Burlington, VT, United States | Member Since 2003
This is amazing prose. If you love exact, incisive, inventive writing, read this book. Made me think of Ian McEwan but better. Desolate but so beautifully written. I felt privileged by the glimpse into a hidden world of NYC immigrants.One of the finest books I've read in the past year.
This book has been such a fun read and so cinematic. If Dickens were alive today, he would be a screenwriter. Although there are many chapters that feel like diversions and the plot doesn't really thicken until part 5, I couldn't stop listening because the images are so vivid and the minor characters such a hoot! This reader is perfect for Dickens, and creates distinct voices for this huge cast of characters. My only complaint is that the audio quality isn't up to current standards and sounded a bit tinny.
If you like great writing and a well-crafted narrative, pay no attention to the nay-sayers about this book. McEwan let me live inside Henry's head for the week it took me to finish the book, and a fascinating head it was! The incredible detail and accuracy of the neurosurgical and medical frame of the story itself is fascinating. More important, I was completely caught up in the present-tense narrative with its visits to Henry's past provoked by the moment-to-moment events of the one Saturday in question. The task of writing a novel that takes place in single day is a giant literary challenge. McEwan meets that challenge with a masterpiece of contemporary fiction. One of the best books I've read in recent years, and one of the first that have reflected on our reaction to events since 9/11 in a way that made sense to me.
I find Carey's writing captivating in its ability to evoke totally the world of its main characters, and this book has that quality in spades. The feel of Sarah's obsession with Chubb's story and even the smells and sounds of Malaysia swept me up and carried me through a pretty dark story. This reader gives theatrical life and character to the voices of the book, rendering a play-like quality that I found convincing and very pleasurable to listen to. This was one of those books that, despite its darkness and mystery, I was sorry to stop "living in" when it was over. I felt I had visited another country both metaphorically, through immersion in these very original character's minds, and geographically, through the extraordinary evocation of place.
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