I was captured by the premise of this book as I thought it might be similar to The Time Traveler's Wife. It definitely was not! The annoying omnisience of describing in details one's own conception as well as the writer's self pitying whining instead of getting on with the story reminded me of Middlesex. The reader's voice irritated me with a subtle smacking and a know-it-all intonation that was just unbearable to me. I didn't finish this one.
I have had this audiobook for a couple of years now. I keep it on my ipod and listen to it often, whether all the way through or just random parts. Tim Robbins makes Fitzgerald's prose sound like music, and every time I listen I am amazed by Fitzgerald's genius.
I have to state up front, I live in the DFW area and have a degree in fashion design. Liking this book, I am sure, has less to do with plot and more to do with pondering similarities of some of the characters to actual people/companies and imagining those people and businesses in the book. Also, it was fun because I knew exactly where the characters were most of the time, i.e. stuck in traffic on 75 or going up and down the steep hills at Fossil Rim.
I liked Dallas. She is that perfect blend of airhead and genius. But I was disappointed in the choice of narrator. She definitely is not from Texas. This isn't a suspenseful or serious mystery. It has more in common with Shopaholic than Dave Robicheaux, but I liked Dallas better than Shopaholic. The story's conclusion had some flaws but nothing that ruined the book for me.
Funny, serious, sweet and silly. This book didn't have a disappointing or dull moment. I loved all the characters and could really identify with Pippa's need to know her birth parents. A book on this subject could have been too pathetic or painful, but Alison delivers it perfectly --she delves into difficult situations but with a sense of humor and a sunny disposition.
There are so many unique characters in this book, and the author somehow manages to give each character a voice in her amazing narration. Highly recommended.
I like occasional light reads, love a good mystery and enjoy far-fetched plots (such as monsters in lakes), so I thought I could not go wrong with this selection. Not true! I almost quit reading, yelled in frustration at the stupidity and immaturity of the main character and the inability of the author to keep her story line believable. The stories from the past were enjoyable and interesting but hard to follow in audiobook format. I did download the family tree, which did help.
In the end I could have cared less what happened to this selfish, disrespectful, immature character and felt that the reasons for the monster and for her father's hidden identity were not supported by the plot. The parts just didn't come together to make a satisfying read/listen.
I enjoyed this book and have a new respect for Alan Alda, the person. I particularly enjoyed reading about his early struggles and the side jobs he took to support his dream. I found his insights into his life to be honest, especially concerning his parents. I liked that he didn't play up his successes but really wrote about the growth and thought processes involved in his life and his decisions. At first I had a twinge of disappointment that Alan Alda didn't read the book himself, but I believe it gives more objectivity to his story. This isn't a book about the public life of an entertainer. It is a story of a man with a dream and a wonderful attitude towards life.
This is a book I will listen to again. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Ms. Fadiman's quirky family. I vicariously searched used book stores with her and polled my own reading friends regarding what they would consider to be their "odd shelf." The reader, Suzanne Toren, adds just the right touch of humor and sophistication to make this book a very enjoyable listen! Listening to this book reminded me of the common bonds among readers and at the same time, the uniqueness of our own stories.
This book far exceeded my expectations. It sounded like an interesting story, but I soon found that the interaction among the characters is as incredible as the plot itself. The author weaves a tapestry of significance in even the mundane events of the book and builds upon that with the narrative and the characters. I couldn't stop listening to this book. Her characters get into hard situations, most of them which seem to be insurmountable. They respond so humanly and realistically that I was kept guessing what was going to happen. The ending was no let down. I read many books but can name few that have an outstanding insight into human nature, multi-faceted characters AND the ability to carry out a satisfying story as well. This is one of those books.
The people in this book prove the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction! This book gives such in-depth descriptions of events and personalities that, although the book really focuses on the 1920's and cannot be all-inclusive given the number of characters covered, I feel as though I have a very good sense of who they were. It was heartbreaking, funny and gossipy. I highly recommend this book!
Although many of these words won't be used in daily conversation, the definitions of these words has been helpful in listening to or reading books, as I have come across many of these words in various books. (Did the authors of those books listen to this book?) The conversational style is just superfluous at times but overall the readers do a great job at reinforcing the definitions. I was able to remember definitions upon hearing the words months after listening to this book.
Of the Thursday Next series, this is my favorite. I haven't laughed out loud this much while enjoying a book in a long time. I would give the book a 10 for its overall witty fun. I felt the ending was too muddled and bogged down an otherwise perfect book. I, too, missed Ms. Sastre's narration and almost opted to read the book instead of listen. However, I decided to keep an open mind, enjoyed the narration for the most part and am glad I listened!
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