First- full disclosure: I'm a fan of the book. I'd read it just a few years after it came out when I was probably a freshman in high school; it made an indelible impression on me and I think Margaret Atwood is a flippin' GENIUS. I think it should be required reading for every human being in North America.
My daughter, in her mid-teens, loves audiobooks. She is a great reader as well; however, she will only very occasionally take a book recommendation from her mum. I got this audiobook in the hopes that she *might* listen to it if I put it on her iPod.
Claire Danes hasn't been a favorite of mine - it isn't that I *don't* like her.....I just missed "my So-Called Life" age wise & I can't recall seeing her in anything since "Romeo & Juliet" (I haven't watched much tv since 1997). I was skeptical if Ms. Danes could do this material (that's so important to me) justice, but I hoped my daughter would enjoy it.....
One evening I couldn't sleep & I had no more credits so I decided to give it a try - AMAZING. I hadn't re-read "The Handmaid's Tale" in 20+ years and listening to it again now was not only chilling but I was dumbfounded at Atwood's prescience (just check out Ms. magazines' recent articles about the War against Women). And Claire Danes? She inhabits this narrative, gives such a strong, nuanced performance that I cannot BELIEVE she didn't win the Audie for this. Danes reading Atwood is a golden example of how audiobooks can be so much better than reading a book yourself; great writing paired with great reading is sublime.
I still don't know if my daughter has listened to it - I pray that she does. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE
I haven't got the print edition. I am unhappy that there is NO ACCOMPANYING PDF so that we audiobook purchasers can see the pictures, so the print edition certainly has that one over the audiobook.
I really got to like when he would give voice to his depression, which he calls "the Darkness" or "Mr. D". He uses his natural speaking accent (Australian) and I believe this added greatly to the honesty & emotional impact of the book.
I hope the writing of this book was cathartic and/or healing for him in some way, for it seems that the serious therapy he undertook in the past only helped him better understand his misery & what drives him. His bitterness at those who have wronged him and his willingness to share a fair number of his sexual conquests (which must number into the thousands) - that's the creepy part.
I very much liked how often he described how deeply he feels for his long-suffering wife, and throughout shed light on what sex addiction is really like; suffice it to say: addiction is addiction is addiction.
Another thing that is truly remarkable about this book is that he goes through - perhaps somewhat exhaustively - each one of his albums and shows us part of his songwriting process and how he made each one. After listening to the book, I went back and listened to several of the albums he's made in the last 30 years and the songwriting is solid. I especially like "Venus in Overdrive" & "Songs for the End of the World", but an album I really didn't care for when it came out, "Tao", seems very different to me now.
I mostly enjoyed this book & I mostly enjoyed hearing Rick Springfield read his own words. I think I was led to listen to this book after watching Dave Grohl's film, "Sound City", of which RS is a part (and I HIGHLY recommend this film if you are a music fan). Learning more of his story has made me reconsider his music and see him as the songwriter he really is, not as the teen idol I thought he was when I was in Junior High. As Springfield is in his mid-sixties in age and still rockin' pretty hard, I'm thinking I may have to make it a point go to one of his concerts and soon.
He's super fabulous and so is she.
I started reading this series of books because my dearest friend in the world just LOVES these books. No, I didn't start with the 1st one because I was getting them out of the library so I took whatever was available. I read them all (there were only 5 at the time) and I very much liked the writing - clever, literate, well researched, the story was unique, the characters likeable and I love really good and long books as I read very fast. Still I would roll my eyes again & again & again when the 2 main characters, Jamie & Claire, would go on about how great/wonderful/handsome/beautiful the other one was; I began to think I would scream if I had to read *one more description* of how amazingly groovy somebody's hair was.....
Enter Audible. The same dearest friend gave me a few free credits & I decided to use one of them on "Outlander". Heck! It's a great value: more than 33 hours long?!? Imagine my astonishment when I found myself laughing out loud and another time IN ACTUAL TEARS during the listening of this book - Davina Porter's performance *made* *me* *care* what happens to these people.
.I now have all of the unabridged audiobooks and am looking forward to more volumes as they are released. It's true, Ms.Porter canna do a good Boston accent (but she does ALL the others so well), and I still roll my eyes whenever I have to hear for the fiftybazillionth time how handsome he is and how gorgeous she is but I love all of the characters like family now and simply adore narration by Davina Porter. RECOMMENDED
I read quite a few of the other reviews before downloading this one; I'm not sure why I was on the fence. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this audiobook, especially as the sisters Wilson took their respective turns at narration. I think they were very candid and open about their own failings and quite generous to others in their history. I gained a much greater appreciation for each of them as musicians, songwriters and captains of their own fates; I've spent the last week on Spotify listening to lots of their music over again.
Another reviewer here on Audible was quite scornful about their passivity during the 1980's - their most financially successful period and the beginning of the uber-focus on Ann Wilson's weight gain - and I have to say that I cannot agree with the other reviewer. I believe they wrote very sincerely about how they lost their way artistically during that time and how they laboriously clawed their way back to themselves through great personal challenges. I have read/heard a fair number of musicians' memoirs/autobiographies/biographies over the last 30 years (at least 40 or more I think) and this was the first one where the heartbreak of infertility was discussed in depth!
The best memoir I've EVER heard is Keith Richard's "Life"; this book is just a notch below that one - but only a notch! Ann & Nancy Wilson are unique in their position as rockers, siblings & women and this book tells so much of that history - I definitely recommend it.
Julia Sweeney is VERY funny, and this remembrance of her life is mostly funny. When it isn't funny, it's touching. We were on a long trip as a family & the teenagers & the adults all really enjoyed it. The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars is that it isn't long enough! So don't spend a whole credit, but DO spend yer money on this.
I always enjoy Terry Pratchett so it is no surprise that I enjoyed this one very much. I love how his thought process turns things sideways. My only complaint was the length - too short! Share this with your video games obsessed teenagers. :)
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