No. Although one may read to help understand the human condition it is not mandatory that a tale be uncritically accepted as useful. The author's own plodding style,rather like the Harold of the title, is bereft of any grace or finesse. What a tedious, unconvincing and uninteresting account leavened by so few good points as to be amongst my worst listens ever.
The plot is so tired..it has been used so many times before with far more panache.
Bland stereotypes litter this book.
The characters don't even " sit up from the page," let alone "stand."
Leave them to die in peace!
For a start she could have interested the listener in the predicament of the main characters. So little succeeds in her writing to excite the imagination. Shudder. I am very glad this is over.
Jim Broadbent's work was what attracted me to the title but I now have such a different opinion. He appears to be not comfortable with this role where he needs to be bringing something of himself to the part, without directorial assistance. His own bland, whining voice in this context may have seemed appropriate. In fact it doubles the negative impact the listener gets and at no point can one get an ounce of hope from this ghastly tale.
The only thing listeners can keep doing is providing cogent reactions to titles so prospective readers can get near to a realistic insight into what a book may offer.
Rewriting the plot is not helpful thank you.
Please be frank and honest about the pace, use of language and characterisation so others have hope of gauging the suitability of the title before purchase.
Nothing could have surprised me more than the experience of listening to this story. Highly suspicious of being bludgeoned into supporting any cause unwittingly, it was nonetheless extraordinarily fine to be pushed into uncomfortable places by the writer on numerous occasions.
Crafting together family dysfunction with wry humour and the inescapable tragedy it engenders in yet another way is a real accomplishment. Being human. What a gift, too often squandered.
The actor 's voice often threatened to make the tone far, far too sombre but on reflection, it seems appropriate.
It is rare to find writing that is at once resonant with meaning while remaining most accessible. This lyrical novel is very specific in time and place yet it graciously and often humorously passes many gifts on to the listener. However sympathetic or not one is to questions of origin, religion, even education..without excessive didacticism, the author offers us wisdom. All you really need is a deep love of books.
Ruth and Mary are an extraordinary partnership. In the face of what can only be described as " a difficult life," the two women find ways to excel. The men who surround them are a challenge added to their circumstances.
It is Ruth's voice we hear narrating and although there are many mispronunciations it feels forgiveable because the earnest tone appears to be a reflection of the character herself.
Many reviewers have remarked on the last chapter already. My choice moments are many: Mary trying to catch Virgil's eye at their first encounter, Ruth's bullies venting their lack of understanding of her at school, a scene where fire engulfs a room, attempting to dissuade a cow from drowning herself....it is very hard to choose from many, many moments that capture your imagination and feelings.
The extended metaphors of endless rain and a fast flowing river have been used very often by the authors and poets that are quoted in this novel but the writer manages to create a beautiful new, original version in a very human history meandering through time.
No. There are few universal themes and even less, riveting stories. Just once off, well written stories.
It is fascinating to link Mantel's known, personal story with her fiction. Particularly the nasty aspects of medical misdiagnosis. The space between these lines is worth the intellectual exercise. Of least interest is the perceived intransigence on certain issues which trudges on without being of any value to another human being. For the first time I really saw the more unattractive side of this author's personality.
In short stories this is hard to choose. The characters trapped in Saudi Arabia were my least favourite.
The assassin in the last story was memorable because he lacked all credibility. Come to think of it, I did not believe the representation of the remarkably calm old lady.
The actor's intonation helps contextualise the human being represented. Very useful for a non American.
There are many cameo moments. Sometimes an " aside," such as the " fear of falling" passage, grabs you and totally immerses you in " Frank's" life.
Poe's gentle pace, not strident accent and tone of bemusement and pain are rendered most authentically.
It's perfect as it is, isn't it?
Read this if you are approaching or have already reached your next, but last phase.
Having been tempted by the foreknowledge that the Brodie novels had been the basis for a reasonable TV series, I felt it was safe to try this novel. Not so! No wonder they were unable or unwilling to make this novel the next contender. It is tedious to the extreme with such a mess of story lines as to be incomprehensible and part way through one is left utterly not caring. When I glanced up and saw there was still 7 hours to go, I gave up. The relief was immediate. What a jumbled, grey, damp morass of non events. I shudder to think of the time wasted.
Why jumble together a book about, " my rambles through the Abbeys of England" with, " my terrible divorce and the sordid aftermath" and " child abduction without preamble" and " ugly musings by an old man" in what might have been a detective novel?
A man less earnest. His attempts at colouring the reading only served to highlight just how bleak and empty the prose is.
Any scene with the ludicrous VoiceOver of "Julia" irritating any sense of a story moving forward, all the contrived scenes of drunken divorced middle age man, all the unrealistic imaginings of how a scene might play out in the memory of an unreliable narrator..the list is endless.
"Life After Life" often meandered near the same cliff edge that this novel plunged over from the start.
Perhaps listeners who find predictable, incredibly slow moving spy tales that have no complexity.
I know I will try his later sequel to Slow Horses.it is a relief to know an author can find his stride and write a better book, later. Nonetheless, don't listen to these in the hope of finding originality. The plots are well suited to very ordinary TV scripts.
The Actor is definitely not one I admire from past association. But in this instance the performance is damaging to any suspension of disbelief available to the listener. The fact that Louise behaves in the way she does is in no way reflected by the actor. The foreign accent of another actor is so jarring and unbelievable it makes for irritated listening.
Listeners to Audible may share the experience of trying to stay with a title long after they should have abandoned their purchase in the hope things might get better. This is my first one and I regret the time lost.
Perhaps it is the combination of an interesting plot development without " boy's own" shenanigans. Just as there is an audience for the representations of mega brutality and endless car chase-like scenes, there is also an audience for intelligent, persuasive story with talented, well written character development. This novel excels in the latter category. There is no sidestepping of a truth..it is quietly alluded to and left to a listener's intelligence.
The lack of over explanation and mindless minutiae. Instead of limiting the listener's imagination, the writer encourages the listener to imagine their own version. This very clever enabling works magnificently to draw a person into the story's machinery.
Ah Sean. One never tires of listening to his vocal range and restrained but emotive characterisations. But why didn't you try " doing" Joanna Lumley's voice Mr Barrett? I know. Because this actor is an exemplar when it comes to doing justice to any audiobook.
Have to admit I was hooked in when the rag tag collection of " losers" galvanise themselves into action. It is a well known device, I know, but somehow it felt better written than many others we have seen or read.even if an IT " geek" is once again the background star of the event. Here is an idea for a novel. A handsome, urbane, well dressed IT specialist, with loads of real friends, teaches everyone in the office how to hack into...whatever...and goes home to an amazing life leaving the others to tap away on their computers and save the situation. Never seen that character.
Perhaps this story has been told before. Misfits making good is not an original idea. Nor is the idea that " those higher up" made it there through no skill of their own and on the shoulders of others. What makes this novel for me is the clean, concise writing.
Certainly. The absence of graphic, brutal violence against women was refreshing. Respect for the reader's intelligence and imagination was evident and much appreciated.
Although this listen does not compare with the more complex novels I prefer, it was a welcome relief. The lyrical descriptions of every kind of snowy landscape were delightful and although there were no plot convolutions, the development of the tale was well paced and satisfying.
No. Ms Armstrong's evocation of a Scottish accent seemed fine enough and it no doubt helped develop a greater sense of authenticity. Mr Sims seemed quite able to simulate a burgeoning Canadian- like accent and there was no heavy handed attempts, thankfully, to replicate Native Indian accents.
Guess it would be Mrs Ross. How on earth did she find all that strength and endurance even if she was a farmer's wife? Hope she never returned and stayed in Dove River.
Choose this on a hot series of days for an untroubled need to pass time. This is not to diminish the skill of the Author because it is well written. There are just none of the usual overwrought plot lines and ghastly details. Lovely.
Hitchen's quiet yet authoritative delivery of his own work adds to the pathos of what he has written. Although I had to replay some segments to ensure that I heard 100% of what he said, I appreciated his understated style.
Hitchens provides the titles himself in the amazing breadth of texts to which he refers. Hume, Einstein, Jefferson, Socrates..the philosophers, the self proclaimed religious, modern proclaimers of government from Apartheid supporters to Martin Luther King..the wealth of texts to which we may turn to follow up our own research ( if we have not already made it our quest to read them) are readily provided.
The scholarly and earnest individual as represented by Hitchens himself is our excellent guide.
No, this was not possible. If the listener hopes to assimilate the material amassed by the author, it might be best to put some time aside for reflection during the presentation.
So much of the material in this book is so prescient and current..the news today is full of relevant events which support Hitchen's treatise that it is incumbent on those who choose to think to read and reread this approach to religiosity. No doubt the freedom to do this thinking is a gift won only comparatively recently by some but not all and it is clear that the author died still importantly working towards guiding those who prefer to be non partisan and prefer to be honest in their thinking. This book is not for those who find faith in religion unless they are free in themselves to be challenged.
Very highly indeed for selfish, sentimental and not intellectual reasons.
As for most devotees of this specific journey by the character Poirot and actor David Suchet, the several farewells "they" must make as they "die" and leave the film set.
Perhaps it was the David Suchet/Poirot incarnation who visits the elderly folk in the Nursing Home, in costume and character whilst on set, filming the series.Or perhaps when he comes across people in Hastings in real life and later whilst filming who either are confused at seeing "him" on their street and declare that they never understand a word "he" said during the 13 series.
No doubt there exists at least one Masters or Doctoral Thesis on the research available on the impact television series have on their audience or the actors who portray the characters in them. The psychological ramifications are alluded to when media analysts protest that the depiction of violence is reflected in the behaviour of the viewer. This novel hints at the impact that television does in fact have on vast numbers of people in the world. In fact I viewed a very moving documentary about a victim of the terrible events in New York who alluded to the calm she felt watching the eponymous series on television on a regular basis. This novel similarly can calm and reassure whilst listening to a pleasant, human journey many can sympathise with.
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