©2003 John Knowles; (P)2002 Audio Bookshelf
"Snively does an excellent job conveying emotions in scenes of conflict...This is an excellent treatment of a modern classic." (AudioFile)
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
This is probably one of John Knowles' most popular titles and represents a coming of age story between two friends over the course of a year. It has a very sobering tone and can be perceived as very 'heavy' in terms of the overall ending of the title. The author doesn't in any way spare you from the realities of that time and provides no 'magical fixes' for any of the problems the boys at the Academy faced. This book does in fact teach some rather jarring life lessons through its exquisite writing and sheer honesty.
The narration for me was lacking. I found myself somewhat steeling myself to get through the book. Had it not been for my 'grit your teeth and get through it' mentality or the fact that I simply enjoyed the book's content, I wouldn't have made it through the title.
I am taken back in time to when I first started getting into books with this one. Reading, or in this case listening, the classics always tending to produce in me a sense of nostalgia for the past, a time dated in the early 90's when I was just a kid.
If you're looking for an exciting adventure story--this isn't it. But if you enjoy listening to a slower story that deals with adolescence, peace and war, and the relationships of different personalities, this is a great read. It is well written, thought-provoking, and does a great job drawing emotions that most of us experience but rarely think about.
I am reviewing this on behalf of my 16 year old, who could not get through the printed book and needed to do well on this in order to be allowed to play baseball. The audiobook was more accessible than the written word and he found the story "okay", but his comments were that the writer made little effort to be theatrical in his reading and was extremely slow paced. It was hard for him to stay focused on the story and he would have sped up the reader about double if he had a speed control on his player. Given all that, he did much better than he would have just reading the book on his own and so it was definitely worth the money. At some point I will read it myself and give a 'non 16 year old' review.
Brilliant writing. First Knowles book I have read, and I was very enthralled with the story.
I was so disappointed, I had read so many great reviews and was really looking forward to listening, what a let down. The story was very boring and had no great meaning. I think the only reason I kept listening was in hopes something would happen and it never did. I would not recommend to anyone.
I am reading the books assigned to my high-schooler, partly so we can discuss them. So in that sense, yes: time well spent. I appreciate having a glimpse of my grandparents' generation as well. In retrospect, I'd have chosen to read a paper copy rather than listen.
I was not exactly surprised by it. The denouement was a little bit flat, though ... in fact, the narrator's emotional reaction to all the key events seemed flat. This may have been partly due to Snively's performance, however.
He has a nice voice but does dialog terribly. He sounds like he's reading a book for children. What could be emotional scenes are rendered almost comical: not good.
Six hours? Sure. There's some lovely language contained in the story, even if the story itself didn't really move me. If it was longer, probably not.
I listened to this because my daughter had to read it for eight grade. I probably would not have read it if otjerwise, but I am glad that I did. The narrator was very good and the story kept me engaged.
This was one of my summer reading books for my high school, and I struggled when trying to read it in my head. I instead listened to this while reading along with the printed book.
I did notice that there were some word changes in the narration, I don't know if it was the narrator improvising or my book, but it didn't in any way affect the story line (ex. when the word in my book was "huge" the narrator said "large," little things like that). But other than that, the narrator did an excellent job in portraying the characters in general, as well as the many emotions in the novel.
As for a review of the book, it was very touching and I loved it. The writing did get a bit slow and confusing at times, but nothing too bad. I felt like I was there, right along side Gene and Finny...in a word, it's just spectacular! :D
I would listen to this story again, simply because of the different voices the reader used to allow me to know which character was speaking. It was fun and easy to follow.
The characters came to life.
A broader sense of the characters personalities.
I love the name Phineas now!!!
I remember reading this novel in middle school and thought it would be interesting to revisit in audio. It did not disappoint.
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