This is a really funny book, and there were some really beautiful moments in it, and really, really good characters. I liked it, for the most part, but I really did become invested in Lenore and the whole plot of the book, and I felt really disappointed with such an unclear ending.
David Foster Wallace seems like a wonderful and talented writer, especially for a dude of his age when he wrote this book, but I wish, for a book that has such a wonderful plot and compelling characters, there was just a little less philosophizing and intentional ambiguity and just a little more plot development / resolution.
The narrator, though, does a wonderful job. His reading really brings out the magic of David Foster Wallace's text. When you're just reading the language alone on the page, it's easy to miss how overtly funny lines are like, "'...' said Candy Mandible."
Robert Petkoff really brings all the characters to life really well. Over the last week while I've been reading / listening to the book, I've been quoting different things over and over to myself like, "Jesus shall not want," or, "Special-wecial food," and saying character names like, "...said Peter Abbot," and besides the extremely well named characters, I feel like it's the narration that really makes the book come alive and brings out all the best parts of it.
This is especially true with lines that get repeated throughout the book. I'm not nearly as visually oriented as I am auditory, so when things come up like Dr. Jay saying, "Batter," and "Batter," over and over and over while he's wearing the gas mask, or while Lenore is reading to her regular Grandmother, and she keeps saying, "Roughage," again and again, the narration lets me get so much more into the rhythm of the story and made it very much more enjoyable.
Murakami is always perfect, I think. At least, I really, really like everything I've ever read by Haruki Murakami.
What make this book a little more special was the wonderful narration job by Rupert Degas. His narration is a lot Frank Muller and David Lynch combined, voice quality, like.
His different voices are perfect. He doesn't try to add in a Japanese flavor, but rather takes the Japanese settings and locales and interprets the accents to how they might seem if this novel were taking place in America.
Like when the narrator of the book goes back to his hometown, the different people in the town have a more country-esque flair to their voices.
Too, the way Rupert Degas says the word, "sheep," and the different variations of sheep in this novel is perfect. He buys into this 100 percent and allows us, the readers, to buy in 100 percent, too.
His French accents are incredible, also. When the narrator and his girlfriend are dining in the French restaurant in Tokyo, the dude really does a wonderful job with the menu items.
And the story is wonderful. If you've never read anything by Haruki Murakami, this is as good as any place to start, I guess.
If you have read Murakami before, this is definitely a Haruki Murakami novel.
It's 100 percent wonderful and definitely worth buying and reading and listening too.
I really, really enjoyed this book. The story is, at least I think, absolutely fantastic. The main characters time in Portugal, learning about these other people, is such a great thing to witness.
We never know what could have happened if we'd taken this or that turn in life, and Pascal Mercier does a great job of fleshing that out.
Probably my favorite part of the book is when Gregorius is talking with an old friend of Amadeu and she says something like, "His biggest regret seemed to be that we didn't go to Avila together."
The narrator did a good job. His work with the accents and different European names was really well done.
At times his narration was a little airy, there were times, too, towards the second half of the book, where it kind of carried on and on, and it got a little old hearing the airiness of the narrator's voice talking about tea, but, in a sense, this has more to do with the characters and text the narrator is working with rather than the man himself.
Overall, though, this book is definitely worth reading. Even the scenes of Gregorius riding the train or the way he approaches new languages or translating things into Greek and Latin and Hebrew for fun make this book absolutely worth reading.
This book was wonderful. My favorite professor as an undergrad was from Transylvania and taught a one night a week Russian lit course that I had the privilege to take.
She often said how much she hated post-modernism for it's reliance on theories and etc and etc and etc.
She always brought Mrs. Dalloway into her wonderful lectures and I've always meant to read it since.
The last book I read was The Broom of the System, and it was a pretty good book, but I really found myself pretty disappointed by the end what for all the philosophical this and thats instead of a genuine conclusion.
So, I figured why not? I'll shoot Mrs. Dalloway a chance. I really loved this book. I really, really, really love this book. The characters are brilliant, the different perspectives are brilliant, Virginia Woolf's obvious love and passion for London and England are truly inspiring and beautiful to behold, her overt love for life, at least how it seems in this novel, is absolutely wonderful, I don't know, to me, this book is very close to being perfect.
In a few words, life is life, there is no meaning, no hidden secrets, life is just life in it's many different forms from beautiful, lovely, painful and horrid and beautiful all over again, this book is so wonderful.
The ending too, I thought, was particularly awesome. The last few sentences are masterful.
The narrator, Juliet Stevenson, does a wonderful job. She brings all the characters to life really well, I think. Her narration is very believable and professionally done. It made listening to the book very easy and enjoyable. She has a very cold and very sincere tone all at the same time.
The book, too, was really wonderful for getting a glimpse of life in London after the First World War. Man, I can't recommend this book enough.
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