it is interesting to see the wide spread of opinions about this book. people seem to love it or hate it, and I am firmly in the first camp. Yes, the book is long, but what a fascinating world the author presents. I was thoroughly engrossed and grew fond of the protagonist despite (or perhaps because of) his foibles. Can't wait to read the author's second book.
I completely understand the concerns of previous reviewers with the terrible pronunciation of Hindi words and the poor East Asian accents in this audio book. I myself was very frustrated with the reader of Julia Child's autobiography who mispronounced the simplest French words. Having said that, not many Americans, myself included, will have a clue that anything is wrong. While that does not excuse the choice of a reader who is not familiar with those languages, it nevertheless would be a shame to miss this fantastic book.
Phil Gigante, despite his shortcomings, is a wonderful reader, giving each character a distinct voice. So my advice, if the accent problem will bother you, get the book from your library. If not, don't miss out on this fabulous adventure, which is the first of a trilogy (a fact that is mentioned nowhere in the description!). The subsequent titles have not yet been published.
I don't know how Sue Grafton does it. she consistently churns out literate crime fiction and keeps this reader engrossed and interested. I always look forward to her next book, and have never been disappointed. What will she do once she reaches "Z" though?
I've had this book in my library for quite a few months and kept putting off listening to it, because of its subject matter. Once I got started, I was immediately drawn into the lives of Eva and her family and finished the book in record time. Insightful writing and a wonderful delivery by Ms. Rosenblatt. To me she embodied the protagonist, warts and all.
Ultimately, a heartbreaking book, with profound psychological insight. A must for lovers of serious fiction.
many mysteries start off well, and leave you unsatisfied in the end. I found this book stunning in its psychological complexity and truthfulfness. it takes you into the minds of all the major and minor characters, keeps you wanting to know more, reveals just enough, and comes to a believable and heart wrenching conclusion. I, too, guessed the identity of the protagonist, but was utterly surprised by the details of her story. One of the most wonderful books on tape I have experienced. Not to take away from the skill of the narrator, who is wonderful, but the story is what will grab you.
I have read several books by Jane Smiley and loved every one of them. So I simply couldn't believe all the negative comments her latest book provoked and had to listen for myself. Well, I'll know better next time. I gave up after three hours. Boring, pointless navel gazing and musing. What were the critics thinking? Dear fellow readers, I'll take your warnings seriously next time..
What an absolute delight this audio book is! I don't give out five stars lightly, but this work deserves it. I'm well into middle age, but King Dork made me feel like a teenager again. A wonderful smart protagonist brought to life by the perfect reader. You'll be in stitches. An added plus to the audio version is a short interview with the author, who also performs a few songs he wrote for King Dork. All in all, a gem.
This audio book kept me riveted from beginning to end. The author so clearly knows his subject and I didn't mind the occasional sermonizing one bit. It doesn't mean I agree with everything he says, but it's nice to occasionally get a different point of view. Like Bangkok 8, the story gets a bit baroque towards the end, but that's a minor quibble. If you want to learn something about a different culture and be entertained at the same time, this book is for you.
What a wonderful memoir from beginning to end. The only reason I didn't give it the highest rating is the reader. Anyone who has ever heard Julia Child knows her distinctive high pitched voice, and the reader so clearly is not Julia, that I found it a bit disconcerting. More importantly though, she cleary doesn't speak French, although she manages a decent accent. Any first year French student knows that femme rhymes with hum not hem, that beurre blanc has no k sound at the end, that cuisine bourgoise does sound the s, etc. etc. etc. Call me a stickler for detail, but that's just plain sloppy. Sorry Julia, you deserve better.
Aside from seeing the movie version of The Sweet Hereafter, this was my first experience with Russell Banks. What a gifted, compassionate writer. His sense of place is so pronounced and his characters, while often deeply flawed, stayed with me a long time.
Mary Beth Hurt gave a wonderful reading.
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