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Pilot Hill, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

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  • All That Is: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By James Salter
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair - a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe - a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, love eludes him.

    Annie M. says: "The kudos are totally appropriate"
    "The kudos are totally appropriate"
    Would you consider the audio edition of All That Is to be better than the print version?

    Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question adequately, as my vision prevents me from reading a print version. The audio edition is my only choice. So having said that, I'd say yes, the audio edition definitely was better.

    Yeah, I'm smirking.

    What other book might you compare All That Is to and why?

    The primary setting--the Big Apple just after WWII--reminded me of Mark Helprin's IN SUNLIGHT AND IN SHADOW. But the writing itself reminded me of the greats, such as John Irving, Richard Ford, Richard Russo, and Phillip Roth.

    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Joe Barrett does author James Salter the ultimate good turn by allowing the thoughtful prose to do its job without force or artifice. He voices both men and women without getting in the way of what needs to be said. He is a most considerate narrator, and yet the characters come brilliantly to life.

    If you could take any character from All That Is out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I can't really discuss this without ruining a major event in the book. So without disclosing anything, I have to admit I'd love to take protagonist Phillip Bowman to dinner (I'll make him put it on his fancy publishing house expense report). I'd say to him, "Whoa! I totally didn't see that coming." And then I'd have to ask, "Did you have that planned all along? Do you ever feel bad about it? Or did it make you chuckle inside, this terrible thing that you did. And by the way, you don't mention it at all in the book, but did you ever lose any sleep about it?"

    You see? I can't really answer that question without leaving review readers going, "Huh?"

    So I'll just say this: If you like Roth, Irving, Updike...this book is a very good use of your Audible credit.

    Any additional comments?

    I have to admit that I initially had a difficult time getting into this book. I thought it was okay. But I wasn't just bowled over. Still, I kept going and, all of a sudden, discovered that I had to know what happens next.

    Salter's prose is worthy of all the praise from notable reviewers. Listening to this book is time well spent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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