This is one of those books that presents itself as people in such a way that when it's over, one feels lonely and it takes a micro second every now and then to remember that the loneliness is for an imaginary person, not someone once touched and talked with. Maybe that is in part because some real people left me at the time I read this book but it is alsom and muchm due to the skillful writing.
I found the story on the simple side. This is not to say that I could write better but that I've read many more sophisticated novels. It does give a good description of slavery for younger people.
The author did a fine job. It's just that the characters are so tiresome. Frank Wright was't good to his workers. He didn't pay workers or suppliers. They should have been happy, delighted, clamoring to work for him.
His wife wouldn't divorce him because she knew that he wouldn't send any money to her or their 6 children if she did. How did she get money from him by staying married? He didn't pay anyone else.
Mamah loved Frank but was surprised that she was criticized for leaving her children to be with him. She was surprised that after leaving her 6 year old for almost 2 years, the child wasn't excited to see her. Mamah never understood the sacrifice her sister made in giving up her own life to care for Mamah's children so that Mamah could traipse the globe with her beloved Frank.
They were both brilliant in their own way, he as a designer and she with languages. She spoke several fluently and they just seemed to be part of her. Brilliant in some ways but socially odd. I suppose they were meant for each other. Perhaps I will finish the book.
Maybe it's because I know nothing of the big sailing ships but I find this more of an account of sailing than a story. I don't hear the story. The segments are disjointed episodes to me.
The performance by Chrsitian Rodska is wonderful. The variety and suitability of voices, and the rapid interchange that sounds like a conversation among several characters is admirable.
That's what I kept saying. I didn't know that. I didn't realize that. I don't remember hearing that. I never connected those events or people or times.
It is entirely possible that any year looks extraordinary when one considers all that happens in society, culture, economics, sports, invention and more but I do believe that 1927 was one heck of a year.
I am a Bill Bryson fan. His humor appeals to me. It is not uncommon for me to be working in the garden and burst out laughing. If this frightens a rabbit or two, better still.
I did enjoy the book.
I've spent some time in India, China, Peru, Cambodia where pockets of poverty are more than a few blocks long. Poor areas are as different from one another as wealthy areas might be but they all have roots of corruption that intertwine and feed the systems, perpetuating the problems and delaying the solutions. This book is difficult to listen to when one engages the mind in a what if this was me situation.
It is well written and well performed. The situations are ones we should all be aware of.
Warning: Spoilers beyond this point.
The ending left me unsatisfied. I would have had some investigation of where Desi was on the day of the "kidnapping" since that was something Amy could not have planned for or controlled in any way. How likely is it that Desi didn't "dine" with his mother for "luncheon" that day and not have any local credit card purchases or cell phone use to give his location. His mother was wealthy and devastated (not that I liked either of them) and it seems she would have investigated something and demanded more.
I would have let Nick keep the book he wrote and put it out there as a battling story line ir at least keep it intact with someone to publish should he die.
I don't mind pretending but how did they deal with all those credit card purchases? Why would Nick make all those purchases and then toss them in a wood shed? For what reason? If he planned to kill his wife, and organized all the rest of it, he would have waiting to purchase anything - planning for the insurance money maybe? and how did he get that much credit approved? Was the bard doing that well and did he ever, ever work there? Deep flaw in the story in my mind. Little things like that annoy me.
Also, I wanted Nick to start dating the police detective and hated the part where he needed Amy to make him not be his father? Gave me flashback to Frank McCorts Angela's Ashes. Knowing that he became his father, in the alcoholic sense, ruined the whole book for me.
Did Amy know something about why Nick's parents married? It seemed so for a moment.
If Amy went to a clinic for fertility treatments, that shows her state of mind and also seemed like usable evidence of character but it wasn't approached at all.
Speaking of little things, they had a hot water tank that gave a hot shower for an hour???? On demand systems would go on as long as the demand and hot water heaters run out in less than an hour. Fiction is fine but it has to make sense if placed in the real world.
The book was full of surprises but in terms of enjoying it and wanting to talk with someone about it to make it last longer, my vote is for Life After Life.
I'm sure that Davina Porter is a huge part of the reason why I so love this book. Porter's collection of voices are marvelous. How does she do it? Her Scottish ting is gorgeous. Her variety and suitability of voices for the characters is just so comfortable to listen to. I've heard this book before but want to listen again just to hear Davina Porter.
Diana Gabaldon is no small contributor. Her characters are fun and reasonable. Of course nobody can move across time but she well considers the issues that one might encounter in doing so with a logic, if logic is the word.
The series is well worth a visit and tour.
First, I'm a Jeffrey Eugenides fan but clearly not a Nick Landrum fan. It seems that his voices for characters in the book have some life but his voice for the narrator is plodding, measured and dull. It's not that I could do better but that I found listening to his voice un-engaging.
Truth be told, some of the characters were annoying also. The parents would be crushed by the loss of a child, especially the suicide of a child but with 4 other children in the house, one would have to change, to be engaged, to draw together. Difficult of course but to throw away life in the face of 4 daughters seems impossible.
Thankfully, I've no experience with suicide in my family and it's important to consider this issue from many sides so the book is a good experience to have and it's well written, as all his stories are.
The story captures one from the start but there is this other level in the work. The words are crafted with color and texture. The similes blossom from the page asking for a pause if not a rewind.
If anyone told me that I would see death as a caring entity with an interest in life and those who live it as well as a tenderness and joy, I'd have denied the possibility. Yet Death was one of my favorite characters.
This is a book of value and one to listen to again and then to read on paper.
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