This type of book was exactly what I think audible.com was invented to provide. The traditionally trained british speaker made this classic absolutely delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sometimes you just have to set a book down. Then, by all means, pick it up again. Not because it isn't good, but because its like a chocolate torte, and should be eaten in small bites in order to savor it. Because too much chocolate is just…ewewh. So, be warned, this book is funny, in a quirky type of way. Which I guess is exactly what the author was going for, so don't be afraid to put it down between stories and just….roll it around in your mouth so to speak, before you pick it up and listen to more. As good as these stories are, I am baffled as to why the author felt he should read them himself. But, maybe he was in a hurry, or didn't know anyone who narrates, or for whatever the reason, don't let his somewhat stilted narration stop you from enjoying it. Just…small bites. That's my advice, small, digestible bites.
Still relevant after all these years, this pleasant story is worth revisiting from your high school reading list. Not all things will ring true to present, but the important things will. Once it gets rolling, it is an easy ride into the past, highlighting issues that still grip current generations. This book deals with questions that are pushed aside now by more contemporary issues, but really they are all the same. It was likely the "Goldfinch" of it's day, though easier to get through, less depressing or pretentious, but other than that, exactly the same. Easily absorbable and good narration throughout. If you've been afraid of stuffy classics, you won't have any fears with this one.
As brilliant as Pat Conroy is, you will have to get past the struggles of his own narration. Having said that, there is must to embrace about this book. One person's view on how books laid the groundwork for their writing life might not be earth shattering, but, its Pat Conroy, and that makes the difference. Get past the grit in his voice and just bask in what he learned and why he learned it. It is inspiring and beautiful. Not the narration, did I mention that? Everything else.
This book was recommended by a fellow book club member who felt it was charming and warm. I like charming and warm, so I gave it a try. Couldn't do it. I grabbed a blanket and still couldn't get warm. The narration was certainly problematic, but truly, maybe there wasn't enough sophistication to work with. I'm not sure why I expected more, though my own labrador is pretty darn sophisticated, so maybe that's where I went wrong. To be fair, it's a fast listen/read, predictable and likely tame enough to not disturb those with an artificial heart apparatus, so with that in mind, it can fill a few hours on the road. (You can leave it running while you grab a bite to eat, you won't miss enough to matter)
This book has wide appeal, I have no doubt. It is written in the rapid fire language of the modern sensibilities with both humor and insight. One thing that might be noteworthy is the building of tension through this superb narration: I had to read it in smaller chunks rather than listen for long periods of time, otherwise, the chaos tended to be overwhelming. It has a great sense of voice for the current generation, and a good feel for confusion that is fueled by youthful optimism, only the best kind. I'd listen to it again, though…. later, after I rest my brain a bit.
Every once in a while you just want to listen and let the story flow over you. This book is one of those. The narration was personable while the story was also plausible, so it makes you think about how the world is revolving around situations so small, yet so explosive that one person could make the difference, either way. It was enjoyable and entertaining. Which books ought to be, by the way.
I found it disappointing. The dialogue was poor and seemed improbable. It was likely an accurate picture of the region and the life style of those that lived there, however. I would not recommend it to friends.
The pace is a bit slow, but the detail and language is quite lovely. Interesting thought processes between characters, though possibly unrealistic in some ways. I found the different narrators comfortable in their transition between voices. Easy to pick up between car trips.
I would think it is impossible to track such a vast period in history without the details concerning the indians. The indian names are tedious, but necessary. I felt this was a comprehensive and essential perspective of the issues that stemmed from before the pilgrims left their homeland to the living memory of the children of those pilgrims. I enjoyed listening to the whole book.
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