At the end of her best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government....
I really enjoyed her writing in Eat, Pray, Love - and I enjoy her way of telling a story so I was looking forward to this. Little did I know that I would be faced with the prospect of getting married for the first time, in my 40s, just as I was starting this book.
I am almost as ambivalent as Elizabeth was and this book calmed me down with facts as well as great narrative. I loved the stories about how women in other cultures view their husbands.
I'm sure I'll have to listen to this again for some reassurance that it CAN work. I know she said she really wrote the book for just a handful of the women in her life, but secretly, she wrote it for me too.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.
Initially, I was concerned that I had made a mistake in choosing this book. Some of the reviews made me skittish and the first (of six) parts is quite difficult to listen to because of it's archaic language. In addition, this first part can make you worry that the book isn't going anywhere.
My patience was rewarded for the rest of the book however, and I include the very end-that picks up the tale of this first part again and is much easier to listen to 2nd time 'round.
The readers are all wonderful, but especially the reader of the sixth part. The sixth part also has strange language. But the reader is so good, that I was totally hooked by the second paragraph.
The overall plot was, at first, hard to find. The story is so temporally disorienting that I had to let go for a while and just enjoy the little subplots as they lay. I noticed little gems of connection and filed them away for later.
Then somewhere in the middle, revelation happened and I began to see Mitchell's point: Our past predicts our future, everything is cyclical and EVERYTHING is connected.
That which sails hopefully to an island paradise must later row from it in horror. (I promise that wasn't a plot spoiler in any way) These connections are perfectly nuanced and so finely finessed, that I didn't see them at first. (I suspect this was meant to be; by one of the finest writers of our time.)
I rarely read or listen to a book more than once but I am already looking forward to revisiting this again someday.
129 of 139 people found this review helpful
Jon Stewart, host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show, and his coterie of patriots deliver a hilarious look at American government.
I was so suprised at how much I disliked this book. Jon Stewart is one of my favorites. He's so witty and spot on normally.
There are some very funny moments and I kept thinking that things were picking up... but then things fell flat again, and stayed that way for what felt like forever.
This read is also such a good example of how near continual use of swear words takes away their punch and any cool factor they have. He wound up sounding ridiculous instead of hip.
I sure wish I hadn't bothered with this unfunny, disappointing waste of time. I'll catch him on TV and try to forget...
18 of 29 people found this review helpful