A classic - that I have read many times but wanted to have handily on ipad to listen to at any given moment. It is magical...shut your eyes - and follow along the streets, meet the people - a masterpiece - of writing and reading.
What an extraordinary and deeply touching book this is.
It is written so incredibly beautifully, the descriptions of the snow, of the eponymous hero's dying, of his love, his inner musings, his struggles, his hopes and his despair - all are written with such quiet and perfect observation, that one's own heart can follow almost inside of HIS heart.
This is a great classic. The author never lived to see it's sudden trajectory to the tops of European best-seller lists - and that is a great shame. Maybe not unlike Stoner's own experience of being unappreciated.
I cannot imagine why it has not reached the same appreciation in America as in Europe?
It is a sad book for sure, but sad in the way that it is so true to life, to the common experience - it is not the 'hero' so often sought - as the critic in the New Yorker wrote - Stoner is the opposite of Gatsby. Maybe in america people want their heroes to be flamboyant, glamorous and dramatic. (I'm not knocking Gatsby which is of course a great novel - but as 'Hero's' go - Stoner is the opposite )
The narration by Robin Field is also wonderful. He has a voice which seems to be naturally 'set' most of the time in the minor key - which is perfect for this book. However - at the other times where an outburst of anger or other emotion is called for - he conveys that in a way that is all the more shocking having listened to the almost melancholic tone of the rest of the reading.
This is a book so precious and extra-ordinary that I have also bought its typed version.
I'm not sure what the genre is - but this is, I think badly written, boringly conceived and really does remind me of the few times I have seen mid-day television - is there something called Desparate Housewives? I think this must be like that...
I liked the reviewer who said it was suitable for Philosophy 101
it was ok - she did a very good job considering the text she was reading.
I am rather sad (for the sake of an indication of the general level of intellect) that this has reached such heights in the New York Times best seller list - although I must say it is MILES above the Shades of Grey series...so I suppose that is a good thing.
Following the thought process of Julian Barnes - on a subject that is so often avoided.
He has a remarkable clarity of thought and the process of his enquiry and exploration is fascinating. Interspersed with great humour. A wonderful book.
He wrote it - and so he reads it perfectly (although in some books this isn't the case)
He is altogether a wonderful writer.
This is such a wonderful reading by Ronald Pickup - and of course, the story is a classic for good reason. I did not want it to finish...highly recommended!
I had listened to and very much enjoyed Hill's 'The Woodcutter' - so chose this as a follow on. But it was SO slow in developing any plot, and I found the overly cheerful Charlie character so annoying I could hardly listen. The main character, Dalziel seemed unbelievable too - all too jolly and witty. I struggled on for 3 hours to give it a chance - but no - that's it. Can't go on.
I had no idea as to the extent of horror being perpetrated in North Korea. It is happening NOW under our noses - just the way the Holocaust did (for a much shorter time) and we are often filled with disbelief when those generations say they were not aware of it happening.
So now -the very least we can do is be aware of this situation and this book is a very fine way to do it. It easily holds your attention - it does not need to add anything to be 'sensational' or 'shocking' - it is that without trying - but written and read very very well.
It is a terrible thing that this is happening. Thank you for bringing this to our hearts and minds.
I have to write this review as someone who was abused as a child. The main 'baddie' is someone who goes into detail about his fantasies about abusing children - and as such, it was really extremely upsetting (impossible actually) to listen to.
It disturbs me that the author even has the words and 'imagination' to create this character.
That to be able to have the sort of mind that can re-create the sickness and words and mind of a pedophile - seems very horrible.
Perhaps I am 'oversenstive' on this particular subject - and others that have not been affected may take it as no more then a good thriller.
If theft or murder had ever affected my life, I may feel the same about murder mysteries - but, unless they are extremely grisly - I don't.
So - this is written just as a warning to other victims of child abuse - I would not advise downloading it.
The performance seems good enough - from the part that I listened to.
I really loved this book. It had me enthralled from the very first line- swept into the magic of it - so much that I did not want it to end. I usually keep the audiobooks for when I am painting, but this was so wonderful that I broke that rule - and had to listen to it at every possible moment. I highly recommend it if you love being swept away into a world of beautiful magic
I really enjoyed this - thinking it was going to be about just illusions - but it is much more interesting and mysterious. Wonderfully read by Simon Vance. It had so many twists that I had to re-listen to previous parts to understand fully what had happened.
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