Joyce Carol Oates is a brilliant writer, and this book doesn't disappoint. But the narrator is juvenile, inept, and a bit patronizing in his reading, to the point where I frankly can't imagine getting through the audio. The story of this family might be engrossing and heartbreaking to many listeners; I am resentful on the author's behalf that this twit's rendition of it may drive them away.
Her "A Widow's Story," on the other hand, was exquisitely read.
A lovely book. Really, it's remarkable that so little of substance has changed since this book came out. The narrator is terrific. The story is affecting and, I'm guessing, will still be relevant in yet another hundred years.
Okay, first of all, I have to admit that I will listen to ANYTHING that Stephen Hoye reads. He's got the brains, the accent, the voice. He doesn't mispronounce or misinterpret. If he got me to listen to this POS, that's proof enough. The book is mildly amusing, for someone who is a) female, and b) doesn't play golf. But Hoye makes it accessible and hilarious. Love that guy. Will I listen to the author's sequels? Not a chance.
I would deny it if someone I know asked me, but just between us, I love this guy's books. They are slick, witty, superficial yet somehow meaningful in a Nicholas Sparks (but with an intellect) sort of way. I loved The Book of Joe and This is Where I Leave You. But what's up with these narrators? Are they just...affordable? Tropper deserves more than this. Scott Brick should have read all of his books. Tropper has earned that.
This is a truly terrifying account of psychopaths and the idea that they are all around us all the time. The narrator is iffy--he mispronounces a few words--but what else is new? Audible seems to not care about those details.
You'll find yourself going through the list of people you know and comparing them to the list of symptoms in this chilling book. Fascinating.
This story is sweet and funny and touching (but not corny) in all the right ways. It's smart and just biting enough to keep the attention of adults smart enough to appreciate it. Jill Clayburgh isn't its best feature, but my guess is that she was reading to kids and not to their mothers. All is forgiven. A first-rate YA book.
I loved her music as a teenager and love her music now. I was tickled to find this book here, and not even a bit disappointed. Loved every minute of it, and no one else could read it and do it justice. Brava!
Joan Didion's writing is fabulous, insightful, spare. She deserves much better treatment than she gets from Diane Keaton, whom I love as an actress, but who is NOT a good reader. Her mispronunciations are legion, and it is painfully obvious that she is doing this reading cold. But frankly, I blame Audible's obvious desire to whip through these recordings rather than taking the time to produce something flawless--which both the author and the reader deserve. Would it kill them to go back and dub a few mistakes? Didion deserves better.
Still worth a listen, though, because even though Keaton's not so hot, Didion is that good.
There are aspects of this book that are compelling, mostly the beginning where, as another reviewer points out, we are taken into the grimier corners of Philadelphia and the home of a kid with a loathsome drunk of a father.
There was a sense, to me, of the author standing back at some distant, safe remove, telling us what happened instead of showing us, unlike the Glass Castle (a much more moving memoir), which carried the reader right there along with the author every step of the way.
To be honest, I fell asleep before the end, and I couldn't be bothered to go back for the last hour to hear how it all finally turns out, in part because once our hero is an adult, his story loses interest for me. In much larger part, though, I could not stand the narrator for another minute. His voice is good, but I had the definite feeling that he had not taken the time to read the book once through before going live, so to speak, and I find that irritating. Also, he mispronounces a lot of words, which is a constant refrain of mine. WHY are the publishers so unconcerned about this?!
The description of street life was fascinating, but the author spends the whole book preening about her street smarts on the one hand, and her perennial victimhood on the other. She pays lip service to recovery and taking responsibility, but never lets go of how she didn't know how this happened, and she just never imagined that that was going on under her nose, and explaining that if she hadn't made a wad of cash from some scheme or another, someone else would have done it -- all in all letting herself off very lightly as she draped herself with diamonds and fur given to her by those thugs she kept marrying. PLEASE. And then, to stay out of prison, she dumps them and all their friends out. It is pretty clear that had she not been faced with doing time, she would still be ensconced on Staten Island financing her drug operations and washing blood from her current man's clothes (in between shopping trips and pretending she had never had any other choices in life).
However, as so many of us do, I find books about the scum of society hard to put down, and this one is no exception. In large part, it's the performance of the narrator that held my attention. Her reading, with the Brooklyn accents, is terrific.
Report Inappropriate Content