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Eugene

CHICAGO, IL, United States | Member Since 2014

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 48 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015
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  • The Flamethrowers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Rachel Kushner
    • Narrated By Christina Traister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (212)

    The year is 1975 and Reno - so-called because of the place of her birth - has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world - artists have colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art. Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to a sentimental education of sorts.

    Peregrine says: "Stories come gushing out of this book"
    "At times fascinating, but disjointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Flamethrowers? What did you like least?

    The prose is often beautiful, and the asides about art and philosophy were just right--long enough not to be flippant, and short enough not to detract from the main narrative.


    Would you recommend The Flamethrowers to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only some. It's odd structure and lack of central point or message would make it unappealing to a lot of people, I think. I found those things to be strengths, but that's just my personal taste. A lot of the characters are also unrelatable and not particularly lovable.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Christina Traister’s performances?

    I would avoid her if I had the option, but I would try her again if necessary. She's just not that expressive, and it's too bad because some of the language in this book is really great. But coming from the narrator, who sounds almost bored for most of the book, the prose didn't stand out as much as it should have.


    Do you think The Flamethrowers needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. It would actually work against the themes the book is trying to forward by adding more.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting book and worth listening to if you love language and non-chronological story structures and interesting ruminations that are more important than the actual story (in my view). Not for you if you want something with interesting/likeable characters, or a story with a "point." Often the story would linger on certain side characters, all of whom are odd in one way or another (often, it seems, just for the point of being odd, or maybe because a lot of them are artists...?)--and I would just find myself thinking "I don't care about this person or their pointless eccentricities! If you're not going to advance the plot then at least give me a character/situation I can care about!"

    But when the book is good, it's very good. A mixed bag.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • To the Lighthouse

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Virginia Woolf
    • Narrated By Phyllida Law
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    To the Lighthouse is at once a vivid impressionist depiction of a family holiday, and a meditation on a marriage, on parenthood and childhood, on grief, tyranny and bitterness. Its use of stream of consciousness, reminiscence, and shifting perspectives gives the novel an intimate, poetic essence, and at the time of publication in 1927 it represented an utter rejection of Victorian and Edwardian literary values.

    Melinda says: "Sweet Mystery of Life"
    "Beautiful story beautifully read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does To the Lighthouse rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    To the Lighthouse is among the better audiobooks I've listened to. For people who enjoy psychological novels with an emphasis on characterization rather than action, I highly recommend. The narration by Phyllida Law is absolutely excellent and she makes every sentence exciting and full of meaning, which is all the more impressive because of the complex sentence structures Virginia Woolf likes to use and the challenging structure of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I would just attach a slight warning which is that the book has a tricky structure that flows seamlessly from one character's thoughts to another's. It can be difficult to follow if you are not paying close attention, so be warned that you need to pay close attention to get the most out of this book--it's not for casual listening. I myself will be re-listening to pick up what I missed the first time through (and because I think the book is rich enough to reward a second listening). I'm looking forward to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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