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Cherrie Weatherford

Member Since 2004

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 486 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • On Beauty

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Zadie Smith
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    Overall
    (548)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (134)

    Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.

    Sarah says: "two thumbs up"
    "Somewhat Disappointed"
    Overall

    After reading the listener's reviews, some literary reviews, and learning that On Beauty was shortlisted for the Mann Booker Prize,I chose this for my previous "listen" only to be disappointed by the plot contrivances. Zadie Smith can write beautifully and with humor, but she has no qualms about manipulating the plot so the characters go to the places she needs them to be (e.g., Jerome to England to intern with Kipps, no less; The Kipps's to Wellington; the Belseys back to England for Christmas; etc.). There are too many coincidences for me to suspend my disbelief for long. Also, what makes Howard Belsey so appealing to beautiful poet laureates and young, hot students? He is characterized as one dry, repressed academician who can't even get enough students to attend his classes or finish a book so he can achieve tenure. On a positive note, there are many other interesting characters in the book. Also, the narration is quite good.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Accidental

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ali Smith
    • Narrated By Heather O'Neill, Stina Nielsen, Jeff Woodman, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (30)

    Barefoot, thirtysomething Amber shows up at the door of a Norfolk cottage that the Smarts are renting for the summer. Amber doesn't know them, but she talks her way in, telling lies, and stays for dinner. Eve, an author, thinks Amber is a student her husband is sleeping with. Michael, an English professor, knows only that her car broke down. Daughter Astrid, age 12, thinks she's her mother's friend. Son Magnus, 17, thinks she's an angel.

    Isabelle says: "I do not recommend"
    "A Worthwhile Challenge"
    Overall

    This is not an easy book, but it is a beautifully crafted novel, well worth the challenge of following a story line that is seldom chronological. Ali Smith does a terrific job of creating a unique "voice" for each of the five characters, and whole chapters are dedicated to their individual points of view. A motif of that which is real juxtaposed to that which is manipulated to appear real runs throughout the novel. The narration is excellent, and I highly recommend this Booker Prize-nominated novel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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