Twin Bridges, MT, United States | Member Since 2013
I've heard recommendations for this book for ages and finally got around to listening to it. It was just as good as the recommendations.
After not finishing Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (one of three books I've not finished, ever), I wanted something very light, fun and not self-absorbed. But when I first started The Unique Mrs. Pollifax, I thought, "Oh no! What was I thinking?!" This book was written in 1966! I imagined that it was written for all the house-bound women that Betty Friedan was writing for; the ones who read rather than watched soap operas.
The Betty Friedan refugees may have been the intended audience but I enjoyed the book. Certain aspects of the book were rather obvious, such as where the microfilm had been stashed. But the travels and many of the characters were unexpected. (Carstairs should be renamed Cardboard.)
If you're looking for something light with amusing adventure, take a spin with Mrs. Pollifax. Then you can get back to the serious history and literature.
We first got this book when my oldest daughter (now a freshman in high school) was in 5th grade. She loved it!! Listened to it over and over. Somehow we lost the copy. But my youngest daughter is now in 5th grade and we decided to get another copy for her. It's nice to have these books passed on between sisters.
We thank you Mr. Van Munching!
I really enjoyed this perspective on history, particularly the Truman-Eisenhower years. I think this type of book is much more digestible in an audio format and Bob Walter did an excellent job. I was surprised that there wasn't much information about Carter's presidency but that may have been due to the "Club" perspective.
Overall, it was very good.
What a terrific story!! I really enjoyed the main character, Cora, and how she was transformed by her experience as a chaperone to the wild Louise Brooks. Elizabeth McGovern was a marvelous narrator. I'm looking forward to more books by Ms. Moriarty and hope that Downton Abbey won't take up so much of Ms. McGovern's time that she can't narrate some more choice novels like The Chaperone. It was a great experience.
You may need to notch up the attention span while listening to The Tiger's Wife but I found it to be very worthwhile. The story jumps around a bit between history, myth and the present day but it's very entertaining and thought-provoking. I liked the characters, particularly the grandfather. It was very intriguing and I might listen to it again.
The only thing that saved this book from 1-star is that I finished it. I can generally find something redeeming in most every book but not this one. If I have been too subtle, my recommendation is that you not buy this book.
Marjorie is, at best, one dimensional for 99.9% of the book and the 0.1% section where she isn't a piece of moving wallpaper isn't worth the wait. By the time I was halfway through the book, I just wanted her to give up and "marry the Butcher!" (Sorry, that was Fiddler on the Roof.)
Most of the male characters in the book are pretty interesting, except for their lifelong servitude to the alter of Marjorie. However, even the dynamic Noel becomes annoyingly whiny after the halfway point.
I could not wait for this book to end. If I wasn't such a cheap Scot, I would have shut if off and moved on.
I have enjoyed many novels set in this period (1929-1945) plus a university class on the period, Having earned a Pulitzer for this work, I figured it would be worth investing the time (32 hours!) and it has been. I've taken a couple breaks to listen to lighter material but keep coming back for another 8-10 hour stint with this history. I think the author was very even-handed with his praise and criticism of the major players of the period. Kennedy is a terrific writer and researcher.
It's important to have a solid understanding of this period of our history as we deal with the ongoing problems.facing of our economy and government. Before listening to the history twisters on the left or right, check out this book for an unprejudiced account of what happened and why.
(I gave the narrator a less than 5 star rating because he speaks too quickly in the early hours of the book. I repeatedly needed to skip back and listen again. This may have been the responsibility of the director.)
I don't generally listen to books twice but I love this story and the narrator is excellent. If you love Austen, Courtenay, the Brontes, or Diane Setterfield, you'll enjoy this book. I loved the characters and the plot is marvelous. Have a few tissues handy at the end.
When I bought this book, I noticed all the negative reviews and decided "what the heck". It was fun, I enjoy hanging out with CH's characters for a few hours, the story wasn't fabulous but it's just fine. I never thought I would make it this far in the series and I will buy book #12. If you want positive/negative details, please check out the other reviews. If you want some encouragement to hang out for a good story with some old friends, I say "Go for it!".
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