I missed this classic in my formal education, so since the reviews were so good and I knew the narrator was excellent, I took the plunge. Important, yes, and I understand why, at times the flow and dialogue sucked me in. But thank God I do not have to write a paper on this. It was too heavy and I wasnt in the mood to think that hard, especially not ready to follow that closely the parable chapter with the priest. OK, maybe I didnt appreciate just how "important" this book really is, but I am not going back to re-read it. Cliff note this one.
...and that it was on my wife's book club list, I went ahead and listened. Guys you will like this, too. Great choice of three narrators. Moving and poignant without being "preachy". Fresh and enjoyable listen taking one believably right into the life of Jackson, Mississippi in the 60's.
How was I going to possibly relate to or care about Sully, a 60 year old, unmotivated, self-focused boor and his small town - seemingly so different and removed from my life - for a 24 hour "read"? I was told in one these reviews that Russo writes like Wally Lamb, one of my favorites - so I launched in. Not a bad comparison of authors. Russo takes us on a pleasant, meandering journey through the town of North Bath, New York and by the end of the story we get to know the characters of this town intimately, and guess what? I like this blue collar town; it reminds me a lot of my own. And as for Sully; he reminds me alot of me.
My father, a retired religion professor of 35 years recommended this book to me as a psychiatrist. I put off reading it, expecting it to be just another apologetic by a mega-church preacher that I had heard so many time before. Not so. Bell is the real deal. He admits he has questions. He admits there is uncertainty. He admits everyone is desperately trying to interpret the way. And yet this man's faith appears to be rock solid, not one that induces a gag reflex. Contemporary in his presentation, Bell demonstrates he has done his studies, but refrains from going on and on. This books packs a punch in a few quick hours of listening and will keep you thinking for many, many more.
From the author's introduction explaining the lack of chapter 21 in the American publication and the film, to the outstanding narration, this is one of the most riveting audio books I have heard. I could not wait to get back to the car to finish, so walked around with the MP3 in my ear to finish it more quickly.
Less bizarre than the classic film, the narration of the book is much more humorous, more thoughtful, and the neologisms are much more prominant and clever.
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