When I decided to listen to The Flamethrowers I was guardedly hopeful that the world Rachel Kushner was brazened enough to tackle, the world of gritty, downtown New York in the 1970’s, would live up to my expectations. Expectations set high since I am long time resident of lower Manhattan with an appreciation of art and counter intuitive thinking, both central elements of that place and time. She did not disappoint. Ms. Kushner’s knowledge of art, the people and places that made up the scene and the meticulous research of events swirling in the 70’s is spot on. This allowed her to recreate with accuracy the mood of deserted cobblestoned streets and dilapidated lofts, populated by colorfully independent, smart and destructive urban nomads.
Ms. Kushner is not only an imaginative story teller weaving truths with flights of fantasies but she has the ability to write in loving prose beautifully rendering even the grimy haunts of counterculture New York as it teeters on the edge of anarchy and bankruptcy.
The story shifts gears as smoothly as a high performance motorcycle as it speeds across the salt flats from New York to Italy and the South Pacific. To enhance the mood of the 70’s, she creates a loosely structured plot like time itself, made up of rivulets of events that swirl and mingle into the larger river of time and history. This coupled with the sultry voice of narrator Christina Traister, giving life to Reno, our guide on this odyssey as she shares her experiences with the cool, objectivity of an anthropologist makes The Flamethrowers an entoxicating motorcycle ride that speeds us out of a place of conformity to a world of intellectual possibilities. This is a ride with all the excitement and uncertainty of the open road. A ride worth taking.
This book could have been better researched. It missed a great opportunity to delve into the complexities of the issues surrounding our relationship with the environment.
Yes, the best complement that I can give a book is that I read over and over. I have read it three times.
That we do not have a life but we are life, a part of the universal life. The book has helped me calm my spirit and let go of ego.
Hearing the voice escape from the prison of autism.
Maybe, it could be a vehicle for building sympathy and understanding of this terrible infliction.
Absolutely! It is more than just an entertaining story. It is a window into a culture that we often see in two dimensions through the filter of governmental and extremist actions.
Alif and the girl next door of course.
Sanjiv's performance was spot on. He is an excellent linguist capable of many varied accents. He had studied the text and was spot on with his reading, building to climaxes and softening to a whisper at all the write times.
Yes, as a light hearted read.
The story ended in a "and the all lived happily ever after" moment. I would like to see how the aliens and humans learned to live together after the aliens came down in mass, not just after the first contact alien came down.
One of the top ten aubiobooks that I have listened to.
Ms. Tartt's portrayal of the hopelessness of a childhood adrift in the no man's land of suburban Las Vegas is poignant. The world created by Ms. Tartt is vivid and inhabited by complex characters brought to life in full human dimension. A plausible glimpse into the underworld of art theft, the desperate lives of unwanted street kids, and the transformative power of art. Well worth the time.
The versatility of David Pittu’s narration, with his range of accents and voice tone, does this sprawling book the justice it deserves.
Top 10 nonfiction
Blink or any Gladwell book. He has a unique and engaging way of presenting complex information in a way that makes it crystal clear.
Yes, all of his books are great, including this one.
It made me laugh.
When will his next book come out?!
Incredible inside view
The full access that Woodward was granted and his even handed reporting.
Direct conversations between the President and the Speaker of the House.
We get frustrated watching the creation of important legislation from the outside but our frustration is nothing like that of the people engaged in the dance.
Woodward still has his mojo.
Great history read
Learning that Grant had to send troops in to Alabama so that elected officials could take office in 1870s. Similar to the integration of the University of Alabama in the 1960s. Attitudes are slow to change and history repeats itself.
We know so much about the time leading up to the Civil War and the time of the Civil War but not as much about Reconstruction. This book put a personal face on that period and has given me greater respect for President Grant.
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