Wow! I'm a Bengali immigrant from India. It's amazing on how may levels this book hit home. While Jhumpa Lahiri explores the challenges of being an immigrant and the conflicts that arise from being born to immigrant parents, she provides intimate and unromanticized insight into the wonders of a bi-cultural experience. Nice!
I'm a huge Jon Stewart fan who always TIVO's his half-hour shows. If Jon Stewart claims that he has a smart college-educated audience (his response to the nut Bill O'Reilly) why has he dumbed down the book with such an *abridged* version of it. He mistakenly thinks audio book readers have a short attention-span. To a reader who regularly reads 16-hour audio books AND who reads everyday, I was a bit annoyed that they choose to produce a book that is less than 4 hours (a day?s commute and a couple of workouts). Wait for the UNabridged version or READ the book. Definitely pass on this download - it's syrup without the pancakes.
Very few people, black or white, would be familiar with this world since it is set in a world of slavery prior to the American Civil war and deals with *black* slave owners. That in itself is a fascinating backdrop that Edward P. Jones masterful utilizes along with the black dialect of the time. The author creates a richly textured story around multiple, intertwined lives within the *known world* that exists largely within the microcosm of the plantation and at most Manchester county. Without making too many proclamations about good and evil (which would have made it a bland read) Edward P. Jones creates characters that are not cleanly delineated or labeled much like real-life where people have their many shaded complexities. The only criticism I have is that it is difficult to follow the numerous characters as they are first introduced. The story does weave in and out of plots so you need to get used to this approach early on. Once you do, it's a great ride that keeps moving forward.
My wife recommended this book, which is absolutely hilarious. It also has some incisive social commentary which really works because the author?s doesn't preach or take himself too seriously. I was in complete stitches on many occasions. David Sedaris has great delivery and excellent timing making the narration very enjoyable!
What started out as a seemingly engaging plot quickly faded into a formulaic and predictable story. The characters seemed like caricatures of themselves engaging in inane, dumbed-down dialog. The sub-plots were like a Hollywood B-movie with all the ingredients for a mindless afternoon matinee. The only redeeming quality was the environmental angle which was completely under developed. How the hell did this book make it on the best seller list among other works that are of much higher caliber? This is your book if you?re looking for a quick, pointless read that is not particularly funny or interesting. I?m never reading Carl Hiassen book again. It?s a tired story trying desperately to be interesting and hip. I might have enjoyed this sophomoric book in high-school. As a thirty-something, it was a waste of my time.
I honestly would not have read this book had the narration not been so engaging. It very effortlessly narrated a story and described a world with which I'm completely unfamiliar. An excellent story and the best narration I've heard thus far.
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