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Zoli | [Colum McCann]

Zoli

Zoli Novotna, a young woman raised in the travelling Gypsy tradition, is a poet by accident as much as by desire. As fascism spreads over 1930s Czechoslovakia, Zoli and her grandfather flee to join a clan of fellow Romanian harpists. Sharpened and inspired by reading books, Zoli becomes the symbol of a supposedly brave new world of tolerance in the Soviet Union. But as her fame grows and her skills deepen, the ruling Communists begin to use her for their own purposes.
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Publisher's Summary

Zoli Novotna, a young woman raised in the travelling Gypsy tradition, is a poet by accident as much as by desire. As fascism spreads over 1930s Czechoslovakia, Zoli and her grandfather flee to join a clan of fellow Romanian harpists. Sharpened and inspired by reading books, Zoli becomes the symbol of a supposedly brave new world of tolerance in the Soviet Union. But as her fame grows and her skills deepen, the ruling Communists begin to use her for their own purposes.

©2006 Colum McCann; (P) Oakhill Publishing Ltd

What the Critics Say

"A great book and a marvellously crafted story....This is life without being sentimental or defensive." (Roddy Doyle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (7 )
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3.3 (3 )
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3.3 (3 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Heimo Frankfurt, Germany 03-27-10
    Heimo Frankfurt, Germany 03-27-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    255
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
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    Overall
    "sombre artfulness"

    this book was truly an experience, a journey along the life of a unique female character whose path is filled with injustice, confusion, and beauty. the writing is exquisite and echoes back on itself in a way that only the really conscious writer can make happen. near the end she is innocently forced into an elevator, and it felt as if her whole life was coming back to my mind in that second. the writer is that good, that artful.

    the narrator s voice was filled with compassion and empathy and still had the right amount of distance. i would not hesitate to listen to another book read by him.

    all the major literary themes are here, man against himself, man against man, man against nature, man against society. we visit eastern europe in the tumultous years following world war 2, as the communists try to draw the gypsies into a tower block existence, then we travel with her to western europe. she pays a high price for every freedom she manages and yet she is free.

    i must add that this is a sad book. i will listen to it again but only on a bright summer day. i also could have wished to hear more of zoli s voice, her poetry, i think that would have added to the overall effect of the book.

    all in all, i am grateful for the experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherrie Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada 02-09-12
    Sherrie Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada 02-09-12 Member Since 2012

    Addicted to books in all forms.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    23
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    12
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Story & Fantastic Imagery"

    I loved the story of Zolli and the imagery created by both McCann and Carrington's performance. There was just one flaw, I hated Carrington's voice for Zolli. This does not distract as much as you may think, as a lot of Zolli has to say is within her head and not out loud. It was only when she was speaking to others that Carrington's voice changed. Zolli was a very strong character and his voice for her seemed one of somone who is weak. It was not enough to ruin the book however, and I would recomend the book to anyone looking to be sucked into a visually rich story that is both heartbreaking and wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara Nepean, Ontario, Canada 05-27-10
    Tara Nepean, Ontario, Canada 05-27-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    REVIEWS
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    6
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    Overall
    "Needs a female voice."

    I wanted to get through this book. I was really looking forward to finally listening to it. But this is the first audio book I don't think I'll get through. It's not that it's bad - I keep seeing the words in my head and I know it would be good reading material but somehow it falls flat when listening to it. It would be helpful if they had included a female voice for Zoli's sections of the book. I just could not stay interested in listening. The premise of the book is intriguing but it is hard slogging to get through it. I wish it wasn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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