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J&N Cliff

Member Since 2013

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  • The Golden Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    Published in 1904, The Golden Bowl is the last completed novel of Henry James. In it, the widowed American Adam Verver is in Europe with his daughter Maggie. They are rich, finely appreciative of European art and culture, and deeply attached to each other. Maggie has all the innocent charm of so many of Jamess young American heroines. She is engaged to Amerigo, an impoverished Italian prince; he must marry money, and as his name suggests, an American heiress is the perfect solution.

    Erez says: "Collapses under the weight of its own brilliance"
    "Painful, both the story and the narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could Henry James have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I tried hard to get through the book, as it's a classic and considered one of the best of Henry James' novels. James consistently uses an inordinate number of words in confusing sentences and succeeds at saying absolutely nothing. I kept tuning out many descriptions, as they were getting on my nerves as being superfluous and very hard to follow. The dialogues were not much better. They went on and on, most of the time it wasn't clear what the drama was about, as people seemed to not be saying anything of interest. I suspect that aristocracy had to speak in double tongue to be proper. But boy was it annoying to non-aristocratic me who could not figure out what they were talking about! I gave up after six chapters.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Katherine Kellgren and Simon Prebble ’s performances?

    I had to skip the introduction read by Simon Prebble, as it was just too wordly and hard to follow. Katherine Kellgren's performance seemed too affected, her voice kept modulating between high pitch and scratchy, guess trying to sound "high brow". I found it very annoying and overly theatrical.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Irritating, very irritating


    Any additional comments?

    I hope I can return this book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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