As a longtime admirer of the two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) of Apple, I've seen countless interviews with each man. I can bring their voices to mind with ease. Therefore, the narrator, though doing a serviceable job perhaps, just served to distance me from the material. Steve Wozniak strikes me as one of the kindest, gentlest, most genuine human beings I've ever known of. Many things that would've seemed simply ebullient, excited, enthusiastic when spoken by the man himself, tend to come off sounding boastful, egotistical or petty in another's voice. Wozniak's accomplishments in technology were huge, unprecedented and undeniable. I can help feeling that this reading of his book is a poor tribute to a great man.
I was intrigued by this title because of the author's early connection with Jobs at Apple. I hoped for some new and seldom-before-heard information. There is some of that here, but hardly what one would wish for and often frustratingly short of details. The book seems dashed off with little to no editorial oversight and is consequently rife with errors that even the most cursory fact-checking would have brought to light. Steve Jobs gave the Commencement Address at Stanford University in 2005, yet the author repeatedly refers to this event as having taken place in 2009. Video of that address was uploaded to YouTube by the 'StanfordUniversity' account on March 7, 2008, so draw your own conclusions. Just one example, but it seriously undermines the author's credibility. If he can't get this right, what else is just plain wrong? I had to keep fighting off the feeling that this was just an opportunistic exercise intended to cash-in on the well-deserved fame of Mr. Jobs by way of a long-ago association. Had it been released subsequent to his death, my distaste at this would have kept me away. As it was, it nagged at me throughout. Also, worth noting that the book is fawning toward Mr. Jobs in the extreme. It borders on the saccharine throughout.
Finally, worth noting that the narration is only adequate. Sometimes I felt the reader's intonation or cadence was jarringly different than what I perceived the writer's tone to be.
All-in-all, a mediocre affair and a slight disappointment.
This book is a harrowing experience from beginning to end, no question about it. It is an unrelentingly bleak cataloging of human cruelty. There are moments that are very hard to get through. Moments when you must stop and catch your breath before going on.
I was utterly taken aback by several scenes in the novel, horrors that I knew at once I would never forget. Here are depictions of depravity so raw and visceral they leave the reader virtually poleaxed; stunned and gasping.
And then, at the end, I was equally shocked by something Kosinski says in his brief afterword.
He mentions that at a family gathering some years after the publication of his novel, family members from Eastern Europe accused him of downplaying the atrocities that occurred in their villages. Downplaying indeed.
Be forewarned. This one is a tough listen. It is however, a remarkable novel and justifiably considered a classic not just of Holocaust literature but in the larger sense as well.
Darkly poetic. Starkly beautiful. Mesmerizing and brutal. It is difficult to look away once the novel's melancholy spell takes hold.
Fred Berman's narration seemed entirely appropriate to me. Lightly accented, but easily understandable. Never overdone; never distracting. All in all, a very good fit for an undeniably difficult but worthwhile listen.
James Dickey's book is a legitimate classic and just as potent and drunk on language as the day it was published. I had read it three times previously and am a huge admirer of both the author's poetry and his three novels. There's nothing revelatory in this interpretation, but the choice of Will Patton as the reader was truly inspired. I understand he was born in South Carolina and his voice brings a ring of truth to every last word. His deliberate cadences are the perfect complement to Dickey's feverish prose. To everyone involved in this production, "Well done!". This is a remarkable audiobook. Thank you!
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