I haven't read anything else by this author, and perhaps it's the translation that is to blame, but wow -- what a tiresome and self-congratulatory book. Practically every observation is followed by an analysis of just how profound the observation is. That would be bad enough, but overall the observations were not very insightful. (How many times, for example, must we discuss at length that a blind person might use the work "see" in a manner that is not literal?)
Unlike some of the readers commenting on this book I like dystopian fiction. The fact that the book is dark and depressing is not the problem for me. And I think the plot is an interesting one, so that's not the problem either. The execution is the problem.
As for the reader, I thought he did a good job considering what he had to work with.
Only if the friend has a particular interest in the subject matter. I respect the open and honest account, but it often came across to me as a prolonged name-dropping session.
I can totally understand why she reads this work herself -- it's highly personal and it would probably feel wrong to have someone else read it... but she should have. Her reading is, as others have mentioned, oddly flat and dry, and I found her pronunciation of some words distracting at best and annoying at worst. (A good example is "drawing" which is used a lot, and her pronunciation of the word "birthday" is... very strange.)
This book is not without value, but it seems over-rated to me. I choose it because of the glowing reviews, but found it to be a fairly ordinary account.
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