In this vivid and compelling novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan's East Village, the Christodora.
The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbor, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly and Jared's lives in ways none of them can anticipate. Meanwhile, Milly and Jared's adopted son Mateo grows to see the opportunity for both self-realization and oblivion that New York offers.
As the junkies and protesters of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and they, in turn, to the wealthy residents of the crowded, glass-towered city of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them.
Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a true response to the AIDS epidemic, to the New York City of the future, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life the ever-changing city itself.
©2016 Tim Murphy (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"It's said that any ensemble cast is only as strong as its weakest member, and in this audio performance, there's not a weak link to be found. Each narrator in the group brings something unique and enjoyable to the production.... Thought-provoking, precise, complex, and real, Christodora's narrators are a glorious reflection of the novel itself." (AudioFile)
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
Books with multiple characters and time frames often turn into mush at some point and are hard to follow, contrived or boring. This one is different. I wasn't sure about it for the first few hours, but then instead of deteriorating, it got terrific. A number of the characters are so real I thought about them when I wasn't listening. Definitely 5-stars for this accomplishment.
The narrators stayed in the background for me. I didn't pay attention to them at all but was purely focused on the story line. That's sort of amazing. The differences when a cast narrates can often be distracting and it was not at all the case. Another 5 stars here.
I think this is really a book about understanding and acceptance. I didn't find it to be depressing at all. Rather, I found it to be a terrific explanation of why people sometimes do what they do. And even when you don't agree with the behavior, you can at least see how they arrived at it. No, it's not neat and tidy. But neither is life.
I bought this book based on a recommendation indicating that if I liked A Little Life, I may like this. They are of a similar style and both so deep and able to touch at that string of what connects us.
Gilded age and Victorian historical fiction is my thing, but throw me some Neil Gaiman or Ray Bradbury and I'm good too!
Beautiful and painful, this book sucked me in and took me somewhere else, even if it is just somewhere else in the city I live in. By the end I had cried, seriously cried several times and I can't remember ever shedding tears while reading a book. I so identified with the main character I started to feel what she felt and it's been a while since a book took me close to that. The only thing I wish is that a couple of he characters were more developed ....but really I just adored it.
This is the first audiobook I've listened to with multiple readers -- I listened to one book with two readers, but never seven readers! And many of the readers narrated different characters. The audiobook felt cinematic in that way, the characters really popped with the different voices.
The ending was very moving, but there were dozens of poignant images and scenes in the book -- of everything from drug use to activism to dancing. It's slice-of-life New York over the course several decades. As for specific moments, the one where the character of Milly first meets the young boy Mateo is beautifully rendered.
I've never heard these narrators before.
The last section of the book, where the lives of two characters come together again after a long separation, was especially moving. The ending brings together the themes and strands of the book beautifully, without being heavy-handed.
I figure I'm around the same age as the author judging from the timeline of this novel. Spanning from the 1980's through today and beyond, I identified with a number of the characters and situations that they went through. Drug addiction, living through the early years of HIV/AIDS Activism, dealing with adoption, these are just a few of the topics dealt with in a very honest, and sometimes brutal, way. Tim Murphy is a gifted writer and deftly jumps back and forth through time, weaving and incredible tale of love, loneliness, addiction and recovery, and basic human desires. I listened to this in about 3 sittings, only stopping to sleep. I was fully immersed in this somewhat tragic yet vivid novel. I Highly recommend this novel, well worth the credit.
I just fell in love with the characters. The narration was beyond incredible. All narrators brought their A game when performing. Most I have heard before from other books, they each brought to life the intricate nuances of each character. Wow... just WOW. I didn't want it to end.
This is a must listen! Phenomenal novel that lives up to the hype. Easy to follow with the multiple narrators. It's being made into a limited TV Series. Get the book before all your friends do! Highly recommended!!!
I really enjoyed this. Touching and sad at times and very compelling. As someone who lived thru the AIDS crisis years, tho young, it was visceral and thoughtful.
Full disclosure, this novel is graphic, and probably won't be everyone's cup of tea. Vivid descriptions of addiction, sex, and illness tear through the chapters of this incredibly moving, but difficult listen. Tim Murphy's writing is so fluid and so descriptive, it evokes the genuine essence and spirit of New York City. As a current resident, I found myself torn between loving and hating this remarkable city I call home. Christodora is truly an immersive audio experience as seven powerhouse narrators team up to provide remarkable depth to a handful diverse characters – from an upper-middle class Jewish couple, to a meth-addicted Puerto Rican man who was once revered for his activism during the HIV/AIDs crisis of the 80s and 90s – as their lives interweave at different points over the course of 40 years.
This was a wonderful human story with heartbreaking moments and beautiful moments. It's very real with an honest look at the lives of people intertwined. We see all of their doubt, hope, love, hate, stupidity, insight, selfishness and sacrifice as they stumble through this journey we're all taking. I hope people from all walks of life read this story and think about how we are all unique fallible humans. It's our differences and imperfections that make us beautiful.
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