What a wonderful writer -- and what a marvelous translation! I just loved these two connected novellas and have recommended them to all of my book-loving friends. They're beautifully read by narrators who have sense enough to inflect the story but ultimately to disappear. Just a lovely, lovely book, although there is additional material in the print edition that the recording ought to have included.
All that needs to be said is that the author himself includes an apology at the very end of the book. This is an awful, awful book, and if Grisham had submitted this to a publisher as his first effort, he'd have been laughed out of the room. And to try to write in a first-person African-American voice and then give us an entire black family of drug dealers, con men, and murderers requires an author of talents far beyond Grisham's to avoid the taint of racism and stereotype.
It's just a bad, unsalvageable book.
The narrator speaks so slowly that I actually had to listen to the book at 1.25x normal speed to make it even tolerable. Was he paid by the hour?
The list is too long.
I'm giving up Grisham forever. He's gotten lazy doping what he's good at, possibly because his attempts at "serious" writing have not been as popular.
For some time now I have felt as though I was able to understand pieces of what's going on in America and the world, but I couldn't see how all the disparate elements -- political, religious, economic -- made sense as contemporaneous events. Kevin Phillips does, however, and his book is a triumph. It is clear, well-researched, and enormously compelling. I was thoroughly captivated -- and not a little scared.
Marvelous. Audiobooks have given me the chance to use car time and paint-the-bathroom time to return to a bunch of the books I was made to read as a student and was too young or too dumb to appreciate. This book is beautifully read by Tim Robbins, and the additional material, narrated by Robert Sean Leonard, is almost as good as the novel itself.
Whew! I don't imagine this book is popular with many Mormons, because how on earth could they possibly reconcile their faith with the documentable story of its founders' motives and methods?
I couldn't stop listening.
This isn't among Irving's best, but even when he's not in top form, Irving writes with such flavor that the story stays in the mind long after you've finished the book. I was less than captivated by what feels like the author's over-interest in his alter ego's sexual prowess, and would have been delighted if the book had been two hours shorter.
It's such a mistake to have allowed Armistead Maupin to read his own book. He's not a great reader in general, but here it's very confusing to have him present his own material because it's based on actual events that have been elsewhere reported. One ends up wishing he'd just written a memoir, since he injects himself so heavily into the story by acting as its interpreter.
Thirty-one hours of pure unalloyed pleasure. The reader is a genius.
This novel has somehow acquired a reputation that doesn't match the reality: it's an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it, but the writer has no terrific command of language, character, or plot. The best parts are those that take us into the unfamiliar world of Aghanistan over the last 30 years. I was not particular taken with the protagonist and often felt that the author was throwing in elements (like a homosexual rape and a redeeming later romance) that he felt could make his book sell.
I had high hopes for this novel but ultimately found it disappointing. Trapped between science fiction and, well, something else, the book only engaged my interest when Wouk's explanation of the physics involved was intriguing. The characters who wander through the novel are weak and uncompelling.
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