Frazier’s use of language and ability to tell a story makes for the perfect audiobook in Nightwoods. His sense of place and time captures the listener’s attention and thoughts. As with his other books, you can see that he has researched the time period and the subject matter. His description of children suffering from post traumatic shock is both accurate and sympathetic. By the end of the book, the listener is actively engaged in the plot and understanding of the well-developed characters, those we love and hate. As a person from North Carolina, his use of words and the wonderful narration of Will Patton rings with authenticity. Perhaps if Randy Boyagoda who reviewed Nightwoods for the NY Times had listened to the book he would have better appreciated Frazier’s use of language. I highly recommend this book.
My favorite book as a teen was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. After reading the new non-fiction The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills, I decided it was time to revisit Lee’s classic book. The reading by Sissy Spacek captured both the humor and tragedy of the characters in this classic. I would highly recommend that readers read or listen to both books together. The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee is a reflection of living next door to the Lee sisters for a year and half while the sisters are in their 70s and 90s. The Pulitzer Prize winning reporter does an excellent job of describing their day to day ordinary lives in a small town in Alabama while at the same time sharing their extraordinary lives of accomplishments. The lesser known sister, Alice, was still practicing law and (with their father) was the inspiration for Atticus. Mills gives you insights into the characters, the town and the author. She also writes about how pleased Sissy Spacek was to read To Kill a Mockingbird and how she considered this one of her greatest achievements. Both the reading and this book continue to be a great achievement for listeners of all ages.
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