I loved this book. It was similar in feel to "The Corrections" by Jonathan Fraizer.
The characters, ALL of the characters, while not always 'likable' are certainly human and behave in ways we have all witnessed people behave. Even the end, while I too was disappointed, it was, as the entire book was, true to life. I would have liked to have it end differently, but this book was telling its own story, and its characters had their own personalities and weaknesses. To have another kind of ending would not have been true to the characters or in keeping with the story. Life, as they say, is not fair.
i recommend just reading the paper version of this book. I don't know why authors are allowed to read if they suck at it. Honestly authors, you do your work a tremendous disservice when you insist being the one to narrate. Just because you wrote it does not make it a foregone conclusion that you are the best person to read it. The story is pretty good, but the reading is the absolute worst I've ever suffered throug since suffering through TC Boyle read his own work. Oh and the guy that wrote marley and me.
This author doesn't just take the scenic route in this novel, she parks at the first curve for 75% of it. I will admit that once you wade through the superfluous text, there is a pretty good story with some pretty interesting characters to be found. But it's an awful lot of work for not that great a reward. By that, I am NOT referring to the open ending - that was the one part I liked, because it's not like an Agatha Christi where the answer is in the story - there is no right answer, and it is still a good story. But it's not a great story, and the endless, looping, rambling, unnecessarily distracting prose, and the whole schtick of the 'bibliography as a story line' were just hard work that only served to further demonstrate that the actual story wasn't really good enough to either outweigh all that negative, or serve as a reward for all the hard work we readers had to put in to get to it.
This story had so much draw, I turned it off whenever I couldn't give it my full attention. Anyone that listens to audio books on a regular basis should know what that means, hell, anyone that reads a book knows what that means. You skim the boring parts. But this book really doesn't have any. It skips all the lengthy (and largely unnecessary) descriptions in favor of really good dialog which does a much better job of developing characters, which in turn allows for a richer story. It is albeit somewhat predictable and not wholly believable, but you can hardly blame the author for that - after all, what hasn't been done?
In the end, it's a touching, well written, and thoroughly engaging book. I strongly recommend.
If I could give this book minus stars, or better yet, give it back I would in a heartbeat.
I'm 2:49 into it and as far as I can tell, there is no actual plot to this 'story,' it is the droning monotony of this mother's daily life as she goes about it with her eldest daughter in the background having become some sort of transient.
She hangs out with her friends, and this is what she thinks about it. She makes love to her husband and this is what she thinks about it (never has sex been so unromantic), she goes shopping and this is what she thinks about it. She has lunch and this is what she thinks about it.... You get the idea.
It is literally the minutia of her daily life and what she thinks about it.
While the readers voice is quite nice, and her reading very agreeable, and I found none of the production quirks the other reviewer spoke of, the material is at best a sleep aid.
I'm not sure how or why I, or WHAT for that matter, I'm supposed to care about. It just goes on and on about NOTHING. Not in a good Seinfeld way, but in the way a lonely co-worker might corner you and tell you all about how they rearranged their figurines for the entire weekend.
That is exactly how 'page-turning' this novel is.
Seriously, I can't think of a good thing to say about this novel. I can't finish it. Whatever may happen, I just don't care.
As in, every 15-30 minutes listening to this glorified romance novel, I could be see rolling my eyes and mumbling "Oh, give me a break..." or "puleez..."
In terms of it being a "historical novel," well it is set in the past - but there is very very little actual history in it - so if thats part of the draw for you, buyer beware.
Overall, its corny, predictable, drawn out, and largely unbelievable.
This book is light, quick, fun, witty, and has tons of catty sarcasm. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then I highly recommend this book. I meant for it to be my commuter book, but I found myself listening when I prepared dinner, walked the dogs, and worked in the garden. It was such a fun and funny distraction!
On and on and on. You have self centered, self absorbed daughter trixie, clueless father daniel, lame mother laura, and a gaggle of high school characters who are stereotyped x10. Not one person seems to say what they mean, react appropriately, or do what is needed. You just can't feel sorry for these people, they make a bad choice and then just keep on making them, seemingly unable to take hold of the situation in any sort of intelligent manner. I'm better than half way through and have found myself twice trying to find a spoiler review online so I can justify giving up the ghost of this relentlessly boring, over dramatized slop.
I did like sisters keeper, though the end was a cop-out, but I don't think this is one of Picout's better works.
On the upside, the narrator was spot-on.
While I wouldn't call "Closing Costs" a work of literary genius, it was enjoyable and easy. The perfect commute book. The narration was also done very well. My chief complaint would be the long, detailed, and frequent descriptions of pornographic sex. I'm no prude by any means, but in this book, with these characters, it simply feels largely gratuitous. For example, to say a certain character is into online porn of a kinky variety is developing that character, while launching into a laundry list of *very* graphically titled sites, I feel is unnecessary.
This book was something like a marriage between "The Nanny Diaries" and "The Great Gatsby" but without the style, emotion, or humor. Wasserstein's writing style is in itself good, however her character delevopement and story line lacked any depth. She should have stuck to plays where at least she could rely on actors' style and delivery to add a human element. This book was an awful waste of time - it was impossible to even figure out which characters are supposed to be protaganists, and which are the antagonists. All were so flat, humorless, and dry. I would not recommend.
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