I really enjoyed this audiobook. I loved both the story and narration. There are so many levels of ideas and meaning that make it a fascinating "read' and a storyline that makes it an enjoyable one.
I loved the amount of information about the historical period and the Arts and Crafts Movement but some might find this overwhelming.
I read some reviews of the print edition that said the book was too complex and too hard to follow, so I was a bit nervous about listening to it instead. But I had no trouble at all - in fact it may have been easier to understand than the print version because Byatt writes in such long involved paragraphs that I find visually hard to follow.
I have been able to listen in big slabs of time which probably helped me follow and maintain interest in the story - I can imagine it might be harder if I had to listen in short bursts or was trying to multitask while listening, just because it is so long.
There are a lot of characters, and some could have been better developed but I still found myself wishing I could meet many of them.
The narrator has done a great job - a seamless reading in a very appropriate accent. With so many characters it must have been challenging to try and express them all differently but she did a great job.
Overall one of the best Audible downloads I have listened to in a long time.
I loved this audiobook. The book is witty, insightful and touching and the reading is really well done.
I found it very entertaining and humourous while at the same time it kept me really thinking about the ideas about hope and escapism it brought up.
The storyline teeters on the brink of fantasy, but is set firmly in the "real world" - and I love that combination of suspension of disbelief with well developed, believable and touching characters. At the end you suddenly realise that you may have thought you were listening to an effortless, entertaining story of humourous adventures and events, but it turns out it was also a beautiful serious portrayal of friendship, love, and the hope offered by escapism.
I'm definitely looking for another Michael Chabon to listen to or read, but meanwhile I'm going to listen to this one again.
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