Frank Lloyd Wright's life was one long, howling struggle against the bonds of convention, whether aesthetic, social, moral, or romantic. He never did what was expected, and he never let anything get in the way of his larger-than-life appetites and visions.
Told through the experiences of the four women who loved him, this imaginative account of Wright's raucous life blazes with Boyle's trademark wit and invention. Boyle's protean voice captures these very different women and, in doing so, creates a masterful ode to the creative life in all its complexity and grandeur.
©2009 T. Coraghessan Boyle; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"America's most imaginative contemporary novelist." (Newsweek)
"One of the most inventive and verbally exuberant writers of his generation." (New York Times)
“The author is a master storyteller who takes literary license but never loses sight of his subject's humanity. Narrator Grover Gardner has a deep nasal tone that, remarkably, sounds like an old radio broadcaster's voice. This fits the mood of the book perfectly since the story takes place in the 1930s.” (AudioFile)
It is well written and narrated but should be cut down by a third and most of the women characters were so negative that it became a chore to listen to sometimes
Wright's relationships with three women are described by a fictitious Japanese intern. It starts with last wife, then second wife and then mistress who dies a tragic death. His first wife and mother of six children is not part of this book. It's very interesting. Lots of insight into Wright's character and life as well as the women who try to make a life with someone of such importance (and narcissism). But I don't think the time commitment to listen to this whole book is worth it. Might be better enjoyed as a book.
I found the book interesting but very very long. Some of the Women were more developed than the other characters. The narrator was good, but at times I found myself droning.
Say something about yourself!
It is a testament to Boyle's ability to breathe fictional life into these true-life characters--and that I despised one of them so. Like Diane, from VA, I really struggled through the middle section. Miriam Wright was, without a doubt, a detestable, self-centered, sadistic, mentally unstable, and narcissistic woman. Reading aout her attacks on Wright's last misstress was very difficult.
Boyle brings her to such life that I was pretty much cringing throughout her section. I kept thinking, "How could such a brilliant guy get so manipulated?" Then again, all of Wright's own narcissism and ego is on brilliant display.
Not an easy book to read, but, as with all Boyle's work, an accomplishment. If you like your literature on the soft side, don't brave this one. If you are into well-written prose and intricatly depicted (but unpleasant) characters, then go for this one!
The problem with this book is that there was really only one interesting thing that happened relative to Wright's love life, and you have to wade through the tedium of the rest of the book to get to it. SO not worth the journey to get there.
Some inspired prose and shallow characters. When the narrator of the tale is telling his own story and his relationship to "Right-O-San," the novel was sometimes compelling. But what an insult to the ears that the reader didn't bother to attempt the rhythms and cadences of the Japanese language--especially since he was SUPPOSED TO BE JAPANESE. Truly grating to the ears and easily rectified by 10 minutes coaching before recording.
The women became caricatures and if I heard one more "Well, I deserved it, didn't I?" from the characters.... Suffice it to say, two or three hours less of this book would have been ample.
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