"I took a bump of cocaine" "I took two bumps of cocaine" "I found a bottle of percocet in his medicine cabinet, took two, and then pocketed the bottle." "I did a line." Etc. etc. The endless drug use of Claire DeWitt begins to be laughable. And Claire can't seem to say anything without qualifying it. "Maybe it was even the truth; I don't know; I was too f**ked up to care. I took a bump of cocaine." Okay, I'm not actually quoting the book, but the character of Claire DeWitt which starts out as intriguing ultimately becomes very boring and repetitive. It reads more like a send-up of noir crime novels than an addition to the genre. I was looking forward to this book based on a good review on NPR but I was finally very disappointed. That said, the narrator, Carol Monda, does a very good job of providing Claire with a voice as she goes from one cocaine "bump" to another, although the other characters tend to sound somewhat alike.
Not necessarily but I probably won't read or listen to the other Claire DeWitt book and any subsequent CDeW books.
Claire herself whose gravelly "I'm just barely hanging on here" voice was well represented by Monda.
Disappointment began to set in about halfway through the book, but by the end every time another "bump" of cocaine was referred to, it began to be humorous.
Sara Gran is not going to give the Scandinavian writers of dark crime fiction any competition at this rate.
Yes, I would recommend it. It may not be everybody's cup of tea as it leaves many things unanswered and puzzling, but I found it utterly captivating and couldn't wait to get back to it each time I had to put it down (if that's the right phrase for an audiobook). Murakami is a challenge in many ways (I've read others of his books) but he's constantly fascinating and engrossing and, lord knows, highly inventive.
I also loved On Such a Full Sea by Chang Rae Lee which is a dystopian novel set in a future Baltimore (called in the book B-Mor). That, too, had fantastic and thought-provoking elements and was equally captivating.
I was delighted to realize that Sean Barrett was reading the Nakata sections as I have been a fan ever since I listened to Bleak House read by him and Teresa Gallagher (a sensational performance by both of what is undoubtedly one of the best books in the English language). Oliver Le Sueur was new to me, but he was terrific.
No, it was much too long for that, I think, and I listen primarily while I'm driving.
Murakami is a wonderful writer and not to be missed by any serious reader.
Tom Reiss writes extremely well and picks fascinating topics. This story of the son of a French marquis and a San Domaine (now Haiti) slave woman who rises to become a celebrated general in the French revolution during a brief era when all men (and women) were, in fact, considered equal. Because of highest ideals of the revolution, being half black was no longer an obstacle to accomplishing great things. Alas, the revolution was betrayed and the period was brief; racism quickly returned. It's a fascinating story of the man who would father the novelist Alexandre Dumas but who was clearly a remarkable man, a celebrity in his own right and a fascinating figure in French history.
By far the most compelling thing about this audiobook are the performances which are absolutely first-rate.
The fact that it is told in the first-person by a number of the characters, both male and female, was quite interesting. The mystery of the woman in white does carry you along for quite a while and then the mystery of how Hartright will set things right takes over. Unfortunately, the ending is somewhat fortuitous and contrived.
The section which Frederick Fairlie narrates is hilarious.
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