Lovely book, but it is nothing like Little Women. It was written for children and their enjoyment. It is mostly about how children play, get into trouble and quickly find their way out it. The 12 year old Daisy is read like she is a 2 year old and that annoyed me a bit. I got about 6 hours into it and quit.
I have loved this book for years without the appreciation of how, when or whom translated it from french to english. Lydia Davis does give a modern translation that perhaps will appeal to young adults. I love the humor and eloquent descriptive writing from the Eleanor Marx Aveling translation that seems to be lacking in this version. The first translation into english. 1886.
Before deciding you hate this book, try Eleanor's translation.
I only cared to listen to this once. Depressing holocaust story with the expected cruelty and evil. Even the baker grand-daughter's story that is entwined with her grandmother's death bed story is lonely and sad.
The narration skills of Ron McLarty made this enjoyable. I read this book years ago, but found it forgettable. Ron McLarty sounds a lot like Will Patton and Patton is a top drawer reader. I still remember many of the key character names (Ben, Susan, Mark, Matt, Striker, Danny Glick...and his little brother Ralphie) and creepy plot points and the county (Cumberland) a month after this listen. I couldn't help chuckling at times when the small click of vampire hunters carry on like an episode of Scooby-Doo. King has his usual awkward sex scenes that are as pleasurable as an earwig crawling on your face. King does manage to create a mood of dread peppered with humor and weird characters. It was entertaining requiring minimal concentration.
This is about the complex relationships Dolores has with her employer Vera and daughter Selena. Dolores gets away with the murder of her child molesting, alcoholic, lazy, wife beating and thief of a husband. Selena is confused, angry and embarrassed about what her father did to her and how she suspects Dolores of killing her dad. Vera puts the idea of murder in Dolores's head. Dolores had been putting away money into a savings account for Selena and Joe jrs' education for years. Joe senior takes the money out of the account. Dolores turns even more desperate when she goes to the bank to take that money out so she can flee with her kids and it's gone! Joe is a dead man!Decades pass and Dolores has become Vera's full time care giver and remains a total pain in the arse boss by making messes on purpose and her childish demands and hellish hallucinations. Vera manages to get her wheelchair at the top of the grand staircase and while Dolores struggles to keep her from toppling, Vera cartwheels down the stairs, breaking her body and head that would put her in the hospital until she dies. She begs Dolores to 'finish it.' Dolores refuses but ends up trying to with a marble rolling pin poised up over her head, ready to smash Vera into the here after. The postman interrupts with his scheduled daily delivery he brings into the house (wish I had mail service like that.) The DA that couldn't prove Dolores of murder years before is back and wants her to pay for Vera's death. Vera's will leaves a shocked Dolores millions of dollars. Vera inadvertently puts Dolores in a bad spot by giving her a motive in the eyes of the law. Sooooooo...Dolores starts to talk into deputy Andy's tape recorder to tell the truth at last. Frances does a highly entertaining reading of this book.
This book is narrated well. I would only buy it if you read the book and liked it. It is a bit trashy and most fans of VC Andrews will be the first to admit her books are trashy and smutty on a PG-13 level.
Poor, poor Frank regrets telling his unhappy and pregnant wife those headline words. This book was written in the 50's, yet I can identify with it in the context of marriage today. I felt that oppressive and trapped feeling when I was pregnant with our third child. I didn't have an abortion, but I fantasied about it. My sister felt it too...this was in the 80's. My grandmother had abortions in the late 20's and so did her sisters. Of course they were illegal and very expensive, requiring some travel. It was talked about "back then" but not at parties or in church. Frank and April were trapped with fear of failure and boredom. Both were immature...a little. April goes full steam ahead on plans to a life in Paris where she will be the bread winner and Frank can find a vocation he enjoys. April's unexpected pregnancy and an accidental but impressive memo Frank writes at his job sets them on opposite paths. April sees a simple abortion performed before the 13th week will solve the problem. Frank gets the attention of an executive who wants to promote him to a job with more pay, responsibility and challenge. Frank sees this as his realistic chance to better living and perhaps vacations to Paris...he doesn't want to throw away this opportunity. April's mental health declines with the passing summer and seeing her dream vanish. Her cute suburban home is a prison and more children will add years to her sentence of a unfulfilled life. Their real-estate agent adds fuel to the fire by asking for invitations to bring her adult institutionalized son over for meals while he is out on weekend passes. He sees their departure to Paris as heroic. When Frank tells him later that summer the plan is canceled, this man turns vicious and blunt sparking a HUUGE fight between Frank and April. Things said that can't be taken back. April would rather die than face her version of hell. A quiet and desperate hell. Frank is left shattered and stuck in the past.
I tried to get into this book and failed. I enjoyed Wambaugh's book The Onion Field. However, this is about two surfer cops and criminals that don't have a single redeeming act or thought. Human beings aren't entirely good or evil. I like characters that are flawed, not something scraped from the bottom of a dumpster.
This has been one of my favorite novels for decades...film also. I had this tucked away in my wish list for a couple of years and decided to treat myself. Don't wait to purchase this! Dylan Baker gives this wonderful novel a new life. Ma and Tom Joad he nails to perfection! The 'women's committee' at The Weed Patch Camp have distinct personalities and bodies. Dylan reads each one with hilarity, yet gives them the respect they deserve. Grandpa Joad is even more obnoxious and stubborn if that is possible. His stubbornness is born out of fear and a deep loss.I still feel a great sadness with every read when Grandpa becomes a shell of a man being forced off his tenant farm, then dies while on the road to Caleeefornia. His sad yet dignified burial in a unmarked grave with a note written by Tom on a filmy blank page torn from a bible, stating who this dead man was, why he died (not of murder) but from a stroke. Because 'the law' is more interested in the welfare of a dead man over a live one. Steinbeck was threatened with death if he stepped one foot into California after he published this book. It wasn't only California exploiting the decamped tenant farmers. Oregon and Washington had their big fat greedy hands in the unscrupulous business of working men, women, children and the elderly into early graves. However, Ma Joad was right when she says they are the people that survive. A wonderful book indeed.
We all know this movie well. As wonderful as the movie is, it can't and doesn't do justice to the book. I found myself skipping back just to listen to the same descriptions and dialog over again. I took my time with this one and loved every minute.
Wally Lamb writes in first person while making the reader/listener seem like a fly on the wall. That is a rare talent indeed. We see the world according to Dolores Price in fine and earthy detail. Dolores is forced to go live with her prudish grandmother Thelma in "the house of repression," on Pierce Street, Easterly, RI when her mother Beatrice has to be hospitalized from a nervous breakdown after a divorce. Thelma loves both her daughter and granddaughter but feels it her christian duty to reprimand any unlady like behavior or talk. "Marilynn Monroe didn't have the decency to put on a bathrobe before killing herself!" Heart breaking story about PTSD from a rape on a 13-year old girl...Dolores. Beatrice wants her daughter spared the shame of taking the stand against her rapist and to keep her own secret that she had been having an affair with him. Beatrice showers gifts of food, paperback books, color tv and written excuses for Dolores to miss school. This cycle of depression, anger and stuffing emotions down with food makes Dolores balloon up to 250 plus pounds. Beatrice is killed while working at a highway toll booth and puts Dolores on a path of horror, lies and healing. Every character is flawed but as precious as a Faberge’ egg.
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