Although not much of the cultural experiences are new now (I believe this marriage took place in the 1970s) it's still interesting as an autobiography of a mid-western girl who experiences a culture that is foreign to her.
I'm not familiar with narrators, but for starters it seems a mistake to have cast someone with a British(?) accent. It was really distracting to keep hearing her refer to her hometown and background with the ill-fitting accent. I feel that she should have tried for an American accent, or that someone else should have been cast.
Also,this isn't the narrator's fault but did no one edit this thing? As the other reviewer mentions, at a certain point early on we begin hearing coughs, throat clearing, weird clicks and maybe tapping on the microphone. Of course that was annoying but also rather jarring. I'm not crazy about unexpected loud noises in my ears, and from that point forward it's been hard to relax and enjoy the book.
Well, it was a little interesting. I got it because I'm normally interested in other countries and cultures, and I was disappointed on that level, but as a personal story of one woman's experience it was OK. Can't really recommend, unless it was offered for a couple of dollars or something.
Although the author has written this novel in verse, the story and the flow of the language are not limited by the rhymes. Wise, knowing, humorous writing. Characters I wanted to spend more time with. Vignettes that felt true and real, told in the most beautifully elevated yet natural way. From meatpacking workers in the early part of the 20th century (?) to San Francisco in the 1980's, we enter the characters' little worlds and get to know them, briefly but deeply. The best poetry, of course, can condense language and make it powerful. I think Rakoff has succeeded beautifully here.A word on the narration: the author apparently felt strongly about reading his own book despite being weakened by cancer. It's true, the voice is a little frail, a little breathless at times. To me, it only added to the poignancy. Hearing this story read to me felt like a gift. I didn't find it hard to hear or understand, and I easily adjusted to the style.
I love the whole story of Cliff.
So sad this author is gone.
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