The use of language in "Telegraph Avenue" is so rich and seductive that I really didn't want the book to end. Listening to the reader was pure joy. The language conveyed not only the bones of the story, but also varied according to each personality. In addition, the language revealed the ages of the protagonists by being apropos to each person.Mr. Chabon must have done a mountain of research or be an aficionado of vinyl himself. He reveals an encyclopedic familiarity both with jazz of the fifties to the seventies, but also of contemporary music. Listening to stories is one of my all-time favorite activities. The excellent reader sustained the voices of the four pairs of protagonists.
There are passages that reminded me of Proust's "A la recherche du temps perdu," in the minutia of details about the music; of Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" in its panoply of characters and of Joyce's "Ulysses" in the sweep of time.
This question--"what scene was your favorite" is like asking whether you prefer dark chocolate with or without nuts--because there were so many indelible moments. Here are two: the executor's daughter cleaning out Cochise Jones' apartment and releases his parrot, or the undertaker's nephews chatter while "tailing" Titus and Julie.
A tag line for a film might be "The Karma of Vinyl."
I would only recommend this book to someone who already has a good understanding of the histories of Egypt, Greece and Rome.
The writing of history has always been contentious at best. We all wear our own glasses. I read this as an antidote to Susan Bauer's history, and it seemed a reasonable correction at the beginning. While the author cited the translators he consulted sometimes, that did not seem to be applied with consistency.
I'm an art historian in my mid-60's, and have always continued learning in many ways. I deplore the reader's idiosyncratic and beleagured pronunciation of unfamiliar names and places.I began wincing every time he said "Pliny" or "Galla Placidia".
We read histories for many, varied reasons. The civilizations treated in this history are remote in time and place, and seem on the surface not to matter too much these days. Alexander did not inspire me to go out and conquer the world. But I see his place in that one.
It would be instructive if your readers had speech coaching before attempting the unfamiliar. The readers you have had from Britain seem way more educated.
Since my undergraduate and graduate studies concentrated on Europe and the west, I was excited to learn about Peter the Great, and the making of the Russian state. Generally, I become totally rapt when learning something new. That said, the narrator made this a particularly arduous task.
Watching a young man on the brink of adulthood become a force to be reckoned with was fascinating.
He had many
This book, which was long and complicated, was not served by the supercilious and condescending voice of the reader, who stumbled over the names of Russian towns and assumed a weird feminine voice when quoting from letters written at that time.
Although the history is fascinating, I hesitate to recommend this book because the narrator was so hard to listen to.
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