(I have read this book and have read the Watson Trilogy multiple times, but I have just now found this exciting audio program.)
This is a great book!
The Watson Trilogy is superb and this "retelling" is excellent.
There is so much here: the ecological history of a rich frontier wilderness; a disturbing depiction, which is palpable, of the psychological and physical brutality of turn-of-the-century racism in the deep south; and the strangely affecting tragedy of an ambitious and determined man who murdered too often and sometimes too easily trying to mark his way through the wild lands into the modern era.
There's real beauty here, too. It is cast with humor and poetry, and it is a tale told through manifold voices recalling Watson in the Ten Thousand Islands, then via his son investigating the history to find peace of mind, and finally, the intense first-person narration of Watson himself.
This is Matthiessen's masterwork. And that an artist of his caliber has rewritten an already superb trilogy (taking nine years to do so!), bringing the story back into the tight focus he intended in the first place, and for it to be this exceptional novel, places it securely on the shelf of great American Fiction--alongside Twain, Faulkner and Morrison (in my canon!). Shadow Country is a triumphant accomplishment! Bravo, Mr. Matthiessen!
The audio narrator of this novel seems quite capable and I look forward to revisiting this complex, enriching, and entertaining novel audibly!
I was in the mood for something sexy, perhaps a bit titillating, too. After I listened to the sample I was enticed to hear more. What a nice surprise!
The readers are terrific. The personalities of the diarists come off as authentic and honest. And even while I suppose that some of this is exaggerated, I found the diarists to express familiar desires, passions, insecurities and vulnerabilities. Many of the writers describe how their relationships work or don't in relation to sex. The context for their sexual lives is rich. I feel like I can understand some of the kinds of relationships and what drives them very well, even though I've never experienced these types of relationships myself
Also, what's great about this collection is the range of people writing across the spectrum of age and sexual preference. Ultimately, this audio book reminded me of what a gift it is to be alive and to be hungry!
Hearing Diane Keaton pronounce tule fog as "tool" fog and Merced as "mers-ed" (emphasis on the first syllable rather than on the last) was a little jarring. Aren't there editors involved to help the readers pronounce the words correctly? Keaton is a good reader for Didion's slightly smug tone here, but those errors were disappointing.
I've watched this play, read this play, and now I have listened to this play in my car on my way to and from work. With tears of laughter obstructing my vision I was a road hazard! DUIOTS!
More dramatized Tom Stoppard, Audible!
Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. I started reading the book and wanted the audible version for my commute. What a surprise to hear the superb voice of Ron McLarty! I sort of recognized his name when I selected this title, but it wasn't until I listened that I recognized the voice from one of my all-time-favorite recorded books, Steinbeck's Travels with Charley. McLarty's reading made this Pynchon audiobook a great companion on the road.
Inherent Vice is great fun. A wonderfully large cast of characters, a heartfelt nostalgia for good hippie karma, rich cultural allusions and historical Los Angeles combine to make this book one of my favorites. I have read most of Pynchon's stuff, and I don't care much about where this fits into his oeuvre--as better than or as good as, or not. What matters to me is that what I have always liked about Pynchon's work, the language, the pop-culture playfulness, the paranoia, the deep conspiracy of control, is utilized in Inherent Vice to spin the detective genre in complex and delightful ways.
What a blast!
Why would the producers of this "audiobook" overlay loud music at the end so that you can barely make out what Wallace said but then lower the volume of the music when they read off the production credits? Maddening!!
The moment I heard Waters talking about this book (last year on KQED's Forum) I hoped it would be released on Audible. How cool to get to hear the book read by the author! Lucky day! I'm going to enjoy this one!
Now that they have upgraded the sound quality of this I can highly recommend it.
It is an interview with only Matthiessen speaking. There are wonderful moments of revelation both of his life as an author and as a Zen student/teacher. Great insight!
This is a good companion for those reading The Snow Leopard.
While the abridgment is probably necessary given an essay like "Host," I was hoping to hear "Authority and American Usage." The conversational tone of that essay would fit this medium so very well--except for the nasally footnotes: but then, how do you handle audio footers?
One great feature of audible is that if you've purchased this already, you get to download this hugely improved version!
I can only hope they do the same for "Terrors of Pleasure."
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