Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and the profane, and filled with the insights and sounds of New York, this dazzlingly inventive, mordantly funny masterwork emerges as the American story listeners have been thirsting for: a defining testament of this time, a narrative of the twentieth century written for the twenty-first.
©2000 by Jane Smiley; (P)2000 by Random House, Inc.
trying to see the world through my ears
I enjoy fiction with an explcitly spiritual dimension, but rarely find a novel that is not saccharine and badly written. Although it might take a few chapters to "get" this novel, I found it well worth a bit patience. I think it one of the best novels that I've come across in years: It was both "inspirational" (in the true sense of that word)and well-crafted.
The novel ruthlessly confronts us with the historical criminality of the human race, and asks if any possible space can be left over for religion. The novel is educated and serious about religion, but Doctorow does not fail to hold us to account for every detail of our cruelty and brutality. Does our history even make religion possible any more? The author aggressively penetrates both sides of the question with the determination to find some answers that satisfy the mind as well as the soul. The reading perfectly supports the profound seriousness and earnestness of the author's quest.
This was quite good book - mystery, historical story, interpersonal relationships and a personal journey all wrapped together. I just didn't do well with the performance. There were two key male voices and I had a great deal of trouble hearing the differences. It made the listen very challenging to the point that I did not like the book all that much. Might have been a better physical read.
This book simply doesn't work the same way abridged. I started it in paper form, restarted on audio, and went back to the physical page. The whole feel of different stories "commenting" on each other the way they are interlaced is totally lost. Great book (I'd give it 5 stars), not a great listen.
relentless and excellent narrator, if you had in mind cooking or doing some houseworks while listening you'll have to stay still, instead, and pay all your attention to this marvellous, like any other Doctorow's books, delirious piece of art
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