I know I should know better but this ponderous, cliche ridden attempt at drama was sounding bad when it started and simply got worse as it went along. I was looking for a page turner and realized that one of the drawbacks of listening to books, which I enjoy when the book is worth it, is that you can't skim. Audible should put in a program to read the first sentence of each paragraph and it would serve a book like this well.
Books narrated by the author are ones to aim for and Gurganus' voice is perfect in its pace, emotion and undersanding of the nuance of his stories. Wonderful.
Will Mabry is a complicated and thooughtful character in "Decoys" and his view of his own life spanning country to city and poor to middle class is really a wonderful and sympathetic portrayal of both. Small towns have been the subject of way too many uninterestng and overwrought novels and stories but Will's voice, through Gurganus, is true and authentic.
essential to the book
If you could get Gurganus to narrate the stories of "White People" it would be wonderful. They are some of the funniest stories I know and his voice would be terrific
I am a big Shteyngart fan and was fun in the early going but got much less so as he got into adolescence - most adolescents aren't that interesting and neither is he. Too bad. Go back to novels.
Many of us read Henderson when we were in our Modern Literature courses in college and my recollection was sketchy and an outline of the book, if that, from my 20's. As an adult who has gone through life transitions, I wish I had read Henderson a decade ago in my 50's, when I was searching, like we all do, for some type of affirmation of my life or, lacking that, try another journey. The book is wonderful in all regards - a huge and compelling metaphor for aging, anxiety, humor as a weapon, self-doubt coupled with a desire for....."I want, I WANT". Henderson is a great read with a great performance and, in the highest form of flattering I can offer, made me go out to order the book so I can underline all the parts and phrases I loved and want to remember. Just terrific. The voices will live in my head forever.
Andrew Yancy is a ''new antihero" for Hiaasen or I might have missed other books he has been in. Hard to replace the wonderful one eyed former governor gone rogue but this is a continuing very plausible, on some points, and outrageous book. Medicare fraud is rich in opportunities and the billions of dollars in waste in the system are much more understandable and will be on your mind every time you see an electric "scooter chair" in south florida. Arte Johnson is a great reader and will go find other things by him. "sexy forensic pathologist" is a term I thought I would never use, but there is one here.
fun as usual
Premise: bad habits get you in trouble, good habits are good, you can break bad habits by learning good habits. It is not as easy as it sounds. (Now that you have read the book, you don't have to buy it). A very irritating reader who sounds like his is poking you in the chest all throughout the book. A one idea book, as many of them are, with lots of illustrations, only a few of them relevant.
I don't know Gaiman's work but really enjoyed the whimsy and humor and imagination of this story. It has a quirkiness that makes for an enjoyable "read" but Lenny Henry's reading - really it is a performance - is out of this world. His accents are wonderful, you can conjure all the images from his voice from the strange brothers, the little old Carribean ladies, the phantasmagoric animals. Just wonderful and some of it made me smile for miles of walking.
James Lee Burke is one of my favorite writers to listen to - as I have said before, his melding of the trauma of Vietnam and his reflections on life and relationships are terrific. This one suffered a bit from both a racheting up of horror/violence and a plot that leaves you hanging, not just with Dave and Clete, but the whole group - hard to listen to 14 hours and be left hanging. But I will be back I am sure. It always seems a stretch to think of the extremely unredeeming bad guys hanging around South Louisiana - bet the natives don't believe it could be true.
Will Patton is one of the best readers possible and continues with this performance.
I did not read the hype on this book until I couldn't bear listening to it anymore and wondered if my friends who seemed to be enamored of it were drawn by the baseball component, since I am not. It is LONG and PLODDING and comes across more and more as condescending to almost anyone who comes at it - baseball, social class, gender identity, adolescent angst, and acceptance of differences. A gay bunter!! A do gooder Jewish undergrad!! A wunderkind from the sticks!! A conflicted lonely college president?? An alienated daughter!! Come on. Each of these characters has been covered so much better and more richly in many other books so that lumping them feels both artificial and obvious. Don't waste the endless hours on this book, get Catcher in the Rye, The Natural, any Phillip Roth book, and do yourselves a service.
Richard Ford has been a favorite of mine - and many - for years, but this novel is the best he has ever written. A spare and thoughtful meditation on time, family, history, mystery and their effects on a young boy, the book has a wonderful narration with just the right tone to capture the spare and beautiful language Ford uses. Only once in the past decade have I gone out and bought a book after listening to it and this is the one. I want to go back and reread it - savor the words and the images. The audio version helps imagine the openness of the skies, solitary and reflective nature of the book's protagonist, and it speaks to all who have painful memories and unanswered questions in our lives. And that would be all of us. A simply wonderful book.
Patti Smith is such an interesting and admirable person, independent, intelligent and very much her own person but the memoir turned into a litany of "people who became someone" in the second section and, as such, dated it. Her life would have been so much more interesting as the center rather than appended to others - at least it felt that way - that I wish she had told her non-Robert Mapplethorpe story rather than constantly revolving about his art/obsession/confusion. Hers is a lot more interesting.
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