©1990 Michael Cunningham; (P)2004 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Although some listeners will wish they could soak up this absorbing story all in one sitting, the narrators' well-paced readings force the listener to sit back and appreciate the intricacy and skill of Cunningham's exquisite prose." (Publishers Weekly)
"Lyrical...memorable and accomplished" (The New York Times Book Review)
I loved these characters. They draw the listener in and they become real. Cunningham received raves for The Hours, but this story and these characters are much more accessible and endearing.
I was happily surprised to see that Colin Farrell and Dallas Roberts (from the cast of the movie version) were tapped to read the parts of Bobby and Jonathan. I think Farrell was great, but Dallas Roberts was exceptional. This is one of the first audio books I have purchased from this website, and I have enjoyed it so much that I have gone back to it three times, even before some other books that I have purchased.
There are books you don’t like, books you like, books you love & then there are the books you fall completely in love with. The latter is where I’d place this book for me. Never have I come across a book so realistic yet captivating. I can see these characters so clearly in my mind. I can believe everything that’s happening. Jonathan, Bobby, & Claire present an unconventional way of living that just felt so real to me. This book will not be for everyone but, you know, I kind of love that about it. The story stays strong from it’s beginning to it’s beautiful ending.
The audiobook itself is amazing. Read so perfectly by the four narrators.
This book suffers from a problem I'm noticing more and more in books - it starts out strong and then peters out towards the end. I can only assume this comes from authors having a good idea, but not knowing how to wrap the story up. I found the first 3/4 to 5/6 of the book to be very engaging and the characters to be sympathetic and well-developed personalities. Unfortunately, near the end most of the characters became cloying and unlikable and the storyline stalled. Perhaps this was the sentiment the author was going for - I can imagine that the author might have been creating a metaphor for the real world: your friends are sometimes irritating and life sometimes feels meaningless. I have read, however, books that communicated the same meaning in a more meaningful and fulfilling way than this book.
Teacher, author, editor. Something of an Anglophile, but my scholarly specialty was American lit. I'm also pretty serious about poetry.
A bit more than two and a half hours in, something odd happens. Every time before that, when the narrator changes there is a heading telling us the new narrator's name. But then, suddenly, the narration shifts from the mother to one of the boys, and we seem to have jumped ahead ten or so years. It's as though the recording is missing one of the CD's. I've noticed this problem before with Audible versions, and when I complain, they give me a refund, but they don't fix the recording. It's very frustrating, since what I want is a correct recording of the book in question.
I got almost annoyed with author of the book. He writes beautifully, but the plot is unconvincing and the three main characters are excessively self-absorbed in contemplating their unhappiness and , more generally, the unavoidable misery of the human condition. There is no room for real passion, hope, and engagement. It is all grey and hopeless.
My last book of Michael Cunningham !
The narrators were great. Although I couldn't bring myself to like Clair or Jonathan I could picture them well in my mind. The best thing I can say about the story is, if you ever think your life is screwed up listen to the lives of these losers and you'll feel much better. These people make suicide seem like a viable option.
The ending when I felt so much better about my life.
Alice getting high and enjoying her life for a brief moment.
It held my interest in the hope that Jonathan woud dump the hag, get a real man and have a life.
The characters in this book speak about life – in the rawest sense of the word. The story line is somewhat fanciful – but the writing contains many important aphorisms about life and relationships. It is a compelling “listen” and is probably a book to which I will return. A very worthwhile work!
I was so turned off by the self-absorbed nature of these characters, I really did not care how it turned out. The reading style was ok, but the brogue for the man from America was cute at first, but then got annoying. Save your money.
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