I had no idea this was such a wonderful book. It's long been on my list of "should read but have no intention of reading."
It's a tremendously wise and funny soap opera, as well as a fascinating look into an interesting time of transition in England, and I listened to it all over again the moment I finished it. The reader did an excellent job at suggesting the personality of the main characters without over-acting (always my preference), yet having some fun with some of the odder side characters.
I can see why this has been such an important book.
Every little bit of The Stench of Honolulu is too much. The protagonist is the worst human being ever, and it's told entirely from his perspective. Every plot device is ridiculous, every character is an over-the-top cartoon. Every "fact" is made up, including everything about Hawaii and Honolulu. Every sentence contains a joke, usually a really dumb one. It's read by the author. It's very short, which is good because it's so intensely funny you can't take too much of it at once.
Paul Noble spent so long talking about how important it was to forget what you were learning so that you go on to remember later, that I totally relaxed. And by god, after forgetting everything he taught me, I started to actually be able to speak french! Sounds crazy but it was quite wonderful. Highly recommend this method.
I've read nearly all of Murakami's works, and am a fan. Having heard of 1Q84 for years before it was released in the US, I have been awaiting the opportunity to read it.
I was not disappointed.
The book ebbs and flows, and partakes of all of his tics and twitches: magic animals, the minutiae of day to day living interspersed with unsettling bursts of magic, stories in stories. Cats. It could have been annoying. It could have been slow. But, like the characters, picking up the book was like being on a train that switched tracks to a different universe. Even after nearly 1,200 pages I was sorry to leave.
It did take a few pages to warm to the readers, but their disparate styles meshed with the book's tension.
In my second reading I found things I hadn't seen the first time. In my second hearing I found things I hadn't heard the first time.
I will read, and listen, to this book yet again.
This is the best reading of ANY book I have yet come across. The fact that it is a wonderful book helps, but Martin Jarvis is a one-man show. He does a remarkable job with a huge cast of characters, without making it seem too "theatrical." If you are looking to read or reread a classic- don't miss this one.
I think I like Emma just as much as Pride and Prejudice - it might actually be funnier. Or maybe I just think so because Prunella Scales (Mrs. Faulty of Faulty Towers) does a spot-on reading. I wish she read other Jane Austen - she couldn't do a better job to this wonderful book.
I was always nervous about trying to read Ulysses. Would I understand it? Could I wade through it? And then someone said to me "you know, it's a very funny book, which is really wonderful when read out loud." So I thought I'd give it a try. And it is wonderful - much better than I had expected. Jim Norton does an incredible job with the accents and the snatches of song and the humor. I admit to not understanding a certain amount of it, but I don't care. It's like listening to music - the language is so beautiful and Joyce has so much fun with sounds, I hardly care what it's about. I just love it.
To be fair, I have to admit that I had previously just listened to "pride & prejudice" and had found that to be a wonderful experience, both for the book itself and for the reader (irene sutcliffe).
I was a little disappointed in "sense & sensibility" on both counts. Nadia May insisted on giving the two main characters (Elinor & Marianne) girlish, high-pitched voices, which deterred me from taking them seriously as they deserved. That the book was written when Austen was very young is remarkable, and yet it does feel like the work of a very young writer, a little confusing and a little unsatisfying.
All in all, I was glad to hear it, and to get a deeper understanding of English life from nearly 2 centuries ago.
when a great book meets a wonderful reader, this is what you get.
I never would have imagined myself intrigued by battles and descriptions of warfare strategy, but I listened to this twice through, I loved it so. Not being a scholar of greek history, I can't know how many liberties were taken, and I don't care. By any account, Alexander was remarkable, and this account really brings him to life.
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