I am an avid gardener and could doubly enjoy the book being able to relate to all the references to the specific plants and flowers. But this is a book about the expansion of one's spirit through the enjoyment of nature's beauty. The characters were real and flawed and imperfect but lovable. It allowed one to overlook the defects in the nature of others and focus on the complete human being. I love Flo Gibson narrating this book and all books of this time frame in England. She's perfect for this.
Sir Brrr and Yakal because they were so real and irreverent and genuine.
It's almost like watching a play or movie listening to John McDonough. Superb timing, such enthusiasm, conveys the exact tone and personality of each character. I was so sorry when when this book ended. I felt like I'd lost some old friends.
Yes, but I won't say because it gives away a big piece of the story.
This book and Wicked were just excellent.
I had to keep reminding myself that this was written from a dog's perspective which was enlightening. The injustices that a human would rail against, a dog does not. The pleasures that enthrall a dog go unnoticed by humans much of the time. So I had to remind myself that the story WAS believable from the dog's unconditionally loving perspective. It sort of confirmed for me that dogs are far superior to humans in all respects and deserve the love and admiration that I have felt for them since being a tiny child. I liked that the author did not drag out or milk the suffering that comes when we lose our furry friends. Loving and being loved comes with a reward and a price and is all just part of life, not some unbearably dismal circumstance. I was sorry when it came to the end and missed hearing about the dog's next experience. Nice read. Uplifting.
I read this book because Elizabeth von Arnim wrote the beautiful story, The Enchanted April. The way she represented the inner workings and vulnerability and awakening joy of those 4 women made me feel close to her. She truly conveyed the hopes and fears of the women in that book. This is somewhat of a diary. I guess I shouldn't judge her on her personal writings, but it reflected a spoiled, hauty, self centered, self indulgent rich wife. There didn't seem to be a speck of humility or vulnerability in her. She referred to her children as "The May Baby or The April Baby" and was constantly handing them off to maids and servants to tend them so she could get to her garden. She complained of visitors to her estate, having to go to lavish balls and parties, and the preference for being utterly alone and not bothered with motherly or household duties---such as supervising and ordering servants around. She mightily complained of her gardeners ineptness and bad character. I couldn't relate to being spoiled, privileged and rich. The narrator perfectly depicted the snooty tone in her reading with her high pitched, clipped voice. I gave up half way through. Not a fun read for me.
If a person wasn't depressed when they started this book, it certainly would follow after. I must confess that I only got halfway through. I remember my mother as a kid referring to Cathy and Heathcliff glowingly as a testament to enduring love. I forget the mindset of martyrdom some equate to "love". This was the largest collection of disgusting human beings I had the displeasure of coming to know in a book. I have to battle my own critical and negative inner voice without inviting the hate and revenge filled ravings of others even though they are fictional. I read to be uplifted as well as entertained. The book is eloquently and well written and the narration by Flo Gibson is perfect. She is one of my all time favorite narrators. Before giving up on it after all these many hours of listening, I quickly read some notes on the book in Wikipedia to see if there was going to be a change for the better in the story line.....nope, not much.
I am at a place in my life where I want comfort, ease and joy. I don't want to ride Sunami sized waves of emotion when I read a book. I am tired of shock value and vulgarity. I am wanting to be inspired to be a better person and let go of the pettiness and drama that abounds in life. This book speaks to all "decent" and "good" people who know in the core of their being that decency and goodness has been mostly for show and for getting ahead in the eyes of others. I could identify with all the characters in this book---both genunine and not so genuine. It incited love and fondness for the characters. It helped me in the acceptance of others-- and myself in my less than stellar personal attributes. I came away with such joy and gladness in having read this book. Makes me sad to lose these "friends" I've come to know so well. The movie version of this book is phenomenal, as well. Some people do not not care for Flo Gibson's voice who narrates this. I find it wonderful, deep and wise sounding. She to me is one of the best narrators, especially of British novels.
I totally enjoyed this book, but mostly BECAUSE OF Flo Gibson's voice and excellent performance. Her style was perfect for this book, in my opinion. It reminded me of an older, more mature version of Judy Dench's voice. Ms. Gibson's command of the English language of that period has an air of old world charm and dignity that demanded it. I've been looking for books that are uplifting and heartfelt, where honesty and respect are the standard or goal. It's a fantastic story and production. I'm eagerly looking forward to another book narrated by Flo Gibson.
I saw a tiny bit of this story on "Through the Wormhole" on the Science Channel before he wrote his book. To see him interviewed on that TV program made his story credible, but I wanted to know more. Hearing his sincere and genuine voice reading this book confirmed that there is indeed so much more to "reality" than what we can tell with our senses. He's not a professional story teller, but that makes it even better for me. It's especially inspiring to hear someone so ensconced in academia and scientific reasoning have his belief system so entirely up-ended. It makes the fear of death put in proper prospective.
People who enjoy put down humor and sarcasm that cuts to the bone of another.
Anything by James Herriott
The narrator wasn't the problem, the content was.
Don't care enough to give it much thought.
Maybe in another time in my life this would have been funny.......mmmmm....no, maybe not.
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