Though the characters and their circumstances are a bit cliché, Tom Wolfe's observations have a real bite and still inform the current events of today, God help us... Listening to Joe Barret read is a marvel--loved his work on Owen Meany and this is even better!
I've been trying to read the Cornish Trilogy for years, but always got bogged down with the complex prose. Frederick Davidson (the reader) added both "voice" and cadence to the prose that truly highlighted the wit and talent of the author and made for a most enjoyable listening experience.
A wonderful story and an excellent reader(Dan Woren) made a 9 hour road trip seem like a little vacation in itself. We arrived at our destination with 15 minutes left in the novel and drove round and round until it was finished. Enjoyed the historical setting and loved the characters-especially Charlie Siringo. Syntax and dialogue is somewhat reminiscent of an episode from the HBO series "Deadwood", and adds to the atmosphere of the novel.
More than once I tried to read this book but couldn't get past the one-dimensional characters and the improbable plot. Then came the Great Financial Crisis of '08 and news accounts of Alan Greenspan's devotion to Ayn Rand, so thought it was worth another try. I listened about an hour-at-a-time during evening dog-walks and it took a few months to get through it, but it was both an enjoyable and worthwhile effort that allowed me to understand the ideological attraction and the historical irony of the story. Best of all, when Rand gets into her frequent "rant mode", I could let my mind wander without losing any continuity. Christopher Hurt does an admirable job of bringing life to the characters and is especially good with the snivelers and whiners.
The writing is stylistically similar to "Everything is Illuminated", though is more grounded in reality rather than fantasy. Jonathan Safran Foer has an amazingly fertile imagination, and these readers make his words sing!
The perfect combo, a compelling story on both a personal and historical level that is brought to life by a wonderful voice.
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