Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.
Kostova's description of the turbulent emotional landscape in her characters is beautifully written (Kostova) and conveyed (Justine Eyre et al.). The age-old story of Dracula is indirectly and tastefully retold through a historical journey that intrigues even the history-dunce, namely me. This story makes me want to travel to ancient secret libraries in Central Europe and leaf through one-thousand-year-old onion skin texts!
As mentioned in other reviews, there are long stretches of extensive description that may not appeal to some, and at times it is difficult to believe that the character, in his urgency to escape or chase imminent doom, would write such descriptive, lengthy letters to his daughter. As a reader (and, more frankly, a consumer), I would have preferred a different literary structure to convey the details of the landscape in Central Europe and its beautiful, ancient monasteries. The reading by Justine Eyre and company made the book mysterious and enchanting and melancholic. Beautifully told.
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the "ungettable" Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed.
Fowler's story told from Zelda Fitzgerald's first-person perspective is captivating but made even more so by Jenna Lamia's reading. I could not stop listening. I was enchanted by Zelda's "southern gentility" (made perfect by Lamia's interpretation of Zelda) and for the first time sympathized with a typically misunderstood character in the drama that is F. Scott Fitzgerald's life. Zelda's "villianized" character in literary history finds a little redemption in Fowler's story that certainly sympathizes with its female protagonist. As a listener, I was helplessly drawn into the glitz and glamour of the "Jazz Age" as Zelda and Scott must have been -- even as I knew what the ending of the 20's would bring. A convincing, throbbing portrayal of the woman and the times. A must-read, a must-listen!
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One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway ( Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.
Familiar story but great reading by Hathaway keeps listeners engaged!
Hathaway keeps the listeners (mainly my children, but me too!) engaged. Our favorite parts of the story, thanks to Hathaway's characterization of each character, are the stork's rescue of the Scarecrow in the river and the indignant Queen of the Field Mice as she responds to the Tin Man's unintentionally demeaning response to her after he saves her life. My daughter could not help but keep rewinding those parts to listen to it over and over again -- giggling and laughing at Hathaway's excellent creation of these characters' voices. Hathaway's performance made revisiting this book a delight.
Please record more books, Anne Hathaway!