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.
Really, there is nothing else to say. This is a flawless piece of writing and a flawless rendition of it.
This light tale of a lonely man with Asperger's who decides he needs a wife is engaging. He has a few antediluvian views about women, coupled with absurdly high standards, but he is so earnest that it's hard to hold either against him. His evolution is as endearing as his attempts to understand it.
I'm looking forward to the sequel, and I hope the same man narrates it.
The narrator is terrific--emotional and funny and a master of accents (at least, she convinced me). The story is interesting and personal, as memoirs at their best are. It is evocative and informative, and made me want to travel to Africa immediately.
This writer and her husband joined the world of the expats in remote locations who go to make a difference in the lives of the people living in the countries they visit, in this case, Uganda. She is compassionate and insightful, and yet from time to time she makes observations that seem to lack in both, of the what-is-the-matter-with-these-people-anyway variety, acknowledging their poverty and the corruption of their government yet simultaneously frustrated that they can't just stand up and rise above it.
However, that said, it is clear that her heart is in the right place, and given the instability of the region and the vast differences between the American culture (and what we take for granted) and the Ugandans' culture (and what they not only take for granted but also accept), she draws a remarkable and positive picture.
I'm a bit mystified why so many people seem to be expending so much energy loathing this book. I found it to be poetic, horrifying, funny. His descriptions of living with, and nearly dying of, cancer, are hideous, and they reached me on a cellular level. So far, I and most of my circle have escaped this torment, but I know it's only a matter of time, and this author has spared us nothing in the way of what we can expect. That he went through it and survived is a miracle.
His observations--about family, love, sex, music, art, poetry--are lovely and informative and hilarious and excruciating and personal and yet universal. That said, I admit that once in a while I found it a bit self-involved, but what writing isn't? What good writer isn't? This one will learn to remove his visible self, I'm sure. He's too good not to.
I must say that I didn't read it--I listened to it, thanks to audible.com--and so I may have to give some extra credit to the brilliant Edoardo Ballerini, who read the book to me (and it felt that way--he read it to *me*). My advice is to listen to this book. Don't read it. Let it happen in your ears.
A winning combo! Between the self-obsessed minimally talented creature at the center of this romp (not to mention the hangers-on) and the unfortunate fact that there are people who actually care about twits like her (can you say Kardashian?) is a very funny story, brilliantly narrated by Stephen Hoye, who does accents and the subtleties of characters like a chameleon. I adore this guy, and I'll listen to pretty much any book he is generous enough to narrate. And that I can get a Hiaasen book with this man reading it? JKMN!
The always biting and hilarious Mr. Hiassen has created another bunch of unique characters and turned them loose in the Everglades. he has an unmatched eye for detail and an ear for perfect dialogue. This may be his funniest book yet.
Stephen Hoye's flawless narration, complete with different voices and accents, brings out the best in what is already the best. Who could ask for anything more?
A first-class narrator, some very funny character sketches, and descriptions of early seventies fashion and interior design that are truly cringe-worthy make this piece of fluff worth a listen.
I never liked Jerry Lewis, and I'm not old enough to remember the team, but Stephen Hoye's narration makes me want to go and find some old video to see what all the fuss was about. He manages to sound more like Martin and Lewis than they did.
This is, as the subtitle indicates, a love story, and who knows how accurate it is, but it's a picture of a long-lost time, and a tour de force performance.
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.
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