Tolstoy's writing is wonderfully rich, ironic and born of a deep appreciation for human contradictions. Yet, the overly dramatic and fey voice of the narrator interferes with the listener appreciating the subtleties inherent in Tolstoy. It is very distracting.
The subject matter of this book, forensic anthropology, seems an unlikley one for poetic imagery. Yet Andaatje's gift as a writer seems to be the ability to infuse a book with life's harsh realities side by side with glints of light and vitality. It takes the reader to places far away and hard to imagine. But once introduced to the place and the people all make perfect sense.
I have always had difficulty reading Rushdie's novels although I admire him as a public speaker. Hearing the book read aloud was very different. It gave the lyricism and satire a more natural cadence. Very interesting book in terms of understanding many attitudes that continue to impact headlines today.
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