Probably not. First of all, I don't have too many friends who are as rabid a David Foster Wallace fan as I am. I don't have too many friends who are DFW fans period, at any level of rabidity. However, (secondly) if I did, I would probably recommend they read the actual book instead of listening to the audiobook. The loss of the (copious) endnotes from the audio kept me going back to the physical book daily to read what I'd missed. I think the producers of this audiobook should have found a way to include them. There were some real gems buried in those notes. For instance, the title is only mentioned/explained in an endnote.
Being (as I am) a rabid DFW fan, I liked best the parts that described his writing experience, especially around the creation of Infinite Jest.
Let me just say this: the performance was fine, mostly, but I noticed that there were passages, single sentences here and there, that were re-recorded (the tone of voice and background noise changed audibly for an entire sentence and then resumed back to normal afterward) and then I realized that every time this happened, the sentence contained Jay McInerney's name.* Seriously. Every. Single. Time. Then I figured out what had obviously happened. After the entire recording was done, someone realized that Hillgartner had mispronounced McInerney's name all the way through. The index (in my printed copy) shows that McInerney appears on 13 different pages, so that's at least 13 different sentences that needed to be re-recorded and spliced back in. I found that off-putting, to say the least, although (admittedly) a minor gripe.
However, besides that and to repeat myself, I thought Hillgartner's performance was fine. He did an especially good job of "voicing" DFW himself during passages where his own writing was quoted.
* McInerney wrote Bright Lights, Big City back in the 80's and was a person whom DFW followed during his early career.
Sure. Any time DFW went off his meds. And obviously the last few pages.
If you're going to listen to this, get a copy of the actual book and follow along. The endnotes are worth reading.
Fascinating viewpoints to a familiar story. The writing was mostly excellent. Well paced. Engrossing. I kept looking for excuses to get back to it, which is a sign of a really good book in my opinion.
Good narration. While he didn't try to "do voices" for different characters like some readers do, he did a fine job of keeping me engrossed. I think his reading was quite good.
I probably would, and I don't say that lightly. I have waaaay more books that I want to read (or listen to) than I have time in my day(s) to read/listen to them. I generally move on to the next in my stack quickly. But this one was so much fun that I might revisit it again down the road.
The sarcastic humor in the voice of the main character, Mark (the guy stuck on Mars), made it for me. Without that edge, the book would have quickly slipped into a depressing montage of loneliness cliches. The parts where he talks about his hatred for disco are priceless.
The part of Mark was my favorite. Bray has the perfect voice to illustrate Mark's sense of humor.
I wish I could have. 11 hours would have been one heck of a sitting.
The only minor criticism I'll give is that Bray's voice work was stellar for both the 1st person narrative of Mark's log entries on Mars as well as the 3rd person narrative of everybody else. But as a listener, that got a little confusing. The story would switch between the two with no notification, and as I was listening I sometimes thought I was still hearing things from Mark's POV only to realize we'd moved back to 3rd person. How could that have been done differently? I'd hate to suggest a different reader for the different sections because Bray was so good. Maybe if he had used a different voice (accent, tone, intensity, dunno) for the 3rd person narration it would have stood out better. Just a thought. Beyond that minor quibble, he did a great job. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I appreciated the narrator helping me pronounce some of Swedish words that I was unaccustomed to, but over all no, not better. About the same. Bresnahan did a great job reading the story and I was certainly enthralled, but I don't think she added anything to it that wasn't already on the page.
Toss up between Fredericka and the Priest, neither of whom impressed me much for the first half of the book, but both really came into their own by the end.
Great story. The pacing is slow and deliberate for the first three-quarters of the book. At times almost painfully slow. But events start snowballing (pardon the pun) into a rush of revelations at the end. Others have griped about this, but I found that perfectly in line with standard mystery plots. While this story feels more like historical fiction, it is, at its heart, a mystery to be solved.
I'm a fan of the TV show. As long as Rob Thomas (and Jennifer Graham) continue to churn out these books, I'll likely keep reading them so I can find out what new mysteries our witty heroine tackles, how her love life shapes up (Logan, so far away; Leo, so close), and what happens with the sheriff. These are my guilty pleasures. I make no excuses.
OF COURSE everybody who loves the VM character and listened to the first audiobook would have preferred Kristen Bell to return for the second, but honestly we all had to know that was wishful thinking, at best. Lowman does a fine job distinguishing between different characters, and once you get used to the fact that her voice is different from KB's, she draws you into the story nicely. Honestly her only flaw was that she was not Kristen Bell, and if that's going to turn you off, then don't listen. I enjoyed her reading.
Sure, I would. It was a blast, and the reader did a fine job (especially pronouncing all of those Swedish/foreign names that I would have struggled with).
It reminded me of Forrest Gump (the movie, I haven't read the book) and I'm sure comparisons have already been made, but it also had the humor (sometimes dark humor) of light Monty Python. I'm not sure if I can think of anything that would serve as a direct comparison.
Allan, the main character.
Moved me to roll on the floor laughing out loud? Sure. Allan's first meeting with Stalin, his escape from prison in Tehran, when Mr. Dollars tried to land the plane in Bali. Too many to mention
I'm glad it was short. Threats features some of the best writing I've come across in a while. However, the story itself was lacking. Great atmosphere, creepy characters, chilling setup, building tension, and then... poof. It suddenly ended. Readers smarter than I probably appreciated it for that very fact, but I prefer a little more payoff in the books I choose to read. Luckily it was short, and I don't really feel I wasted 7 hours of my life. I will keep thinking on this one and maybe revisit it down the road.
My first Amelia Gray book. I will probably investigate some of her short stories down the road, just for curiosity's sake.
Don't think I've heard Hillary Huber before, but she did a great job with this one. Her forced, dry tone added to the atmosphere of the novel in a meaningful way.
Sure, I kept hoping it was going somewhere.
Don't buy this unless you're fan of experimental fiction.
Sure. I think McGreevy's got this one laid out read for sequels. I'll probably give (at least one of) them a try, especially if the Netflix series is any good.
Even paced. Nothing glaring about it. The best performances enhance the book. This one didn't quite do that, but it didn't distract from it either. It was a pleasurable listen.
No, probably doesn't need it. But I think it's primed for one.
Do we need another variation on the werewolf story? (As well as other plot lines the reader/listener will find familiar that I won't spoil here.) McGreevy does try to be clever by throwing in everything including the kitchen sink into this horror/gothic/occult story, and I'm not sure he completely succeeds. But it was fun and probably a good thing that it was a brief.
I've listened to a fair number of audio books, and this was the first one where I could hear the narrator take very loud audible breaths in between sentences, almost as it to alert you that a new sentence was starting. I found this very distracting. Even odder was the fact that that this was inconsistent throughout the narration. It came and went, almost as if this sort of thing is cleaned up digitally before releasing the recording and whoever was cleaning it up missed huge sections. Or the producer used different microphone equipment for different sessions. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but this was highly annoying to listen to.
Vonnegut is very different from the public persona he created over the decades. He was, in fact, a miserable man who seemed to enjoy making people around him miserable as well. Not a particularly fun book to read, but being a huge Vonnegut fan, I'm still glad I read it.
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