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Anastasia

Pilot Hill, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

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  • Seating Arrangements

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Maggie Shipstead
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (109)

    Winn Van Meter is heading for his family's retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff. Winn's wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne's sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn.

    Annie M. says: "A Great Authorial Debut"
    "A Great Authorial Debut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Seating Arrangements the most enjoyable?

    Sticking it out. I needed to get into the book a little bit...because I did, indeed, reach that point where, much as I disliked some of the protagonists, I had to find out what happened next.

    I have to admit that I hated this book when I first began to listen. The characters were uniformly unpleasant. I stuck it out because a) the NY Times had given it such a glowing review, and b) I trust narrator Arthur Morey. His favorite-pair-of-most-comfortable-shoes voice has guided me through some of most favorite and pleasurable literary audio experiences.


    What other book might you compare Seating Arrangements to and why?

    As I listened, I found myself wondering who I would compare this author to. Russell Banks, Richard Russo, and John Irving came to mind (although Russo and Irving have an automatic connection because Morey reads so many of their books).


    What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

    I love Mr. Morey's work. Arthur Morey to me is like coming home and slipping on my very favorite pair of shoes, the ones that are worn in, that fit me perfectly, that still look great after all these years because they were beautifully made to begin with. I've heard some people describe him as whiny, but for me, that's usually because the character calls for it. He isn't a tricky narrator, full of distinct accents or tones. He's simple, well-paced, a very good reader.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    What stands out for me most--and shows that all they hype on this book was the real deal--is that I didn't like this book at all when I first started listening to it. But toward the end--and after a lot of cringing and laughing--I really wanted to see how these characters would find their way. I cared about them a lot at the end. Well, maybe not Winn. But even in his utter distastefulness, this is a character worth spending some time with. If nothing else, just for the sheer relief that he's not one of your actual relatives.

    I am surprised at how much I've continued to think about this book, even though I heard "The End" several weeks ago.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like John Irving, Richard Russo, and Audrey Neffenegger, you will most likely enjoy this book immensely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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