I usually love "linked" story collections, but would go with "Let the Great World Spin" or "Olive Kitteridge" instead.
Jonathan Todd Ross did a great job bringing Gary's work to life. If I had been reading instead of listening, I might have struggled with the Russian words, so this was a good one to listen to. The ending falters a bit, becoming the typical "how I became a successful writer" story, which is why it was a four-star and not a five-star listen. This is a fairly negligible complaint, because most of the book is excellent.
Engaging writing, well observed and funny. But the premise--a group of American soldiers being honored at a Cowboys' game--couldn't quite sustain an entire novel. Lots of throat clearing and speechifying, and some unpleasing repetitions of action and event. A really wonderful concept wasn't quite as wonderful a listen.
Loved Eugenides' other books, but "The Marriage Plot" felt like a bad knockoff of Franzen's "Freedom" (re: college love triangle). And on the subject of ripping off better writers, Eugenides bases one of his lead characters on David Foster Wallace. Leonard is a super-smart bandana-wearing tobacco-chewing bipolar prodigy. I don't know if Eugenides intended this as homage or what, but it felt cheap and obvious.
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.