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Jay J Peters

Member Since 2005

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 175 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5892)
    Performance
    (2488)
    Story
    (2524)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "Compelling"
    Overall

    The novel is well known and honored, I won't bother to recap it. It is not exactly uplifting stuff, but it is compelling and brilliantly evoked. The reader is top-notch. So why not five stars? It's just something about the bleakness of it all that makes you keep your distance a bit -- you don't volunteer to take the dog for a walk just so you can listen some more. But it is the last word on apocalyptic fiction and definitley worth your time.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Bridge of Sighs

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (105)

    Louis Charles ("Lucy") Lynch has spent all his 60 years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for 40 of them, their son now a grown man. Like his late, beloved father, Lucy is an optimist, though he's had plenty of reasons not to be: chief among them his mother, still indomitably alive.

    Victoria Wright says: "Wonderful"
    "Russo Stumbles"
    Overall

    I am a huge Russo fan (Nobody's Fool and Straight Man are two all-time favorites, and Empire Falls deserved its Pulitzer) ... but Bridge of Sighs is ponderous. I wish I could blame the narration but the reader (Morey) is not the problem.

    Russo's special gift is characters who are real and multi-dimensional, and the deft way he reveals them. They combine lovable and hateful traits. This never seems like inconsistency, but like the natural complexity we find in real people when we get to know them.

    Another Russo gift is dead-on humor. It emerges from wry dialogue and description that is captured so perfectly, you can't help but smile or laugh in recognition.

    Alas, both gifts are missing here. Characters are assigned personality types, and even after 27 hours of audio time, they stay typecast. There is a World Famous Artist Living Out His Anger Abroad, and a Small Town Worshipper of the Status Quo Who Stays Home, and each has the traits you’d expect and none you wouldn't. It feels as if Russo is trying to tell a Big Important Story, and foregoes rich, complex characters in favor of archetypes. And he seems to find little room for humor and wit in this Big Important Story.

    If you haven't read Russo, you really should. He's great. Just don't sample him via Bridge of Sighs.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Lay of the Land: Frank Bascombe, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    With The Sportswriter, in 1986, Richard Ford commenced a cycle of novels that, 10 years later, after Independence Day won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, was hailed by The Times of London as "an extraordinary epic [that] is nothing less than the story of the 20th century itself." Now, a decade later, Frank Bascombe returns, with a new lease on life (and real estate), and more acutely in thrall to life's endless complexities than ever before.

    Daniel says: "Richard Ford, get out of my mind!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    Bloated, full of meandering, rhythmic sentences that fail to coalesce into a whole greater than its parts. There's no suspense about what might happen, who Frank will turn out to be. After Independence Day and the Sportswriter, two of my favorite novels of the past 20 years, a major letdown.
    Narration is generally good -- except when it comes to dialogue by characters who are deemed to need distinctive accents (a southern woman who Frank "sponsors", Londoners, Frank's daughter, ...). These accents are over the top and painful ... sometimes less IS more.

    Jay (Joyce's husband)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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