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  • The Namesake

  • By: Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Narrated by: Sarita Choudhury
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,206
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,215

The Namesake follows the Ganguli family through its journey from Calcutta to Cambridge to the Boston suburbs. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Coming of age story

  • By Everett on 03-17-04

Better on paper than in audio

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-18-04

The cultural perspective of this book is by far its most interesting attribute. The author's portrayal of the "generation gap" combines with her equally astute portrayal of the "cultural gap" (the parents grew up in Calcutta and the children grew up in America), resulting in some very thought-provoking conflict. The prose itself is also at times quite stellar. Unfortunately, the reader is just okay, apparently chosen because of her ability to interchange American and Indian accents. There are also frequent and very distracting overdubs, probably to fix reading mistakes, which sound so mismatched that they can't possibly go unnoticed. Still, I listened to this book all the way through, and it was worth it.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Middlesex

  • By: Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Narrated by: Kristoffer Tabori
  • Length: 21 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,761
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,682

In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth Waiting It Out

  • By D. N. Meads on 08-28-09

Awesome combo of writer and reader

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-24-03

The book is fascinating, well-researched, many-faceted, entertaining, and immensely engrossing. The reader is a prolific actor with an impressive resume of non-starring roles who has an incredible talent for characterization, accents, attitudes, and, especially, effective storytelling. The audio quality is also top-notch. Is this maybe the best audiobook I've ever enjoyed? Absolutely!

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Angela's Ashes

  • By: Frank McCourt, Jeannette Walls - introduction
  • Narrated by: Frank McCourt, Jeannette Walls - introduction
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,365
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,730
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,732

Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic book *and* a classic audiobook

  • By Karen on 01-30-03

A classic book *and* a classic audiobook

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-30-03

Sometimes the audio version of a good book can be ruined by a bad reader (too much Broadway or something). And sometimes a good reader can cause a book that's boring on paper to come alive in the audio version. But it's a rare and wonderful combination when a top-notch book is brought to life in a top-notch way by its own author in the audio version, especially if it's a memoir. This is an example of that blessed phenomenon. Some people find Angela's Ashes to be depressing, but I find it to be just the opposite. McCourt's attitude is inspiring. He got through his terrible childhood, and triumphed. The pathos is generously tempered with humor. I love this book, and I love to listen to McCourt himself read it to me.

136 of 139 people found this review helpful