The author and several other readers helped convey this story in a most compelling voice. Men and boys by the men readers, girls and women by the female. Because the author is himself Afghani, his authentic accent and speech helped ground the text. I don't think I would have been so affected by it, had I read it instead of listening to it.
Because the story was told from multiple points of view in progressive time periods, conditions of love and separation and the decisions made for us by parents are highlighted in an unforgettable way. Although other books have used multiple points of view of several characters, this book is unusually effective.
Through the device of always writing in the first person, the narrators afford us voiced glimpses of the interior thoughts and memories of many different characters.
I enjoyed listening in separate episodes. Wanting to make it last, I did not want to read it all in one sitting. I wanted to savor the thoughts of the different characters.
I loved this book more and more, though it left me very sad for some characters and nostalgic in my own life.
To say that I had no idea is to put it mildly. Greenblatt, in his thorough and inimitable style, tells of the world in Classical Greek and Roman times, how the growing Christian Church changed society and also preserved (despite themselves, seemingly) the "pagan" early writings, and how Petrarch inspired Poggio to (eventually) discover Lucretius's long poem, "On the Nature of Things." I have learned of the invention of beautiful handwriting, how books--codices-- existed in Greek and Roman times (it was not all scrolls), and that monks in the dark ages were required to know how to read, and to read daily for extended periods of time. I have learned so much; I am eager to re-read this book to fill in what I have missed in all the amazing disclosures. My long fascination with the Middle Ages and my complete ignorance of Classical Greek and Roman times are being amply rewarded with details and images of how it must have been.
The realization of how deeply and extensively the ethic "Christian guilt and sin" quashed curiosity and learning.
Language is speech; I appreciate hearing the words as well as reading the text. I am both listening and reading this book.
This book introduces the reader to very exciting concepts and helps to connect modern times to ancient times. We are not so very different, except for the overlay of the Christian ethic. People and societies are so real in Greenblatt's telling. I can't wait to finish the book and read it again, making notes the second time.
I love this book!
I only have the audio edition, and I love hearing Anna tell her story herself. I probably would not read the print version, given the choice.
There were many; the ongoing and repeated recognition of times and events and interactions that reminded me of my own story will make this book one I listen to over and over.
Anna reads her own words very well; in her apparently effortless style, she is like a close friend relating her story to me.
No, I enjoyed hearing it in bits and pieces...going back and hearing it again. It never gets old.
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