©, (P)2002 Commuter's Library
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Forster is always readable, has an assortment of interesting (if non-varying) characters, and a dependable story arc. This is one of his best. And yet, there always seems to be something a little lacking in his writing. I wish I could put my finger on it. Maybe it has to do with Lucy's piano playing. Lacking polish but filled with passion. I wish Forster had a little more of that passion, even with less polish. Still, Forster is better than 80% of everything else that's out there so who am I to complain.
This, like any well-written book, has several levels. I thought the title was referring exclusively to the view of Florence...not so. This was a beautifully written character study. So glad I finally got around to it.
This was great fun to read immediately after returning home from Italy. Reading detailed descriptions of places I had just been was great fun. Who doesn't enjoy thinking, "Oooh, I was standing right there!"?
After I listened to the book, Hubby and I streamed the movie. Afterwards:
Hubby: When was the book written?
Me: About a hundred years ago.
Hubby: It seems so modern!
That's Forster for you. He watches people, and understands their prejudices and passions, and gets it down in writing. And though society changes, and the nature of the pressures it exerts on people changes, human nature is just the same as it was 100 years ago. As a man with secret passions, Forster knew his material inside and out.
Wanda McCaddon is an excellent narrator. Sometimes women's voices are too brassy for male characters, and I was concerned that McCaddon's voice would be distracting, but her inflections are so convincing that this was not an issue. I would definitely choose her again.
I found myself looking at an online study guide for this book to explain what is going on. Once I got into it, it's fine but moves at a leisurely pace. It spends a long time on some subjects but the most important parts go by quickly so pay attention or cheat with a study guide.
Good but not great.
Love Wanda and I have heard her read other books.
I ordered this audiobook because I am planning to go to Italy this summer for two months to study. I wanted to get a feel for Italy and get myself more pumped to go. I didn't really know much about the book and I think I didn't like it that much because it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a super romantic book. It is somewhat romantic but it talks a whole lot more about convention and that kind of thing than I wanted to hear. I wasn't really looking for a deep novel or anything like that. I just finished listening to "A Walk to Remember" so I guess I was expecting this book to be a lot like it (light and sweet, more focused on the relationship between the guy and girl than about social customs and that kind of thing).
I like the narrator Wanda McCaddon a lot. I really liked how she narrated "A Secret Garden." But for this book I didn't like the voice she used for Lucy Honeychurch that much. It sounded a little too childish and whiny for how I would imagine Lucy Honeychurch's voice to sound. But other than that she did fine for this book.
Some well mannered British lady that's about 100 years old.
Not sure.....looking now.
No, but I enjoyed her performance..........just couldn't choke on the content any longer.
Any of them with their snobbish manners.
I wanted to get a feel for the Italian background and I didn't.
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