This story is as powerful and provocative today as it was when it was first written. Baldwin paints a brilliant picture with his words filled with color and emotions, like listening to an extraordinary jazz piece. Graham add such vibrant life to the characters and creates a mood that often becomes hypnotic and memorizing. I was captivated from the first paragraph to the last word uttered. I was familiar with Baldwin from reading his other works some 30 years earlier. How did I ever miss this one? It's his masterpiece of vision and masterful story telling of an era long lost.
This is not a novel for everyone, has themes of strong sexual situations, racism, and the violent nature of lost souls. But it's all the things l love that define the human condition.
Augusten Burroughs does an awesome job bringing to life this story as both the writer and reader. It is utterly captivating from the moment I started it until the end. This is a wacky world of dysfunctional characters that come to life. It is utterly hysterical and painfully moving the way he is able to weave and expose such a complex world in such a mater of fact candid way.
Samuel West keeps this story interesting and going through great definition of character. Not sure where the plot was always going, or even if there was a plot, more like the meanderings of the main character's thoughts. Lots of great sex, vivid and colorful romp into gay life. Kind of a refreshing journey to be taken on to a time forgotten, how carefree the 80's actually were. Hollinghurst is an interesting writer who puts the most interesting spin on the most banal circumstances. Totally enjoyed all the way through. It's a great book to listen to while you garden.
I become as addicted to this audio book as much as the characters it was about! One of the most brilliant things I have listened to in a long time. The narration weaves an almost hallucinogenic series of vignettes that takes you to all these wacky places. It sucks you in and doesn't let up until is it over. I couldn't turn it off!!!! You could literally start with any chapter and play in any order. I am going to have fun with this one in a my library for a very long time. It was as prophetic today as when it was written in 1959. Predicting a sexual epidemic such as AIDS that would consume and ravish our culture. It's almost like you can feel it's throbbing pulse through every syllable uttered. Not for everyone has strong graphic episodes that become quite numbing!
How did I ever NOT read this throughout all my years of reading! Patton is an exceptional reader and brings the story and every character to life. It takes you to an era long gone by, in vivid detail. A true American Saga...not to be missed on audiobook.
I fell in love with this book when I was a kid and have read it several times in my life. In many ways it shaped my own concepts of spiritual beliefs, of living in a calm settled tranquility. I always took away a more profound belief in the existence of Shangri-La, and in many ways the book always seem to transfix me with a mystical power. This audio book did not do this. The reader was very literal in the way he approached and read this timeless classic. The characters become somewhat cynical, lifeless and cold. All the elements of mystery where gone or missing. There was no sense of beauty of this extraordinary place and time. Yes time was suspended, but it was in the long drawn out reading of the reader. Finally half way through the recording I had to increase the play speed to 1.25 to get finish it.
The reader seems to lack enthusiasm in reading and does not seem very interested in the story he is trying to relate. Same tone with same rhythm. Very uninteresting story. Gave it a 2 hour try and could not get into it.
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