This is a grim portrayal of a short period in the life of two men who have nothing but each other. It is classic Steinbech at his best, depicting depressing themes that lead us to the final punch in guts ending. I will listen to it again for sure.
I Love the way Steinbech unfolds the story through carefully crafted dialogue, exposing the downtrodden characters and the hopelessness of their situation.
Of course the central character Lenny has to be my favourite. He is the true victim of the story, despite him being considered the perpetrator of the crime by most of the other characters.
Steinbech is a master at painting depressing scenes and equally depressing characters,but still luring us to want more for them, to crave the good outcome for them. Of course it never comes, and the powerful and confronting finale leaves you feeling shocked at the rawness of these people and at your own naiveity. Masterful writing.
I'm on a bit a mission to read many of the books I studied in High School English classes, and Catch 22 was one. All too often, the mere fact that a student MUST read a book for study, means that often he/she becomes unable to just relax and appreciate the story for what it really is. This is the third such book I have read, and I have to say that it should have been no surprise to me that books are chosen for study because of their literary merit. I really enjoyed Catch22, it's irony, black humour, satire and pathos. There are quite a few belly laugh moments, but it is pretty hard core shockingly explicit at times, and not for the faint hearted. The main Character, Yossarian, finds himself trapped in bizarre environment, fighting for his country in a crazy war doing crazy things, where he appears to be the only sane person. This scenario is timeless and in fact, could be placed in any war at any time.
The narrator took a bit of getting used to, but overall I found him to be very good. The long soundless gap between chapters was a bit irritating.
This is a modern classic well worth listening to.
I loved the way this book provided so much fascinating and constructive information on a simple way to to keep our brain in tip top shape.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from depression in any form because it provides down to earth statistically proven methods to manage your condition without medication. It is also a must read for parents because it will make them truly aware of how important kids' physical activity is for healthy brain function and to facilitate learning in school. My only negative was that the information is very scientific at times and goes well beyond the scope of popular reference, and more into the realm of medical professional reference. That being said, I just absorbed what I understood and let the rest go, confidant that a second listening will probably have even more meaning for me.
I read Cloudstreet some years ago but found it difficult to get past Tim Winton's unusual style of minimal punctuation and loose sentence structure. Just hearing it was the best part for me because I could soak up all the story without being distracted by the writing style.
I couldn't help feeling a similarity between the writing style of Tim Winton and Annie Proulx, although I'm not quite sure why.
I struggled with Peter Hosking's 'Aussie-ness' at first (even though I am an Aussie myself) but gradually I warmed to it and found it restful and soothing. He does not change tone excessively and is less theatrical than other narrators I have heard but this was fine with me.
This is a great book that could be shared by a family of parents and older kids because the main theme is about family. The quirkiness of the characters, at times makes them almost cartoon like and funny, but there are also moments of real tenderness. Tim Winton gives the reader a true sense of the lifestyle of Australia in that era of the 40's, 50's & 60's. For anyone interested in quality Australian fiction this is a good book to start with.
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