Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence - creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
©2012 Maria Semple (P)2012 Hachette Audio
This book came highly recommended by a friend of mine, whose opinion I value. However, I'm pretty sure my impression of the novel was ruined by the incredible overacting of the story's reader. I listened to the story with my mother, as we drove across the country, and we had to pause it every 30 minutes or so, to re-interpret (act out) a dialogue between the characters in the way that we imagined the author really intended.
That said, the story itself is pretty great. Perhaps save it for a read, instead of a listen?
Well, I'm pretty sure I would've loved the mother, Bernadette, if she hadn't been so overacted. She was irreverent, brilliant, hilarious, and tragic all at once. I love complex characters!
NO. In fact, I'm going to be incredibly careful about my audiobook purchases from now on, so that I don't have to sit through hours of another performance like that.
As long as Kathleen didn't play any of the characters, YES!
The over-wrought narration ruined this book. Please ship her off to Antarctica! It's insulting to listen to her ridiculously strained narration.
ANYONE! She is AWFUL. I'll be sure to stay away from ANYTHING that she narrates.
Yes, I loved the narrator & it was an interesting story
The way it's told through emails & letters
I liked how she gave each character their own voice
Yes, sometimes I'd get home from work & just sit in the driveway listening
I think the print would have been better in this instance.
No. The foreign accents were terrible. The voice of the 15 year old Bee sounded like a 5 year old. There was too much overly dramatic voicing of the characters' internal monologue, particularly from Bee.
I liked the concept but the story was let down by the last quarter of the book. The narrator was also a real problem for me. Her voice was terribly whiney and "gee-whiz" childish when voicing Bee's part and that is also why the last quarter was so painful as so much was from Bee in that part.
Grateful for Audible. Love this company that provides hours of entertainment and helps me sleep at night.
Creative, Hilarius, Surprising
The narrator's voice was perfect for this story. She was as entertaining as the story was. They blended so well!
Her infection was so enjoyable. She made the book so much more humorous than I would have know had I read the book.
This book was a little exaggerated but in some ways ironically believable.
I love all things ending in "ook", like book, cook and hook. These are my main hobbies and I can oftentimes do two of them simulataneously.
I cannot think of one single thing I enjoyed about this book. Oh, I quit reading it--that freed me of pain, agony, irritation. This book offered nothing of real interest. It's all fluff even though it seems it was supposed to be humorous and entertaining. Sorry, I just couldn't stand the shouting of the narrator, the dribble of the characters, the supposed humor that fell flat, etc.
I plan to listen to the next Cork O'Conner by William Kent Krueger. There's a cast of characters I enjoy!
I thought I would enjoy this particular book as a narrated book but i don't think I could have enjoyed this is any format. I hated all the shouting voices, the dull voice of the psychiatrist, and all of the memos or whatever.
Better narration, less annoying characters
The narration was terrible and obnoxious. I couldn't even finish it.
Not using annoying voices
Really do not understand why it is highly rated
I can't believe I persevered all the way to the end of this annoying book. I have to say that the narrator's breathless style probably sounded exactly the way I would expect these characters to sound. It was easier to take as the story went along. The character of the daughter at least had the excuse of being a young teenager. None of the other characters had any good excuse for their behavior. I kept hoping I would like Bernadette better as I learned more about her, but it was just the opposite. The only plot twist that was mildly interesting, which came late in the book, was never fully resolved. (I'm leaving it out so as not to spoil the surprise, but I might be doing everybody a favor if I revealed it to save people the trouble of reading the whole thing.) Under all the laughs, this seemed to be a mean spirited sort of book, full of condescending humor toward everyone not as brilliant and special as Bernadette and her daughter.
I didn't finish listening to the story. Very confussing.
Didn't hold my interest.
I kept thinking it would get better but didn't.
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