A solid background on French history may be recommended for those who choose to tackle this title. It was too much for me, the casual French scholar. The minute details (names and places and the parentheticals that accompany them) interfered with the telling of the tales for me. The narration is truly ***** and so are the writer's ambitions for the book. I appreciated both of those. I may try the book again later.
Meet three unlikeable self-centered sisters in their thirties who have never let go of their petty sibling rivalries or habits and then add in their equally hapless parents - the tribe is living together in annoying disharmony in the small town in which the girls grew up. Nothing much happens in the story yet the writing is overly-dramatic and descriptive. As is the narration. I am not quite there but I think the end will be very predictable. PS the Shakespeare quotations come across as gratuitous.
I might try another book by Mukherjee. I can't blame him for the arrogant narration.
The concepts were too political and simplistic. I am not a medical doctor and yet I was insulted by the perspective.
Heavens NO ! Unless someone else writes and narrates it.
I optimistically purchased this recording after reading several reviews. The narrator's arrogance ruined the book for me. That is too bad. A meaningful topic that deserves better treatment. I suspect it was not the subject matter that doomed the book for me but the narration which put me to sleep. The subject matter should be far more accessible than its treatment here. How unfortunate.
Very high due to the story and the narration.
The audible.com template for my review does not fit the book. Listen to this book. Keaton's narration enhances the experience. As one audible.com reviewer commented: it is like a personal conversation. This is not about a popular, well known star. It is about a slice of America from the 1950s to the present. Keaton brings true emotion to her narration. At times she snorts with candor, at other times her voice seems choked with emotion. It is a story of daughters, siblings, parents, lovers, children. I like Keaton as actress, but would not call myself a fan before the book. Her candor is uncommon. And the juxtaposition of her insights with her mother's journals will stay with me. See the print book, however, for pictures that illustrate the book. The book will stay with me and I felt lost when the recording ended. Like The Help, I felt as if I would have missed the nuances of the story if I had read the print edition. The recording enhanced the stories.
I read A Separate Peace first as a teen-aged girl and listened to it recently as the mother of teen-aged boys. The tensions among the boys, as they sort out the adults they will become, are familiar in any decade. I agree with reviewers who comment that the story is slow. But as it deals with the loss of youth in many different ways, that is not necessarily a condemnation of this classic. I did not enjoy the narration, but that could have been my impatience with parts of the story.
Ultimately, the title captures the book's essence, but I would add a subtitle: It is Not Where You Think! The common theme of this Bloom collection could be described as the unusual places we find home, peace and family, often against the odds and the expectations of others . The stories of the odd duck professors falling in love (revealed in first seven minutes of book, no spoiler here) softened my heart despite their quirks which would drive me mad if they lived in my house. Bloom's development of the Julia / Lionel Sampson extended family (despite an event that could have shattered it) is a masterful treatment of decades of family emotion and lovely in its own strange way. Admittedly, the book was not all smooth listening. Near the middle, I had to take a 5 day break. There are long periods of details of everyday life which seemingly do not contribute to story or character development, but then - BAM! - Bloom surprises the reader with the plot punch line. The narration was excellent.
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