I was hopeful based on the subject matter. Unfortunately, this was a wasted opportunity to explore the deeper side of an issue ... obesity. There is ZERO glimpse into the why of this compulsive over eater's mind. Simply the effects on the oh so superficial family members. There is not a likable character in this book, mostly because there's no character development or depth of story line. I'd pass.
I cranked my narration speed to 2.0 to get through this book. I went by the ratings here when I purchased this, but think I need to dig deeper. I'm guessing this may be best suited for young adult readers?? Wish books contained genre ratings here.. Nevertheless, as a middle-aged female, I found this book so long, so boring, so predictable, so un-believable ... every part of it. Under-developed characters that I didn't care about. The narration, especially the part of Sunny, grated my nerves. Glad it's over.
If only the organized religions of the planet would teach this content. Throughout the trilogy, I felt an overwhelming sense of truth that made my spirit soar. Share this with everyone you know!
Disappointing. There wasn't a lot of context to this story. Basically a diary of drinking days, without much back story to make it all meaningful, and more importantly for me to invoke any sympathy. My guess is the 4 and 5 star ratings come from fellow alcoholics supporting the effort, but this really isn't a book. I was not invested in Neil, and quite frankly found him arrogant and entitled. Of course, this is the disease, which is why some "pre-disease" understanding of who Neil was would have been meaningful.. I would not recommend this book to a recovering alcoholic. Neal's enticing descriptions of his drinks of choice made me want to order up a Jack, and I've never even had one. I'd imagine this book would be very triggering for someone in recovery.
This book is brilliantly written. Truly magnificent. However, for me, the book that started with the story of the family of a religious zealot, quickly became a verbose account of Congolese politics. It seemed clear mid way through, that the political message was the prime agenda. This was not the billing I'd signed on for. As a result, I think the story line suffered. Perhaps the abridged version is a better bet.
If everyone had a "Sugar" in their pocket, a go-to guru, sister, mother, confidante like Cheryl ... what a wonderful resource that would be for those of us that don't. Sugar digs deep to deliver heartfelt, soul-searching advice. No flip "quippy" designed for print answers here.. Sugar responds with painstaking detail, honesty and compassion to questions of all magnitudes. I envision her agonizing for days and weeks over responses, as we see so many of her advice seekers capture her heart. Sugar, will you be my confidante?
What a disappointment. Great concept for a story line and character possibilities that just never went anywhere. I found myself not caring about a single character in this book, where there was so much possibility for more.
I was not that crazy about this story line, characters or length of this novel, yet I could not stop listening. Franzen writes beautifully. Every word artfully selected in a succinct non-flowery manner that I loved. These characters could describe any dysfunctional Millennial American family, and I do believe this will become a classic cultural period reference in years to come. Franzen captures the era's budding technology, 9/11, entitled youth and dysfunctional familial traits that capture the essence of many current day relationships we all know . For me, the political and nature conservancy issues were a bit overdone. I found myself hoping for more drama in the story line, but suppose the lack thereof was the point. Love this writer!
While beautifully written, and exceptionally performed ... this novel could have been written in 1/2 to 1/3 the time. Go for the abridged version, if available.
My headline says it all. This book changed the way I look at everything.
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