A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of People of the Book and March.
With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times best-selling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature's richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.
The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David's life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him - from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience; to his wives, Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva; and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.
©2015 Geraldine Brooks (P)2015 Penguin Audio
"Narrator Paul Boehmer delivers a superb performance of Geraldine Brooks's reimagining of the life of King David. Boehmer's characters live through his vocal magic." (AudioFile)
I have always found David a fascinating character, so I was looking forward to this book. Listening to it makes me wish I had the King James Bible instead. The performance is terribly over done, so perhaps the novel would be better in print. But I don't feel I've learned anything from it, and writing sometimes reminds me of fan fiction.
I've never read a better work of fiction based on the Bible. Brooks is a gifted storyteller who respects her source material and her audience while still boldly imagining and reimagining many iconic characters and stories. Breathtaking.
Clergyman - Husband and dad -Clock lover, and story cherisher - especially if its real, its inspiring and allows me to feel what I feel!
Rare is the book that can take an historic personage and incarnate it with realistic flesh and blood. Brooks is a master of this art. As a clergyman I thought I knew the biblical David even with his ever so public flaws. Brooks has introduced a very human David...a man who can and does still inspire because he truly is a biblical 'Everyman'.
Loved this book. Am a history buff and very interested in Biblical characters especially David. It is told by Nathan, David,s prophet. I know it is partially fiction but Brooks has a remarkable gift of filling in the blanks l.e.the thoughts and feelings of the characters and what could so logically could have happened. The narrator is fabulous. He uses the Hebrew pronunciation of all the names which can be confusing I went to 1&2 Samuel when I couldn't figure out the character I have a different attitude toward David now that I have read Brooks' insightful story.
good read mostly true to scripture , followed Davids life very well and added alot of emotion to the Bible narrative . I understand it's hard to stay100% true to scripture in a novel as there's alot of blanks to fill in .Hence it's fiction .
For all the potential of the material, the author abandoned the plot device of the prophet interviewing significant characters in the life of David, and kept to very superficial descriptions and covered decades in pages. Lots of blood, gore, and sex, but not much substance.
I've been listening to audio books for years and have been an audible subscriber for ? 10 years maybe? A long time anyway.
I just could not get into this story. I'll give it another try soon, but don't see myself completing it.
This review is to focus on one aspect of the reading, In general Mr. Boehmer is excellent but he and we are put at a huge disadvantage. I have contacted Audible about this in the past regarding other books and they say it is a publishers problem. No help there either. There must be actors and professional readers who can pronounce Hebrew natively or can be coached. An otherwise pleasant reading of an otherwise ok book (in my estimation) is quite ruined by the sometimes sad efforts at foreign pronunciation. Further, if you want a book that dwells quite heavily on the currently fashionable supposed homosexual relationship between David and Jonathan, this is a book for you.
I would like to try other Geraldine Brooks works. She is after all an award winning author and my issue with mispronunciation of Hebrew words would probably not apply to those other works.
I wish the narrator had been given serious coaching in Hebrew pronunciation. I'm certain he would have been up the task and would have been much prouder of his work. It probably would enhance his resume as well.
I'm willing to give time to a book that people are talking about even, perhaps especially, when I don't agree with the good reviews. It makes for interesting conversation.
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