I don't know that I'd listen to it again in a hurry, just because the plot isn't so subtle that you really need to re-read (or re-listen) again in a hurry. However, once I've had time to forget some specifics, I think it would be fun to re-listen.
It's one long series of near-misses that never quite veers into the slapstick. I enjoy that, and the heists planned by the characters are ingenious (and therefore delightful)
I think the narrator did a particularly good job with Stan Murch.
A quick aside on accents--other reviews have taken the narrator to task for having a 'Pakistani-sounding' couple of African characters. I disagree with them. I've never been to Pakistan, but I've lived, studied, visited, and worked in multiple African countries on different regions of the continent (as well has having friends from different areas as well), and the characters' accents to me sounded completely reasonable as approximations of East African accents. (Many of which are influenced by emigration from Southeast Asia)
It would have been fine to listen to all in one sitting, but I split it up over a week.
The reason I gave this book less than 5 entire stars was because there's some racist/racist-leaning (as well as some sexist)language. (Africans are referred to as "ebony-colored" and "colored", for example). The book is a product of its time, and I understand that, but I'm not an apologist. The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that I'm also not in favor of retroactively editing/censoring past works. Be warned--for all its lighthearted capering and absurdist, deadpan humor--the book talks about non-whites and non-women in a decidedly non-modern way.
Personal, epic, conflicted
I'd compare it to The Escape, Stolen Innocence, and Lost Boys--all books that are written by FLDS apostates about their experiences with various sorts of abuse by FLDS leaders.
Yes....but the narration also had a consistent, but jarringly unusual, inflection pattern. I found it hard to get used to (normally I will get used to something in the first few chapters; this sort of twinged every time I heard it).
The narrator/author does a particularly good job of portraying the world that she experienced as a child. I felt my heart in my throat when she was describing her fear of the beatings, her confusion at what she was being told to do...she sounded just like one of my young cousins.
This book makes a big effort to be objective and fair, and reminds you frequently that that is what it is doing. I find it a little weird, because of course there's no way that this could be other than partisan, but I do appreciate that the author/narrator really emphasizes the emotional turmoil that she experiences. The narration was acceptable, but distracting in its inflection. I feel a little bad criticizing it, because in comparison to what happened to the author, I have had a very very very easy and privileged life...on the other hand, it really isn't perfect.
So: Overall, this is a fantastic book, but it's not a flawlessly executed book.
People who enjoy medical dramas told from the perspective of the doctor (rather than in sympathy with the patient)
Refrain from sounding so incredibly self-impressed, and also from self-aggrandizement. For a "biography of cancer" this book is actually more "My experiences as an oncologist, as related by me, a fascinating individual". If he were any more full of himself, he would pop.
Stephen Hoye does a fine job of reflecting the tone of the writing, which is supercilious and self-satisfied. But it's painful to listen to.
All the parts where Mukherjee waxes on about his own experience, rather than sticking to the story he promises--that of cancer.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.