This is not the type of book that can generate a juicy recommendation.
The prose in this book is very delicate, never mentioning the tragedie in Nagasaki directly.
The protagonist in this story (who is also the narrator) doesn't relate to her own experience directly, but only as a listener to her family at the time, and by watching a close friends attempt to move to 'America'.
Layer by Layer, it creats an intense picture.
The author (through this story) carefully tells a story about the old Japanese way, which trigered a lot of emotions in me. (as a non Japenese reader) and another emotional stroy about parental choices.
The narrator did a very good job.
Listened to this one, thank to the review of Jim "The Impatient", here in audible, otherwise its not likely i would have ran into this authors work.
The Novella, is good, and very well written. It's a satire about pshychological analysis of welfare, and ridicolous attempts of eduated people to re adapt fairness.
The protagonists charachter was very well written (disturbingly well written).
Narration - impacable.
I am not a short story collection fan. Short stories and Novellas require the most precise editing and have to be master written, in order to become memorable.
I gave this collection a chance, as it turned out to be a pleasent introduction to a new voice.
The collection buildup from one story to another, reminded me a bit of Alice Munro's "Runaway", but Katherine Heiny's voice is unique.
Some of the stories were disturbing - looking into the superficial focus in day to day life details, while missing any content or purpose. those stories criticized and showed empathy at the same time.
The trilogy novella - starting with "Single, Carefree, Mellow" - was touching and funny at times.
The Rhet Buttlers - started as amuzing but turned out to be deeply distressing.
The narration was flawless.
I am a big fan of Margaret Atwood's work, and appreciate everything she writes, but in my opinion this is not her best work.
I didn't enjoy the entire collection, but it had its moments, thanks to the connection between the stories (revnge, looking back, connection between fantasy writers and their inspiration or themes).
There are also two exceptional stories included in this collection +one enjoyable nostalgic story for M. Atwood's fans.
I Dream of Zenia... - a retrospect/ revisit of the book The Robber Bride (funny and very well written)
The Dead Hand Loves you - a very amusing story, about a glorified horror writer, looking back at his inspiration and planning to take revenge on his past flat mates.
Torching the Dusties - best story included in this collection, and deserves entery to Atwood's hall of fame work. smart and disturbing story including a distopian view of old age.
brilliantly told and memorable.
I read this book as a teenager, and appreciate it so much more now.
It is a difficult read for teenagers, due to the harsh subject it deals with, but after adopting a realistic approach, i enjoyed the comic writing, and couldn't help admiring the writer on the exposure.
As many other readers, i fell in love with the Fatman, and his description of the " House of God Rules". laughed out loud, many times, especially during the tutorial on the benefits and disadvantages of non patient care medical fields.
The Narrator did a very good job.
The Meaning of Night is a facsinating homage to Wilkie Collins, which includes a captivating mystery of identity and revenge.
Very well written, i much enjoyed the narration, and by the time i reached 2.5 hours of listening, i was deeply sunk into the mystery.
After reading chater 1, I had a serious moral difficulty following the story, as it exposes the reader to the worst possible crime. I considered quitting altogether. But, the book was so well written, and kept me listening and reading to find out the entire story behind this unforgiveable crime.
This book reminded me of my favorite Kate Atkinson novel -Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but in many aspects Life After Life is even better written and developed.
As noted by previous reviewers, the book is about a British Woman, nee 1910, that gets to live her life over and over again, while in each round we get to discover more about her family, her surroundings, her emotions.
The story itself is very well written and creats a very good starting point for readers imagination to run wild,
I have to say, i was extremely sceptic when i started listening. when i was listening to the first few stories, the main impression was - come on - Alice Munro writes great literary short stories, The Curious case of Benjamin Button, is a brillian Novella, and F.S.F wrote more of those, why am i wasting my time on something that sounds like materials for a really funny, but still, at most a comic TV series?
When i reached a story about a dating war lord and a story about John Grisham, i started laughing out loud, and got other people to listen in with me.
As of the Artifical intelligence story, i started truely appreciating the writing (for more than some short sketch writing).
So for sceptic literature lovers - this is not F.S.F, or Alice Munro, or Raymond Carver, it's different, completely different.
Contemporary, i would say :-)
Touching, relevant, talks to the reader.
Most importantly - despite my reservations, i truely enjoyed the listen. (as the previous reviewer said, there's also a benfit of a brilliant performance, feels like it was written for an audio recording).
on a side note, the 3rd story - "no one goes to heaven to meet...." reminded me of a book i read by an Israeli Author - "The World of the End".
Very well written debut novel. I expect most reviewers would say the book is foremost a homage to The Great Gatsby and Breakfast at Tiffany's, but in addition to the tribute, the stroy in itself is fascinating.
You could say that while trying to follow the tradition of these great American writers Towels might be lacking in ingenuity, but I personally think that a writer should be a reader, at first. and when a writer pays tribute to his favorite novelists, it doesn't necessarily mean, he is giving up his own voice.
I much enjoyed this book in it's own, and the tribute to these great writers was a much enjoyable bonus.
Readers who love New York as i do (without ever living there), will be touched, by the referance to "Autumn in New York".
I highly recommend this short novel. It is a very well written story about innocent impression, that evokes sympathies that change as the 'girls' grow up.
I kept reminding myself that the book was published in the early 60's, but i'm not sure it required such reminders, being so much ahead of its time.
unlike the initial impression, i found in the book, much beyond the 'growing up' aspect.
It was especially touching, to recognize the author in 'Sandy', and realise that Spark was inspired by her own 'Miss Brodie in her prime'.
I have already read this book 10 years ago, and the listen now after all this time, made it seem completely different.
The novel was first released in the 80's, so the futuristic view did not consider mobile phones or Internet. which made me smile during the listen. It was a bit like reading classic Sci fi.
When i first read the novel, the views seemed extremely feminist, but now they seemd more profound - Women being the cause of reactionary social revolutions.
i have got really caught this time, in the causes of the Gileadian revolution, the views in this novel are much ahead of their time in this aspect.
However, i felt this time that something is missing in this dystopian story, The Handmaid's Tale presented in very good prose some brilliant social views (as always with Margaret Atwood's biological perspective), but on second read the novel seems incomplete in a way, and I do hope Margaret Atwood will complete it, at some point.
Impacable narration btw.
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