of power and politics, contemporary culture, fear and intrigue. Our culture is captured and examined...will it survive?
I grew up in Sydney and experienced Balmain as it was emerging in the 60's as a very trendy, expensive suburb, inaccessible to most working class people. Danny Dunn grew up there when it was very , very different (the opposite in fact), so historically it was fascinating listening to this tragic story.
Toward the end though, Danny just had too many things go right, too many things go wrong to allow his story to remain solidly real. I love Bryce Courtenay's writing, his detailed emotive, personable characters, but this story was just a little over the top for me. (Plastic surgery in the 1940's must have been very crude)
I was hesitant about this book for some reason, perhaps it was too popular....when you've listened to this story you will see the irony in that.
I very much enjoyed this book. Amy's character is a blown up version of a scant few people I have met in life and always had a sinking feeling about their motives. Frightening look at trial by media. Gillian Flynn gathers as all that is left unsaid in relationships, words that are lost at the back of your throat, left to fester and for Amy, turned into fuel for the ultimate comeback....
I now know Grace so well, she could be a sister and her story is pretty amazing. I enjoyed "The House at Riverton" very much. It satisfied the 'Downtown Abbey" in me. I can picture the Riverton estate, the rooms, halls, servants quarters, the clothes, the faces and expressions of it's inhabitants, their moods, quirks, laughter, joys and tragedies.
A clever plot keeps the pivotal secret from the reader until the very end and despite it being predictable, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for it to be revealed.
My only criticism is that it could have been an hour or so shorter, the tension was built to such a height in the final hour, I almost had to fast forward to the end. Perhaps it was the mood I was in at the time but this fact made me take a star from this worthy read for those who love period drama/tragedy. It probably deserves 4 stars.
And what a tragedy it is!
Having only recently joined ancestry online to try to find answers to the mystery of my fathers early years, I flushed with curiosity and with irony, when I realised that this novel was about an unravelling of Nell's life, by her granddaughter , Cassandra.
Not only that, to then discover that the author is an Australian and that the story is woven in part in Queensland, well, I was taken in, hook, line and sinker.
Caroline Lee gave voice to this tragic, moving story, her characters sketched as finely as those by Nathan, husband of Rose as he illustrated Elisa's fairy tails.
The story is so entwined, so rich with mystery, each chapter shedding a little more light, adding colour bit by bit until, at the end the story of Nell's life is finally understood and she is free and at last 'home'.
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