I cannot recommend these two linked short novels strongly enough. They have the power of lyric poetry, but there's also a strong narrative thread. They deal with broad issues of family and extended family, race, love, fear, revenge, and more specific issues of native land and its usurpation. The politics of gender, race, ecology are dealt with in ways that manage to be comic as well as tragic, and are never ever simplistic. Similarly, the conclusions are poignant and life-affirming. I am (forgive the pun) tracking down the rest of the novels. How come I had read so little of Erdrich's work in the past?
As usual, Leon addresses a political issue. This time it's the inhumane killing of animals for food. Very powerful.
The journey into the abbatoir--like Dante's Hell.
I almost wept at the ending. Touching and powerful.
Donna Leon's best yet. Exciting storyline, Brunetti is growing older gracefully, and the book has lots of political punch. Don't miss it!
I had read A Cat in Paris, and downloaded its sequel, A Cat Abroad, for my aged mother, who has recently had to leave her home and go into care. She LOVED this book--it brought some sunshine into her life at a time that was looking gloomy.
My mother has been a great reader all her life but her failing eyesight means she is dependent on Audible to keep up with what's being published. She's a very smart critic, so if she says A Cat Abroad is great, I feel I can pass on her opinion with confidence.
This works for those who have studied literature at university, and for what Virginia Woolf called "the common reader." Catherine Elkins is truly a wonderful teacher. I too would like to see lots more Modern Scholar lectures on Audible.
Be warned that the last 39 pages are missing. Or they were from my download. A great pity because in my view this is McEwan's finest novel, and it this version is brilliantly read. So wait until Audible confirms the whole text is available. (I've downloaded literally hundreds of audible books, so I don't think it's me.)
It's a superbly constructed page turner that discusses good and evil, and juxtaposes the rational with the passionate, even the spiritual. It's a novel about individual loss, cruelty, love, happiness, contentment, played out against memories of Nazism and the Holocaust, and the failure of communism.
Its evocations of place, particularly the Causse of Southern France, are to die for.
In haste... I can't think when I was so swept away by a novel. A glorious play on the idea of narrative--history, fiction, the fictionality of history, the truths that the very best and most imaginative fiction can convey. I was hooked from the beginning, swept along by the story, but the prose is sos fine that I kept skipping back to replay a paragraph here, a paragraph there. I loved the characterisation of Kahlo and Trotsky, and of the protagonist. I tried to read The Poisonwood Bible years ago and I'm not sure I finished it, but The Lacuna is a masterpiece.
And what made it perfect for me was Kingsolver's reading. Not often a writer is also so fine a performer.
Robert Polhemus is a foremost Dickens scholar, and this lecture is exemplary in every way. Astute, witty, generous. I loved it. Wish Audible provided more academic lectures of this standard.
Loved this book--lots to say about the sociopolitical situation in contemporary Sweden, as well as a strong love story (sort of!), as well as lots of scary stuff, and to top it all off strongly feminist female and male protagonists. I loved the detail--every sandwich eaten is described with the same care as the discussions of computer hacking. The only thing that didn't work for me was that despite an otherwise good reading, the Australian accent is HORRIBLE.
I have to admit I've stopped reading. The interpretation/fictionalisation of Alice Liddell's relationship with Charles Dodgson is, as far as I've gone, intriguingly handled, not at all salacious, but the prose could do with some help. In particular, Alice too often doesn't speak in the kind of language that would have been used in mid-Victorian England. I stopped soon after Alice recalls a clapboard railway station. Too many good listens through Audible to bother with the second rate.
Britain has so many wonderful novelists just now but Banville is surely one of the best. The Infinities is witty, sweet, funny, generous to say nothing of as clever as all get out, and plays beautifully with the contemporary fascination with the conflation of science and literature. Beautifully read, too. Don't miss it.
The wonderful Juliet Stevenson reads this fine Victorian novel with superb skill and intelligence. If you have already read the book, her reading will bring new insights; if not, you are in for a rare treat.
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