The narrator is unpleasant. His 'female' voice just gave me the creeps! I couldn't listen till the end of this book. I had read glowing reviews of 'Beautiful Ruins' in more than one periodical, and was excited to find this book on Audible. Aside from some lovely descriptions of the Italian coastline and some funny Italian characters (caricatures, maybe I should say), the book is a great disappointment; the story jumps jarringly through time, the Hollywood bits are lame and so sooooo Done Already! like, a million times before, and the American characters are uniformly boring. When I had wondered a couple of times why I was still listening, and if this was anything like reading a novel by that woman who played the 'bad guy' on Dynasty, I gave up and got my money back.
The author of this book is very proud of how unconventional she is, and thought that would make a great story. I have to wonder who published this book, as it is simply awful, deadly boring. Apparently the author finds her story fascinating, but I'm not sure why anyone else would. Unsettled and confused as a teen in the war-torn Middle East, she turns to partying, drugs, sex. Good gracious. The account is just a dry recitation of the facts; I did this, then I did this, then this happened, then I did that, then I did this.....
Complete disclosure: I did not finish this book. Way, way, way toooooo boring.
Horrifying story about a big city hospital suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Flooding, no power, no sanitation, almost no help from the outside; that was an awful situation. But it seems to me that the most devastating problem this hospital had was a confused chain of command and a really mystifying lack of common sense among the staff. The facility's 'Disaster Plan' was incomplete, so staff didn't know who had authority to lead; the guy from corporate HQ? Chief of Ops? Chief of Staff? Disaster Coordinator? the patients' doctors, the head nurses, the security guys? Everyone's either barking orders or pointing fingers at other people, and the stupidity of it is almost unbelievable. Amidst the suffering, of which the descriptions are truly heart-rending, no one lower on the food chain, meaning the docs and nurses, dares to make a move without orders from someone else. No common sense is employed. Toilets are not working, but continue to be used until they overflow with waste. What?!? No one thought to line wastebaskets with biohazard bags and replace them as necessary? how simple is that?!?! as the building filled with the aroma of feces in the 100-degree heat, no one could even decide to do that?!?
When the story of this horror, and the euthanizing of weak patients, was publicized, I sympathized with the doctors and nurses and bought their whole story about 'trying their best to care for' the patients. Now I think they should have been charged with murder; the ones who injected the fatal doses, the pharmacists who abetted them, and all the staff who had failed to start hydrating IVs and give regular medicines because someone who wasn't even on the floor had issued an order not to do so. They were 'just following orders'.
This is a sickening, infuriating story. The narration was awful, sounding for much of the book like a monotone NPR newsreader.
A tightly-wound guy sets off on a road trip with a holy man from Russia instead of with his sister, as he'd planned. It's very funny, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and the serene acceptance of ---everything!---by the Rimpoche is so perfectly described that just reading about it made me feel the calm. The narrator is perfect. The story is perfect. I loved every word of this!
oh, this audiobook is awful! Read by the author in a deliberate, listless, extremely careful monotone (someone must have told her to slow down her reading and she went nuts with that advice). Much as I wanted to hear the content, which subject fascinates me, I simply could not keep my mind from straying as I listened. It's a great soporific. Listen at bedtime and you'll zonk right out.
Buy the book. Read it.
what a triumph of meticulous historical reportage combined with a novelist's keen eye for the important threads of a story and how to weave them together into a fascinating saga. Again, a thoroughly disgusting and terrifying view of early 'medicine', and the way doctors 'practiced' on patients. By now, I have read enough of that horror to last me a lifetime. But I have become a true admirer of both President Garfield and his biographer after this book. Enjoyed it immensely, and learned a tremendous amount of history.
This book begs for editing, as the author writes conversations that creep so slowly they become silly, and it sometimes seems like she was getting paid by the word. THAT said....
Give this book a chance, and it becomes a fascinating portrait of a smart, talented and accomplished woman, daughter of a politician and a suffragette, who marries the man of her dreams and is immediately strapped into the back seat; in the plane, in their life, and in the public's eye. Hard enough, in the 1930's, to be a woman who wants to use her brain. Add to that being married to the world's first superstar, hounded by media worldwide, envied by all for her 'luck', and being expected to be the perfect Mrs. while her own considerable skills as aviatrix and author are ignored. A dead baby, a Nazi-loving husband, secret wives and children in other countries, and a woman who takes back her power and her life without any bitterness, caring for her husband as he dies of cancer. It really becomes a great, big, generational saga.
As the author notes, writing a historical novel has an advantage over a biography; the author is not confined to depicting what happened when, but can insert emotions. The 'whys' of what happened and when can be explored, using diaries and info from friends and family. That is one of the reasons why I enjoy historical novels more than history, which I do love.
"Molly Ringwald"--yeah, I had preconceptions, but I had a credit on my account and I had read good reviews, so I tried it. This book blew me away, and not just because it was this particular actor's fine literary debut. Each story on its own is true and touching, a perfect bubble in time. Well done. As you read on, it will take a minute or two into each story before you realize who the characters are, where we are in their lives, whose perspective we are seeing. It is so much fun, so surprising, so perfectly fitting together into a great 'novel'. I LOVED 'When it Happens to You', and I will enjoy listening to it again. The author herself is an enjoyable narrator.
I have loved Jane Austen's works for many years, but never studied them as literature. This author wrote his dissertation on Austen, and in doing so learned a lot about himself and what a shallow jerk he was (like some men in Austen's books). More interesting to me were his scholarly riffs on Austen's characters, but he makes his journey from boy to man interesting, too.
I AM listening to it a second time, just to lose myself in the gorgeous descriptions of country, customs, and love that is transcendent, read in the golden honeyed tones of Cassandra Campbell. Beautiful narration, and a fantastically beautiful story.
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