This is awful. I can't finish it because the narration is so bad. He can't even be bothered to learn the Spanish pronunciation of Colombian places. When the city of Cali changes from CAH-lee to Cah-LEE you know what follows isn't going to be good. No doubt the author is going to lose readers because of the poor narration. Sorry about that Mr. Garcia.
I was fascinated by Axelrod's story and how he got into journalism and then into running political campaigns. Because I'm an Obama supporter I also enjoyed the recap of his first run for the presidency and because I'm originally from Iowa I also liked hearing about his time spent there prior to the primary in places with which I'm familiar. The author is also an adept narrator and I found his voice rather soothing.
I loved the way Wilkerson told the story in historical terms and also through the lives of the three people she wrote about. I felt as though I knew these three to an extent and it made me want to learn more about them. The difficulties these people went through to leave the South seem very much like what one reads about those who migrated to America from Europe. They didn't have as far to go geographically but perhaps as far or farther culturally.
What a fascinating story of religious fundamentalism. Though the main characters are Muslim, it also includes Christians and Jews and how fundamentalism in any of these can have very negative consequences. In addition, it is a coming-of-age story by the main character, Hayat. The narration is what made this book come alive for me. Akhtar was able to include various Pakistani English accents so that I had a real sense of individuals. This could be a great book club choice since there is so much to discuss regarding religious outlook and concepts of God.
After having read the book I still don't have insight into Philby's motivations except Macintyre's belief that he was addicted to lying and secrets as much as because of his ideological views. His personal life was also full of faithlessness and he treated his wife Ailene horribly. It's hard to understand why his children believed him to be a good father when he was so cruel to their mother and so often absent from their lives. I love Macintyre's books on similar subjects and he really brings the characters to life.
This is one of the best novels I've read in years. Moriarty cleverly weaves the various characters' stories together and, in doing so, covers themes of gossip, parental hovering, loyalty, teenage angst, bullying, and domestic violence. We learn about the domestic violence in very subtle ways and with a slowly increasing feeling of dread. The one problem I had with the story was the way the author showed the parents telling the school principal what to do. I don't think most schools would allow parents to try to control the teacher and classroom in this way and I say this as a former teachr.
Because I lived in Isfahan, Iran for 3 years right up to the Iranian revolution and the ouster of the shah, I was especially intrigued by this book. We've all seen and heard of the changes in Iran since the revolution, from the taking of the embassy hostages and on through the recent presidential election and likely assumed that many of the things that go on in the West, both good and bad, don't happen in a regime that touts itself of being Islamic. This book tells us that all of it does go on, both good and bad, with the added element of government repression. Thank you, Ms. Navai, for giving us an insider's view of life in Teheran.
This was a bit disappointing. I have read many of his books and I'm eagerly awaiting the 3rd in his trilogy. However, this one seemed to lack the usual Follett excitement. The story was rather contrived though it could have been very interesting, given the setting of 1939 just as WWII began. I felt like it was more a vehicle to describe Pan American's trans-Atlantic plane and capabilities than to tell a real story of people's lives. Also, the sex scenes seemed ill-placed and not at all important to the story but rather a way to try to keep reader interest. For me, those scenes just made me say, OK, get on with the story.
I had no idea that Sara and Angelina Grimke were real people who were famous as early feminists and anti-slavery activists. Besides a fascinating story, the two narrators (one for Sara and one for Handful) really made this come alive for me. While Kidd couldn't know exactly what Handful's life was like, she did an excellent job of imagining it based on what was known about slave life.
I can understand why the author would want to narrate his own story. However, he isn't a good reader and that took something away from the story. He sounded like the inexperienced singer who breathes at all the wrong places. Still, it was a good story about an amazing will to survive.
Thank goodness there were those aware enough to plan ahead to save art treasures though they still started late in the war. What a fascinating story about devoted men and women who worked to save art and archives. The Nazis were relentless in their zeal to plunder. What could they possibly have wanted with things like insects collections???? It was sad to realize that since WWII there have been no monuments personnel in any war and the treasures of Iraq were decimated as a result.
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