LISTENER

Frank Salomon

  • 4
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 49
  • ratings
  • The Patriots

  • A Novel
  • By: Sana Krasikov
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren, George Guidall
  • Length: 22 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

Florence Fein grows up in Brooklyn in the 1930s, in a family that is gaining a foothold in the middle class. At City College she becomes engaged politically with the left-leaning student groups, and eventually, in the midst of the Depression, she takes a job with a trade organization that has a position for her in Moscow. There, she falls in love with another expatriate American and has a son. Soon after, Florence is sent to a work camp and her son to an orphanage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well worth the effort of the read

  • By charlie on 08-11-17

Cold War and Late Peace, or, A Tree Grows Far from Brooklyn

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-18-17

As LeCarre, the pressure of war and skullduggery shakes loose secrets of character. As a girl of the depression era young Florence Fein goes over to the USSR. The consequences wind through three generations. Krasikov shines among the brightest in the present surge of Russian emigré talents.

  • So Much for That

  • By: Lionel Shriver
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 78

Shep Knacker has long saved for “The Afterlife”: an idyllic retreat to the Third World where his nest egg can last forever. Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with “talking, thinking, seeing, and being” — and enough sleep. When he sells his business for a cool million dollars, his dream finally seems within reach. Yet his wife Glynis has concocted endless excuses why it’s never the right time to go.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • haunting...read this summer on the beach!!

  • By Linda on 07-06-10

Twisting the satirical lancet

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-14

Lionel Shriver tends to zigzag across a line between tabloid appeal and knowing satire. She dashes on journalistic coarseness like sriracha sauce. She's usually on the edge of overdoing it. Not always; In her heartfelt recent novel Big Brother, which balances empathy against anger in considering obesity, a deeper part of her imagination rose to the surface. It was moving to find this part of her mind anything but coarse .

The new novel So Much for That, however, gives uninterrupted play to laughing scorn. You'll think of hard-edge satirists like Tom Wolfe and Martin Amis. So Much for That is a deep-black comedy about two couples, both being eaten alive by America's medical-financial machinery, but responding according to divergent passions and instincts. There's a secondary liebestod theme , love-and-death within marriage. It is worked against its grain so it won't look like cheap glitter amid the gathering blackness. But it kind of does anyway.

Being the sort of guy who likes vinegar and picante, I got some pleasure out of this book. But some things about it are pointlessly extreme. Some characters are ranters. Instead of stilling them with a jab of satire, the author sends us long passages of unedited blowviation. Editing, please. Greatness in satire is rage under perfect control.

  • Some Luck

  • A novel
  • By: Jane Smiley
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 444
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 369

From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: a powerful, engrossing new novel - the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father’s heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Takes Times To Develop But Is Really Worth The Effort

  • By Sara on 10-12-14

generations of diapers

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-14

Jane Smiley's many big, meaty novels each have a very definite topic: Vikings, farming, horses, real estate, sex, campus life. Here, the topic is motherhood. If you're a recent mom or grandmother and very interested in maternal talk, you might like it. For a reader with different orientations, it's frustrating. Every time something interesting gets started -- a son becomes a sniper in the WWII army, a daughter marries a Chicago Communist -- more babies plop into the plot and you get booted back to the nursery for many, many repetitive pages. Well, one might answer, why shouldn't moms have their say? OK, no beef about that. But I see this as a special-interest novel. Perhaps the two coming volumes of Smiley's Iowan epic will be less sluggish.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • And Sons

  • A Novel
  • By: David Gilbert
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 16 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 106

Who is A. N. Dyer? & Sons is a literary masterwork for readers of The Art of Fielding, The Emperor’s Children, and Wonder Boys - the panoramic, deeply affecting story of an iconic novelist, two interconnected families, and the heartbreaking truths that fiction can hide.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Full of brilliant bits and pieces

  • By Doug P. on 08-06-13

Glittering prose lavished on a thin story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-16-14

If you're the kind of reader who takes pleasure in virtuoso narration as such, you'll like this. I admired the darting motions of clever prose and the third-person narrator's microscopic lucidity about his kinsmen's varied mental worlds. But the central relationships and conflicts hardly justify so much artfulness.The dominant theme is privileged sons' resentment of each other and of their novelist father, a theme in which petulance and self-pity play smudge over larger and more interesting emotions. A glittering structure with a weak core.