As someone who spent 5 years working in the Middle East this book perfectly reflects the Arab world and Muslim culture. It also captures the failure of the average American to have any understanding of the complexity of these tribal societies. A real eye opener.
Although a little slow to start, this is one of the most compelling novels I have ever listened to. Well deserving of the Pulitzer Prize.
According to the NYTimes Book Review Ms. Tratt waited 10 years between books. Thank God it wasn't 20 or it would have been 64 hours of wasted time. If I hadn't had a lot of free time on my hands, I never would have made it through this. Even so I almost gave up multiple times. As another reviewer pointed out, there are entire sections of this missive that could have been deleted entirely.
Even a bad book usually has a few redeeming qualities, memorable quotes or characters. This book had none of the above. Save your credits unless you have been sentenced to life in prison and this is the only book they let you have access to.
Anybody but her
I found this account narcissistic, self-serving and solipsistic. I too lived through this era, and while I enjoyed the references to the events and people of the 60's and 70's I couldn't wait for this book to end. Her performance was great for insomniacs who want to be lulled to sleep, but it made for an incredibly long listen. I can't imagine how this was awarded the National Book Award. Maybe the committee was impressed by all her references to the great artists and her never ending name dropping of the great performers of this era.
I really wanted to like this book and enjoyed it for awhile, but by the end I was like, OK Robert, die, so that we can turn this thing off.
What a compelling story. I hope Amamda reads these reviews because I just want to tell her that her story moved me in a way many books have not. Having a daughter myself I can appreciate the anguish her family and friends must have gone through. The effect of her reading this herself just added enormously to the overall impression of the book. Kudos Kid, and have a great life.
The premise of the plot is promising, but he spends way too much time in the weeds.
Not being an expert on the Koran, I'm not sure why Iraq sentenced Rusdie to death for the publication of this book. There are a lot of clues along the way, but the way is too long and convoluted. It starts off very promising, but ends with a whimper. If I were not driving Bus in Alaska and have a lot of downtime for listening I never would have listened to the whole thing.
Save your credit.
The only reason I got this book was because the NY Times named it one of the best books of 2011. What were they thinking? I've never been a big Stephen King fan, but thought I'd give it a try. Bad use of a credit.
The premise is great, and the book starts off well, but slips into a dreary listen when he has those two years to kill before Oswald shows up. And he does kill them and takes us along for the ride. I actually felt sorry for the Mr. Wasson and his narration. I'm not sure how he kept from falling asleep. With so little to work with his performance becomes sub-par as well. Somehow I made it through the second 8 hours, but had to give up shortly into the third download. I suppose I'll fast forward to the end and see if anything interesting happens, but I know the ending anyway.
Save your money on this clinker.
Although this was a greatly written book and I did enjoy listening to it, I couldn't decide if the Author wanted us to go away with a better understanding of baseball or the Gay experience. I am not a homophobe, but I could have done without some of the more graphic gay scenes. At times it seems that he couldn't wait to get away from the baseball episodes so that he could immerse us back into the gay experience. Loved the ending though and did give it 4 stars.
If you weren't a John Irving fan before, you will be after listening to this book. It is long and sometimes tedious (listening to the voice of Owen can get on one's nerves) but in my opinion it is a classic.
An incredible journey into places and events you have rarely if ever experienced. An unforgettable foray into a rare world of the hermaphrodite. An excellent read.
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