Woolf uses stream-of-consciousness to tell the story of one day in the life of ... . The frequent changes in point of view can be difficult to follow in the printed text, but the Audible version lets you get inside the heads of the various characters pretty seamlessly.
Mrs Dalloway hearing about Septimus Smith
The narrator relates the story evenly and makes the frequent changes in point-of-view seem natural.
Appleby's End is a favorite -- I listened to it twice and plan to listen again.
It wasn't the plot that kept me on the edge of my seat; it was the multiple wry scenes and twists in the story. There's not so much a crime as a series of eccentric characters and bizarre episodes that kept me laughing along the way.
In this intricately plotted book, Jonathan Franzen looks at society the way a naturalist looks at a newly met life form - he picks it up, looks underneath, and pokes around inside to see how it works. This he does with individual characters, the family (oh, the family!) and larger institutions as varied as the music business, the environmental movement, and corporate America. He presents the noblest dreams of the human heart and our dirtiest longings. With everything and everybody having a flip side, the flip side of freedom is examined and found, er, wanting. I loved this book and expect to remember its characters - especially Patty and Walter - for a long time to come.
I'm more than willing to suspend disbelief -- that's what fiction's for! -- but the plot of this book was too far-fetched for me. The subplots seemed to take over the main plot, and ultimately it was difficult to care very much about a secret held by a group of 1000 feuding Pythagoreans, who sounded like a bunch of highstrung MENSA egoists. Even the narrator took on an over-refined voice. Naturally, the bluecollar cop and the ex-jock wanna-be boyfriend were the few characters with any heart, or common sense for that matter. I guess intellectuals are either very bad people or very boring ones.
This book has stuck in my mind for many months because the author holds up to the light the many facets of love between women, men, and their children; the aspirations we have for ourselves and one another; the human yearning for recognition and the drowning burden of shame. I thought the narrator brought each of the complex emotions to the fore ... tenderness, exasperation, regret, anger, humilation, and an uncanny mixture of desperation and hope.
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