Yes. I love Nick Hornby's books, and this is probably my favorite. The concept of the story is ridiculous -- strangers meeting at their simultaneous suicide attempts, and becoming friends -- but it really works!
Hornby does a great job with character development, making the reader feel both sympathetic and unsympathetic toward this oddball cast of losers. It's a group whose members are completely dissimilar (wealthy, poor, older, younger, famous, unknown, love, unloved) with only one thing in common -- that they want to end their lives.
The conversations between the characters are poignant and hilarious, following their own rules that they won't try to prevent each other from committing suicide. After all, it's awkward to make plans to meet in the future, if you're not sure whether you'll be alive.
I read the paperback of this book, and just loved it. The audio version does not disappoint. The readers' accents are great (various British and American), although when first starting to listen, it takes quite a while to easily identify all of the different characters and recall their storyline.
This is a clever book with a lot of heart. Who knew that a book about wanting to die could make a listener appreciate life?
Add more substance. It seemed that most of this book was a rehash of stuff from his show, without presenting any new ideas. It's a very short book as it is, so fresh concepts would be appreciated. Also some of the sidebar "skits" were not at all interesting or clever and seemed especially juvenile, which made me want to fast forward through an already short book. .
Probably not, but an equivalent would be to watch several episodes of the Colbert Report.
Stephen Colbert is an entertaining performer, and could make almost any book enjoyable. However, the way he performed it was the best thing about the book -- the content does not really stand alone as a book.
This read was educational and academic (in a positive sense), about an event in American history that has largely been covered up or forgotten, ever since it occurred nearly 200 years ago. It was quite fascinating to learn about the reasons this slave revolt was not "reported" accurately at the time, and the political undercurrents that made these events remain a tiny footnote in the history of slavery and our nation. While difficult to hear some of the daily horrors of slave life, at times I found myself rooting for the rebels, especially those who had earlier been African warriors with deadly experience in warfare before being captured and brought to New Orleans area plantations. The author does a good job of placing the reader right there in time as events played out, including the genuine terror the plantation owners felt, and the seemingly impossible optimism that the slaves felt -- that they could successfully overthrow the landowners and gain freedom for themselves and their families.
This is an enjoyable Grisham read, perhaps less technical than some of his earlier books.
The performer was very believeable and I'd be pleased to listen to more of his recordings.
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