I've read the book many times, but it was equally enjoyable listening to it while I did other things. It's very well narrated, and the sound quality is excellent. no complaints about this title.
I downloaded this NIV version because my children were having a hard time following the KJV which I love. This dramatized narration is so cheesy it is completely distracting to listen to, and we had to shut it off after only half a new testament book. I thought maybe we should just try the Psalms, since it is poetic and might be easier to listen to in this format. Nay nay. The background music was a horror as an accompaniment to the over-the-top dramatic reading. Straight out of a protestant cheese factory. UGH UGH UGH!
I just downloaded a straight reading of the NKJV and am finding it SO much easier and pleasant to listen to.
I never really believed the stories, or the characters. The 'pretend' mystery was not such a mystery in the end. Did she or didn't she jump? By the time the mystery is solved, this reader no longer cared.
None of the characters were developed in full and so we're left to wonder what on earth made them so messed up. So much of their misery (at least the adults) is self-inflicted, so it's hard to feel pity. The children turn out beautiful and talented anyway ("Brick", and Rachel).
This book would have been more effective as a short story. Indeed, it would have been more effective with an editor. When the author refers to "Jamie-who-was-really-James" for the thirteenth time in two paragraphs, I was gnashing my teeth with irritation!!
There was a lot of writing like this. "I'm making a point here, are you listening reader? because I'm being so erudite and stating things so poetically". The writing is very self-conscious, and the point the author was trying to make was never well realized in the characters or the plot. "It's hard to be of mixed race"? "It's hard to have been the victim of an attempted murder by a messed-up mother"? I lost interest in trying to figure it out. This book was unsatisfying.
I have read many books now about WWII (just by chance.. The Reader, The Book Thief, The Power of One, etc.) and am always fascinated by the different fictional perspectives. What I love about it too are the various accents. This one was excellent. I have never heard a Polish accent, and the narrator did a fine job of switching from character to character.
The book is very well written, and I was completely absorbed. I highly recommend this one. Well worth the credit and the time.
This book was well written, but it was a lot of effort for little reward. The hyper-controlling father was a little much to take, especially as there was no background given to indicate what could have made him such a freak. His own father dies, but that's it. He just dies. No relationship explored that might give the reader an indication of why he's such a bad father (because ultimately, this is a father-bashing book).
The infanticide seemed like it was going to be explored, but it wasn't really. Discussed much amongst the characters as a great scandal, or a great mystery, but not really explored. Why does Laura kill her baby? We never find out why. Because she was 17? What made her so screwed up when the rest of her siblings turned out so 'normal'? Because she was daddy's favourite? Was there abuse? Is this why she started having sex with random strangers in an alley behind the library every weekend? The causes of her bizarre behaviour are never speculated upon, although the protagonist certainly seems obsessed with her.
It is all a baffling mystery that the author does not suffiently resolve at all.
The book and the characters just left me cold.
I chose this title because one reviewer suggested it was much like David Sedaris whose writing I can't get enough of. The narrator read it like David Sedaris, but there was little humour in this book. It was very bitter and very sexual (nobody's sexuality goes unexplored, and he gives a very VERY vivid account of catching his wife in bed with his boss - in the book it must go on for pages! there's more than one repetition of how deep up his boss' a** his wife's knuckles are. oi vey! my daughter sometimes listens to my audiobooks, these should come with a bit of a warning!)
en tous cas... this was not worth the credit I wasted on it. It was not even remotely funny. Just sad.
This book starts slowly, but one thing that I really appreciate about audio books is that you are a captive audience, and it takes little effort to let the audio keep running, even if the story is moving slowly. There are a plethora of characters, and at first this seems ponderous, but Eliot is genius at developing all of the characters to such an extent that you feel that you would know them if you met them on the street. I will remember these characters forever.
...in collective guilt. This story will keep me thinking for days and days. The use of a pedophilic 'love' story as the backdrop for a study of Germany's collective guilt over the holocaust is, if not appropriate, then at least congruous. Although you never come to sympathize with the characters, exactly, you do feel the deep tragedy that their lives become.
This book was ok. Not terrific, like the reviews had led me to believe. The characters were not very deep or consistent. I never really believed what Truly was feeling or really began to understand who she was. The multitude of bizarre metaphors and similes sometimes seemed gratuitous - put there as filler, or because the author felt that one was needed - but they were often incongruous. The most telling part of a book for me is when I do not come to care very much for any of the characters or sympathize with them in any way. The plot development kept you hoping, and on edge just enough to want to finish the story, but in the end, it was unsatisfying.
you will love this one. this is a well written sequel that meets the promise of the first.
once again, my only caveat is the r-rated material.
I am no prude, but sadly I cannot let my daughter listen to this, as the sexual parts are just too detailed (though not as bad as in the first book) for me to subject her to this.
other than that, it's a great story that immerses you in medieval history.
I highly recommend it.
this book was thoroughly captivating.
however, there are definitely many "R-rated" parts.
it is unfortunate, because my 15 year old daughter is fascinated with medieval history, and this book would be a great addition to her education, but I would never let her listen to it.
there are parts whose images I still cringe at.
the author is obviously skilled at creating characters, both normal people, heroes, and villains; however, in his effort to create particularly horrid villains, he describes in graphic sexual detail what he inflicts upon his victims. It's salacious, disgusting and gratuitous. I feel that the author takes too much pleasure in the descriptions, and is my only (but large) caveat for any reader.
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