Saunders has a unique writing style that is perfectly expressed by his own narration. It's not always a good idea for an author to read his/her own works---narration is usually better left to the professionals---but in this case it works. I can't imagine these stories in anyone else's voice. This is a mind-blowing work worthy of the praise he's getting, such as the New York Times already naming this the best book of the year.
This book takes place in 1911-1915 but is so full of 21st century cliches it was almost impossible to listen to. The main character's emotions are "a perfect storm," she would do something "in a heartbeat," she "didn't see that one coming!" etc, etc. I found myself saying aloud "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" so many times. Plus, overall the writing is clumsy with consistently awkward sentence construction--"she felt fear in her heart" instead of "she was afraid"--- and the only reason I finished it is that the characters-- Picasso, his lovers, and the other artists of that time---are of great interest to me. There are so many excellent historical novels out there, give this one a pass.
All the futuristic elements of David Mitchell's writing wouldn't amount to much without his strong characterization--we know and care so much about the people in his novels that we accept not fully understanding some of the far-flung elements of his stories. This book was one of those that I couldn't stop listening to and was then sorry when it was over. I am so grateful to David Mitchell and to the narrators who brought this story to life and my only regret is that it will be awhile before his next book. He has broadened my understanding of what fiction is (and I'm a librarian, I thought I knew) and the worlds in which we all live and dream. Thank you, David Mitchell.
Yes, it's long and could have been edited, but it certainly reveals what it was like living under communism and behind the Berlin Wall. Let's hope that there are reasonable people like Tanya and Dimka in the Kremlin today, working toward a better post-Putin future. Listeners who complain that Follett is too liberal should recognize that this book reflects how Europeans in general view modern American history. No American, neither Reagan nor Carter "won" the Cold War; Communism collapsed because it was unsustainable. In any case, politics aside, I kept listening to this long book because I cared about the characters and was drawn into their stories. Although I liked Fall of Giants the best, this entire series was well worth listening to.
Although I do not have an autistic child, I was interested in this book because I follow David Mitchell's writings (he's the translator) wherever they lead me, and I wanted to know about autism from the inside. This book is arranged in a question and answer format, addressing the very things that perplex us about the autistic individuals with whom we come in contact. The young author is exceptionally articulate and his book is a real eye-opener. I'm glad I listened to it.
The New York Times review written in 1960 called this Nevil Shute's best book. Fans of "A Town Like Alice" may not agree, but it certainly is a worthy story. Would that there were more people like the hero of this tale and fewer of the kind who would look down on him or not take his skills or his courage seriously. The narration is well done and I enjoyed the fact that the author seems never to use the word "on" but always says "upon." Maybe this is a 1960 British thing, but it's charming. Listen to this when you've had enough of the bad news in the world and want a simple story about a decent man.
This book has everything that family life itself has: imperfect people, comedy, tragedy, loss, stupidity, heroic acts, inept but well-meaning relationships, and a lot of sex. The narrator is excellent, particularly in his small comments, the way he says "yeah," or "nah" can carry a scene and sound perfectly authentic. This book is being made into a movie, but it's hard to imagine it can be as good as this version. That's what's great about audiobooks---they are a unique and compelling art form of their very own.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to because it's such a fascinating, well-written literary achievement. Although exploring the mind and character of Thomas Cromwell, it has much to say to us today about the uses of political power and the clash of government and religion. The book's great strength is giving readers/listeners the view from inside Cromwell's mind---a very intelligent place to be. Hilary Mantel certainly deserved the Booker Prize for this book.
Simon Slater captures a vast number of characters with his powerful and nuanced narration and he rendered perfectly the humanity and fierce intelligence of Thomas Cromwell, making me realize once again that audiobook narration is a high art that should be honored as such. I like Simon Vance too, but I wonder why Slater is not the narrator on the follow-up book to Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies. In any case, I'll look for Slater's work in the future and I'm grateful to have this one.
I'd recommend this book to those who had read or listened to the earlier title, Only Time Will Tell. It would be extremely confusing to start the Clifton Chronicles with Sins of the Father as so little backstory is given. Having finished that title, most listeners will be eager for the next installment as I am for the third one.
Harry Clifton is the center of the tale and maintains our interest throughout.
Both narrators are good, although it was startling at first to realize that the male narrator wasn't the same in Sins of the Father as in the earlier Only Time Will Tell.
Several, but to describe them would make me a spoiler.
This is an interesting story, an involving family chronicle which reminded me of Ken Follett's Fall of Giants---the two books cover the somewhat the same time period and both series intend to give a picture of the 20th century through the lives of various families. Archer didn't dwell on the realities of war to the extent that Follett does, but they both have longer tales to tell and it's all right that we don't stay on the battlefield too long in either one.
Yes. The story being told through journal entries brings an intimacy to the main character that wouldn't have been possible in another format. He lives his fascinating life to the fullest, even though his decisions weren't always the best ones. He's not a perfect human being, but he is an intelligent one, one who experiences great love and inevitable loss. He meets some of the great artists of the 20th century while living in England, the US, Nigeria and France, and his World War II experience reminds us of some of the myriad ways in which that conflict inflicted its great losses.
The breadth of the story and the close-up view of the main character's life.
Simon Vance is a masterful narrator here---as he is in everything I've heard him read. I heartily recommend his participation in Stone's Fall by Iain Pears.
I missed Logan Mountstuart so much when the book was finished; I wanted it to go on and on.
Thank you for including such literary fiction on Audible!
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