Set over a period of 24 hours, Run takes us from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard to a home for retired Catholic priests in downtown Boston. It shows us how worlds of privilege and poverty can coexist only blocks apart from one another, and how family can include people you've never even met. As in her best-selling novel Bel Canto, Ann Patchett illustrates the humanity that connects disparate lives, weaving several stories into one surprising and endlessly moving narrative. Suspenseful and stunningly executed, Run is ultimately a novel about secrets, duty, responsibility, and the lengths we will go to protect our children.
©2007 Ann Patchett; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"Run is a book that sets out inventively to contend with the temper of our times, and by the end we feel we really know the Doyle family in all its intensity and with all its surprises." (Publishers Weekly)
I was greatly looking forward to listening to this book because I admired Bel Canto, the author's previous novel, so much and because Run had gotten excellent reviews. Unfortunately, the book did not meet my expectations. It managed to be both melodramatic and boring at the same time. Despite the dramatic revelations that occur at various turns throughout the book, I found my attention wandering constantly. Part of the problem was the shallowness of the characters--Teddy is the warm, open one, Tip is the cerebral, emotionally stunted one, Sullivan is the prodigal son and so on. Finally, I could not understand the author's decision to set this book during a 24 hour period. It would have been much more interesting to see how these characters reacted to life-altering events of the day over the course of time instead of having them underreact and wait for a lot of cabs (as boring to read about as to do) over a period 24 hours
"Bel Canto," Patchett's earlier book, is one of my all time favorite love stories and I was, I think, hoping to find another treasure in "Run." Using the same story line - strangers cast together through circumstances over which they have no control who must deal with a life changing series of events - "Run" lacked the passion and tenderness of "Bel Canto," and seemed instead a story with an agenda. Then, when I listened to the interview at the end, I found out that it was indeed, the author says,a story about politics. Maybe next time she could just write an essay.
Four stars is probably more generous for this selection than I should be. This book has good points and bad points. Although the main characters are interesting, to me they were extremes. One son is too scholarly, another son is too sentimental, the third son is too messed up. The father is, well I am not sure what he is. I think he could have been more. The little girl gives us most of the story, but her character at the end is not consistent (or less than complementary) of my perception of her in the main story.
There were many pieces that I did not get. The statue of the madonna was one. With the beginning building it up so, I figured it would carry more significance throughout the main story. If it did, I missed it. The birth mother should have been a bigger piece. But again, I must have missed it if it was there. There were such minute details about events and feelings, but these were not all pulled together.
The narration was good. I did not find it awful as another reviewer said. Voices were differentiated well.
All in all, it wasn't "painful" to listen to, but I was not thrilled. If others say her previous books were better, I would choose to get them and not bother with this one.
I had higher expectations for the author of Bel Canto and Truth and Beauty. I hesitated to buy her latest novel, but after listening to the Audible interview, I was intrigued. It was an ok story, but not my favorite. It was a bit slow, and I never really got attached to any of the characters. Patchett's gift for description was less apparent in this novel. It was a decent read, but not of the quality I expected from Ann Patchett.
retired litigation lawyer; I read history; historical fiction; literary fiction. Narrator ++ important. Story equally so
When I first starting listening, I realized my mistake of not first audibly previewing before buying. The narration was horrible! Worst of any book I have purchased from Audible. Flat, toneless, just awful. So bad I felt compelled to write this, as no one else commented on him in their reviews.
I stayed with it though ( as I had already wasted my money on the book just previous to this) for the story. Kept at it, kept at it, trying to care about the characters who were more symbols than developed people. Trying to buy into the rather far fetched co-incidences in the story. When one of the central characters starts talking to a ghost, I just gave up. Felt bad for another waste of money, but figured time is more valuable than 1 credit.
I clearly do not get the appeal of Ann Patchett
Give this one a big thumbs down
Reader & Listener
While this book coesn't soar to the heights of "Bel Canto", its content is certainly more accessible. I enjoyed following the journeys of the diverse, and mostly believable characters in the book. In fact, I wish there was more revealed about several of them. The author interview after the book was surprising; I didn't perceive the same political focus in the book that the author seemed to think it had, but it was value added, nonetheless.
I needed to read this for a book discussion at work. I really didn't expect to like it, because it's not the kind of book I usually enjoy. However, it turned out to be one of the best books I've read in a long time. The characterizations are excellent, both in the writing and in the performance. The story is enjoyable and memorable. I've got plenty of ideas for our book discussion, and a book I'll enjoy listening to more than once.
Mr. James' voice characterizations were excellent. I was able to easily distinguish between characters.
Interesting plot with great characters but this was the first audio book I almost didn't finish. The chapters were divided by some jazzy music that was so off with the mood of the story. The narrators voice along with this music was awful. Others in my book club who READ this book enjoyed it.
Set in Boston and covering several generations, this novel draws you in through suggestion and subtle prediction interspersed with finely crafted description of events. We follow an Irish Catholic politician who raises two adopted African American boys as the birth mother covertly watches them grow up. Depicts the contrast of race/class cultures in modern America with compassion and personal detail. A good read.
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