In this book Roth deals with the trials and tribulations of ageing and illness. Zuckerman, the main character, is torn between the rational course of action and the self destructive and painful desire for a young woman. The futility of this relationship is emphasized by the fact that it can never be consummated due to his impotence. Roth gives us great insights into ageing, sickness and the turmoil caused when the the mind and self are still full of overwhelming, infatuous desire but are trapped in a sick, decaying body.
But you don't have to be old or sick to identify with the sentiments here...Roth just mirrors and magnifies our pathetic human weaknesses and anyone who has suffered the pain of an irrational, all consuming desire will understand this too well. It's a powerfully written book with convincing narration - strongly recommended.
I loved this book dearly. We find Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom a decade later in 1980, having settled down again with his wife Janice,and now running his father in law's business Springer Motors. Rabbit is enjoying his middle class life - he has finally made it! The only thorn in his side is his son Nelson...
Don't expect an exciting storyline to this book; it's more like a snapshot of middle class, middle age life for the American 'Everyman'. But it's a picture created in fine prose with vivid metaphors, explicit almost clinical sexual descriptions and rich language that is a feast to the senses. Add to this Updike's great insights into interpersonal relationships, middle age and the complexities of parenting, and there you have it, a modern day classic.
You can listen to this book even if you haven't read the previous two in the series. Just close your eyes, sit back and slide into the world of Harry Angstrom and friends...
Delightful storytelling. It's about a simple Indian man who explains by a series of amazing true life stories how he won the jackpot prize on a TV quiz show. The narration in this audiobook was superb with the reader's wide range of different voices and accents that added immensely to the enjoyment of this novel. I listened to this a long time before I knew it was coming out as a movie and after hearing this version the pictures in my mind are so vivid that I don't think I need to go see the film version. If you enjoy a good audiobook no less than a movie then I advise you to try this first - you won't be disappointed!
This book tells the tale of Christian, a middle aged salesman who's stuck in a loveless marriage to a woman who barely notices him. He finds companionship in the form of Roza, a young Serbian woman living in a run down London building. She seems to represent to him everything that he is not: worldly, daring, reckless and exotic. As Chris falls in love, their friendship grows by Roza telling him stories that become more and more wild and unbelievable. Sadly, Chris in his naivety fails to realize that Roza is as lonely as him and that their need is mutual.
It is not a tragic novel that will leave you devastated; but it is one to make you think about missed opportunities in life, and about desires that may never fade.
The book lends itself particularly well to audio as it's written in two voices of Chris and Roza (read by two narrators) and the language is simple. I liked it and would recommend it for people who enjoy a thought provoking drama.
I became totally engrossed in this wonderful book.
It tells the story of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom who's now in his late thirties and has long since stopped running away from his marriage and other responsibilities. He shirks responsibility in another kind of way by being passive about everything around him. When Rabbit's wife has an affair she challenges him to make a stand and fight to get her back. Not only does he fail her in this but he then gets mixed up in what turns out to be a disastrous chain of events. With his wife gone he agrees to take in a young run away who becomes his lover, and she in turn brings in Skeeter, her black radical, dope shooting friend. Rabbit finds himself in the middle of a chaotic world that collapses around him. But despite the sad turn of events, Rabbit is somewhat transformed by his experiences with Skeeter, hence the Latin title word "redux" meaning restored,and life for Rabbit goes on.
The characters (with the exception perhaps of the too political Skeeter) are very convincing, and Rabbit himself is such an ordinary man who could well be our own neighbor. Another part of Updike's brilliance lies in his perceptive analysis of emotional interactions and in the language that is so rich in astute detail.
The narrator also enriched the whole Rabbit experience by acting out the different characters with distinct voices and he really brought this audiobook to life in my mind's eye.
It's probably best to listen to this Rabbit series in the correct order starting with 'Rabbit, Run' if you want to understand the characters and their backgrounds fully. But it's not an absolute must - so if you fancy this one first, go for it. I just can't get enough of Rabbit and don't want the series to end!
This is a compelling, multi-layered novel. It tells the story of Nathan Price, a bigoted Baptist minister who takes his wife and four daughters away from the comfort of their American home to the diseased and famine ridden Congo. This move eventually leads to tragedy and to the break-up of the family. Although sad in parts it's not a heavy listen - it's hard to put down as it's written with great humor, particularly the passages relating to the eldest daughter Rachel. Be warned - the narrator had a Southern drawl that I found pretty hard to get used to even though it was appropriate for the content - but I'm from the UK so maybe if you're "born in the USA" you'll find that easier.
My only criticism is that the author spent far too long expounding her political views in the last quarter of the book. Those views of the ignorance of imperialism speak for themselves through the story and I don't think she need to elaborate on them. Aside from that, well worth the read, thought provoking and interesting from the historical perspective.
This book centers on Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, ex high school football star who feels trapped in a mediocre marriage. He refuses to grow up or accept any responsibility and runs away from his pregnant wife in search of some meaning...with disastrous results to all those around him. Rabbit is a selfish coward in all that he does. And yet I (and the other characters in the book) couldn't help liking this amoral anti-hero. However, I'm not sure how much I actually "enjoyed" this novel as it portayed a disturbing picture of man and life and provided no solutions: so beware this is not a happy, "feel good" story. But I did appreciate the excellent writing with its vivid metaphors, explicit descriptions and convincing characters. I became engrossed in the tragic story as it unfolded and found it hard to put down. The narration was perfecly paced and clear. All in all, I think it's well worth listening to and am now wondering whether to wait for the audioversion of the sequel 'Rabbit Redux' or just to read the printed version.
This is a charming work that lends itself perfectly to audio books. The story centers on Juliette, a writer who builds up a friendship after WWII with the members of the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". The storyline is rather predictable but it doesn't really matter as it's so enjoyable in other ways. It's all about friendship and love and with characters that are both believable and amusing - you just can't help smiling. The book's written in the form of letters to and from Juliette. As the different narrators read out their characters' letters, their quaint accents and diverse voices really bring the book to life. This may not be "great" literature but it's certainly good entertainment and made me want to sail off to Guernsey right now!
This is a poignant, intense novel. Yates's characterizations are spot-on and his prose immaculate.
He tells the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a young couple who long to be special but who are trapped in the conventions of their middle class, middle of the road and mediocre marital existence.
Yates has created a harsh but perceptive criticism of the superficial American society of the time that rings true to the present day. The narrator does a fine job with the clearly distinguishable voices.
This is certainly not a light listen but it is a devastating one that you shouldn't miss.
This is a short guide to understanding your partner's primary "love language" in order to improve communication with them. I listened to it whilst sitting next to my husband in the car and since then we've been joking around with each other about our different love languages - so that in itself has been positive. It contained some good insights and tips that can make you more attentive to your partner. The narration was clear and easy on the ear. However, at only 44 minutes long it couldn't go into any depth. So I'd say get it if you're in a fairly succesful relationship and feel like hearing some useful tips; but don't expect it to help you much if you have serious communication problems with your partner.
This is the rather depressing tale of Ethan Frome, a man trapped in an unhappy marriage to a sickly, morose wife and at the same time in love with their young, lively house guest. The writer's characterizations are astute and her language powerful. However, the quality of writing was much higher than that of the narration which I found slow and very stilted. To the narrator's credit I will say that the diction was clear, probably a result of his very pronounced, unnatural style. Even though I was able to appreciate the book itself (I'd give 4-5 stars to the actual writing)I suggest you listen to the sample clip before committing to this!
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