I like a good historical fiction novel, and this one was an enjoyable listen. However, it was a bit thin at times. I also found the way in which race was dealt with in the novel a little problematic. Despite Chevalier's (sometimes awkward) attempts to give black characters agency, we were still left with a novel about white heroes in relation to slavery. Tracy Chevalier really was trying hard to do something a little more complex I think, but it just doesn't come out right. Sometimes listening to the discussions of race I felt uncomfortable.
Having read through the reviews, I was a little worried about those who said that this book was slow. I often listen when I am running, and I like novels to keep moving along. Theoretically, I suppose you could say that this book is slow, but the carefully building action is so carefully set up, the book is as dramatic as most I have read (or listened) to. Terrorism lurks in the background, allowing for reflection on our post-9/11 world, but really I think this book is a meditation on the nature of life itself and our place as parents and children. McEwan is such a careful writer; each word and phrase is staked out so as to later lead you into a new insight. I can't do justice to this book in my review; just buy it. If you enjoy other McEwan books and you want something that will make your head full of rich reflections on life while sometimes also hanging on the edge of your seat for the next piece of action, this is the book for you. Wonderful narration, too.
This is just a wonderful book. Ian McEwan takes us into a precise moment in history through the eyes of characters who are always tough to pin down. The novel is rich in detail and plays out through the eyes of a wonderful heroine. The narrator does a great job of capturing different voices for the main characters. I truly loved this book and highly recommend it.
It would probably depend on the friend. The writing is not particularly amazing and there isn't much depth to the novel. But it is a good book to pass the time. I would probably recommend it to someone who enjoys detective novels.
Pretty good. Not quite what I expected, but not too shocking. There were predictable moments through the novel, but the ending was not fully predictable.
If you just want something to entertain and to keep you listening, this will do the job. I enjoyed "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and bought this book as one reviewer mentioned a connection. I think this was a fair recommendation. "Defending Jacob" is not the same standard, but it is a good book.
Probably only a female friend, and someone who liked literature.
I really enjoyed the story, and continue to turn the gender politics of it over in my mind. Great narrative, and strong narration. Wonderful book.
Definitely, because it is just a gripping story.
Great audiobook. The story unfolds wonderfully. The narration is strong throughout. I kept finding excuses to return to listen to a little more.
This is a great book, but I've been reading through the series, so best to start from the beginning with these (although you'd get most of the story, but it seems silly not to). My only issue was that the audio quality (on the highest download setting) is a little strange. I think there are background noises in the recording. Didn't effect the good narration too much though. I guess Trollope novels take a long time to record.
Overall I enjoyed listening, but I think it probably works better as a novel to be read rather than listened to. It took a few hours of listening to get into, and I wasn't sure that the end result was worth it. I like my audiobooks to be a bit faster paced than books I might choose to read, as I find that's what works for me. But it is a reasonably good novel and well narrated.
I'm slowly listening my way through Trollope's novels, and having a great time doing so. I enjoyed the narration for this one, the narrator does a great job with the accents. There are occasional little jumps here and there in the audio, but they don't stop you listening to the book. I chose this version since the other unabridged one on offer had warnings that the last section of the book didn't download. This one is fine, and a really enjoyable listen.
The flip side of Solar is the dark character of the 'hero.' I loved this book, far more than previous McEwan offerings. He perfectly captures the nasty points of sexist male academics. The crisp scene on the train made me laugh aloud. Just a wonderful listen, but maybe not one if happy fluffy stories are your kind of thing. Some of the humor may also appeal to my British and academic sides (I'm both). Great narration too.
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