Shoreline, WA, United States | Member Since 2015
This is a quaint historical novel about the abolitionist John Brown, who's deeds and follies set the stage for the American Civil War. At first, I had a hard time listening to the chortling of "The Onion" a 10 to 12 year-old boy who was put into a dress and apparently lived as a woman for 17 years. After a couple of hours, I got into the voice...and the book is quite hysterical in some areas. I had to look it up to see if John Roberts was a real person or not, just because his escapades seemed so unrealistic. But, John Roberts did live, although I doubt the boy/girl nicknamed "The Onion" is a real person. But Onion is the perfect vehicle for telling this story. He is a child whom everyone treats as a girl, and for that reason, he could get into places and do things that a boy could not have been able to.
I enjoyed this book because it was funny and the voice actor was really quite good...after I got used to the sound of his voice. Audible makes a mistake when reading the introduction, because you think it is going to sound like that the whole way though. They have done that with other books that I did not appreciate.
Through the eyes of The Onion (so nicknamed because John Roberts hands the kid this rotten/petrified onion he kept as a good luck charm, but The Onion doesn't understand why he has been given this hideous rotten piece of crap masquerading as an onion, so he eats it. Then John Roberts always protects him, proclaiming that "She's my lucky charm" (I guess because s/he ate the onion instead of putting it in his/her pocket).
There are lots of funny scenes where the kid's true identity is almost unmasked, but while reading the bible on evening on a porch in Virginia, the boy realizes that a body, male or female, black or white is simply a shell and who one is inside and the outer shell doesn't make a bit of difference. I was touched by that, and it is true, IMO.
I don't like to reveal much of a book's plot points or the way it ends....but I found it very enjoyable and would recommend it to anyone who likes a farcical historical novel. I read about it on the NPR's website and went straight to Audible and bought it and I'm glad I did. It is witty, not too gory and I quite enjoyed it. It's a bit like Tom Robbins meets Edward P. Jones to write about a part of American Slavery and one man's feverish desire (driven by the Lord!) to bring an end to slavery. Oh...and we get to meet Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman in a way that we have never met them before.
All and all, a very enjoyable read. I can see it as a movie...maybe directed by the Cohen Brothers....who would be perfect for the tone of the book.
I'm guessing teenage girls might like this, but after 15 minutes of the snivelling voice actress, I gave up. I don't wanna go back to high school with this group of people.
Oh dear.. I did not really care for this... I have no idea why I bought it, but I guess someone, somewhere wrote a good review.
Yikes! It's pretty bad. I don't even want to waste any more time writing a review for it. Steer clear.
This is TRULY a horrible waste of time and money! First of all, much of it contradicts Julia Child's OWN memoirs in "My Life in France"... and the author makes Paul Child out to be a really awful man... He was talented... He and Julia were madly in love with each other.... My great Aunt was a friend of the Child's and I grew up watching her on TV.... Bob Spitz has really done a disservice to Julia's legacy. And... She is not a real controversial character. Plus, most of the "impersonations" were just awful along with terrible French pronunciation... This book makes me wanna toss my cookies....
Read My Life In France or almost ANYTHING other than this book!
So... I was not expecting Dickens, Dumas or Shakespeare here... I just wanted a "light sumer read". The characters are SO insipid, the French is SO poorly pronounced (and even written wrong~~and I speak excellent French, so I know what I am talking about here) and the story is so forced and lame. I'd rather watch a bad porn movie where the chick orders a pizza, cue in the terrible music, and pizza boy and hungry girl go at it on the floor. A GIANT waste of a credit.
Also! I am NOT offended by these types of books... I read the Anne Rice Bondage series (forgot the name of it~~something about Sleeping Beauty) and a few other ones... but this is, by FAR the worst one I have ever suffered through. Heck, Dumas writes scenes in his books that are more tasteful, literary and more sexy that this one could ever hope to be... And he doesn't even get "explicit!"
I see there is a WHOLE SERIES!!! I shall not be partaking of it... YUCK!!! Oh... and even though the narrator was working with poor material to begin with, she was HORRID!!! OMG! She should have a job as a typist and the author needs to learn how to properly write French. Or maybe become a garbage collector so that none of us need to be exposed to any of this drivel again.
Dreck, pure and simple.
I saw the film when I was a teen... very inappropriate, and all I remember was "the scene" and some banjo music.
No need to watch it again. This is a BEAUTIFUL book... lovingly narrated, beautifully produced, and it's on the "top 100 of American Reads" from some list or another.
It deserves it's place. Yes, it is unsettling, but no good book is without some controversy. For the time it was written (1970) it is bold... not unlike Philip Roth (one of my favorite authors) when it comes to writing men with their bravado, their facades and when it all comes crumbling down, each man grapples with what has happened in his own way. They are both beaten, tested to the limits of their humanity and al but one trumps over the experience. The man narrating it (the main protagonist) is a thoughtful, grateful man. I wouldn't mind having him for a father or a husband.
Yeah... you might *think* you know the story...but I'm guessing that the movie adaptation is sensational, and doesn't allow for the quiet moments.
Listen to it... it is one of the best produced books in my library. 5 stars on every level.
I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude about 10 years ago, and have re-read it or referred to it many times, since. When I saw an email from Audible.com that it was now available as an AudioBook… I downloaded it immediately, as it is ALSO narrated by my All-Time favorite reader, John Lee so I did not even listen to a clip of it. Now, I am in several hours of my first listen, and, I feel bad about “warning” listeners, but this needs to be said:
The printed book comes with a handy chart of who is who, and how they are related their relationship together, whether they are married or have children… etc. THIS audio version does not have that chart (it’s like looking at a complex family tree) and at the pace that John Lee is tearing through it… he gets my vote for “fastest readers on Planet Earth” (Lee could , unless they just finished the print version it is super confusing. Many characters either have the same, exact name and the words just *sparkle* in writing. I remember sighing with joy and reading the same line over and over as it is one of the best written books, ever. I still recall that a tear of joy or gratitude came into my eyes many a time during both readings.
Reluctantly, I must give one of my all-time favorite novels a less than stellar review. I suppose there is a website somewhere that has the chart, but not even this listener (me) can understand what is going on…. And Mr. Lee is reading it so fast that the words do not sparkle. They are yelled at you, rushing by someone who needed to use the bathroom immediately or is late for an appointment and must hurry! It’s a very bad production. If one loves beautiful, poetic lines, then, please pick up a paper copy.
One hundred Years of Solitude MUST be read in print, as uninitiated people not familiar with the book will be even more confused as I am… It is hard for me to give a beloved novel such a low rating, but I must. If you have ever had ANY interest in reading OHYoS, please get a printed copy or download it into your reading device. I know the story by heart (I read it twice in a 2-year period because I am in 2 book discussion groups) and it was just as gorgeous the second time around. Whoever produced this beautiful book did a VERY poor job. And, it needs to come with a link to the chart… otherwise, you would not be able to tell who is who or what is happening.
What a bummer!. I thought it would be brilliant and amazing to listen to it, but it is frustrating that John Lee did not even pause for punctuation, much less read it as fast as possible (is Audible trying to win an Olympic medal for being the world’s fastest reader?), and that it is truly a terrible blow. I am SO disappointed. OHYoS’s audible is not good at all. In fact, it is frustrating and disappointing. I just want to find my print copy and read it again, savoring each line by exquisite line. Skip this format, and go find a nice paper copy, or AT LEAST follow along with whatever reading gadget you have... You will not be disappointed. This new Audio version blows. Such a giant let down for this OHYoS fan.
I saw the INCREDIBLE film… and I knew I had to read this book. It is lovingly narrated by Louis Gossett, Jr. (I met him one time!) and the story is just as gripping and moving and horrible/wonderful as the film. AND! If you loved the book, do not be afraid to see the film… it is a VERY faithful re-creation of the book. It is an AMAZING story of loss, anger, submission, living on nothing but wits, endurance and redemption. It's a book to be experienced. It's a "must-read".
It deserves a place on your shelf or in your Audible library right along with The Known World by Edward P Jones and Beloved by the incomparable Toni Morrison. It's WAY better than Uncle Tom's Cabin and much better than The Confessions of Nat Turner….
Get it! Listen to it! Love Soloman Northup! You will not regret reading this memoir.
I think I picked this book up on sale. I had never heard of it, but the story sounded intriguing. But the narration! Either she had a terrible cold, or she can win the prize for the most nasal sounding voice on Planet Earth….and she didn't show great range. Every character, man and woman had the same voice.
But I digress….. If you are interested in hoarders but don't want to get dirty or grossed out, this might be a book to consider, if you aren't picky about narration. I did like very much the character of the older hoarding woman. She was quite interesting. And… I really wanted to see her paintings!
YAY for "Woman, Freshly Tossed". I could envision it.
I found this book to be quite well-written, but the decision to use 2 narrators was a distractingly bad experience... The book is solid when Ava is narrating, but when Kiwi is narrating, it, the book sounds like it isn't even being directed by the same person. If they just would have stuck with Arielle Sitrick, it would have been a MUCH better listen.
If you want diverse, quirky characters and want exquisite descriptions of the Florida wetlands... this could be your book!
My experience with this book is that if I were British or Scottish, I probably would have understood this book better... so this book might be a better book for reading in print. It also would have benefited from a male reader in addition to Ms. Kellgren. Every male voice sounded the same and every female voice sounded the same except for a small part of an American woman. I don't think I would seek out another read by Kellgren, but the story kept my attention....but the directing and production left much to be desired....my book even skipped in quite a few places, especially on the 3rd part, but the story was so convoluted, it did not much matter. I enjoyed the 3 main characters, but many of the background players were just so much noise. If I were to read Susanna Kearlsey again, I would do so in print, especially if it is set in Ireland/England/Russia again.
Overall, an enjoyable story, but one that didn't make much of an impact on me. I doubt I would ever give it a second thought.
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