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Buy for $35.93
Hundreds of thousands were enthralled by the luminous voice of John Ames in Gilead, Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Home is an entirely independent, deeply affecting novel that takes place concurrently in the same locale, this time in the household of Reverend Robert Boughton, Ames' closest friend.
Glory Boughton, aged 38, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack - the prodigal son of the family, gone for 20 years - comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.
Jack is one of the great characters in recent literature. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold a job, he is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton's most beloved child. Brilliant, lovable, and wayward, Jack forges an intense bond with Glory and engages painfully with Ames, his godfather and namesake.
Home is a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love and death and faith. It is Robinson's greatest work, an unforgettable embodiment of the deepest and most universal emotions.
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What listeners say about Home (Oprah's Book Club)Average Customer Ratings
Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.
The most irritating narrator!
I had to stop listening to this book, I was so irritated by the person reading I found I could no longer concentrate on the plot. She drones on and on--like a really bad Joan Crawford immitation. This is only the second time I've given up on a book.
8 people found this helpful
- S. Elder
Wish that I had read this one
I loved Marilynne Robinson's last book, Gilead. As the mother of 3 sons and the only sister with 3 brothers, I read and reread Robinson's words in the voice of Ames, the Congregationalist minister, about the trust that parents must have before they, like Abraham, can send their sons into the wilderness. She writes beautifully, and she clearly has much theological thought and study behind her. This book, which included the same characters, shows what happens when that trust isn't enough. Jack Boughton, prodigal son of Ames' friend, Robert Boughton, comes home, bringing all his misery along with him. He seems repentant, but seems still to wallow, and perhaps even enjoy, his past transgressions. It gets rather tiresome and we lose patience with him. Robinson's beautiful theological reflections remain in this book, however, and, because I liked rereading and referring to them, I wish I had read the book instead of listening to it. Also, the reader's voice was a little too Charlton Heston for my taste. That too, got a little tedious.
16 people found this helpful
Gorgeous and True
Robinson is an absolute master at creating worlds populated by real people. I feel as though I know these characters. Having read Gilead, which overlaps somewhat with Home, I can only marvel even more at Robinson's talent for narration that is so very true to the human spirit. The same events, viewed by a next-door neighbor, bear a completely different significance. This novel carries an entirely different weight from the theme explored in Gilead. Robinson has said that she aims to write characters, not plot, and not much does actually happen. All the same, the beauty of these people, their house and this town seem so real that if I could actually find them in Iowa, I would seem to be returning, not arriving for the first time.
The reader has a wonderful knack for conveying all the emotion in the simplicity of Robinson's neat, well-crafted sentences. Perhaps it is because I am from the Midwest myself, but I was particularly touched Ms. Reed's ability to hint at emotion in dialogue between characters who would never willingly discuss such things openly. The implied, the understood and the subtle code of the small Midwestern town figure so prominently in the dialogue of Home, and Ms. Reed manages beautifully what would seem to me the most difficult task of reading this particular novel aloud.
7 people found this helpful
probably great story but depressing listening
I have read Gilead - Marilynne Robinsons other book, and loved her use of language and story. BUT...the narrator for this story makes it unlistenable. I am going to have to waste the credit as I cannot listen any more. Her voice goes automatically down at the end of every sentence - so that no matter what the sentence is, one feels plunged into utter gloom and despair.
6 people found this helpful
I wish I had read the reviews for this book before buying. The book itself, I believe, is wonderful but the narration makes it one of the worst audible books on the list. This version should be avoided
6 people found this helpful
Another "Home" Run for Robinson
Marilynne Robinson is going to be regarded one of the great American writers. The cadence of her story telling pulls the reader. Each sentence carries it's own strength. This particular story takes place in a familiar setting: the mid-western plains. It's a slow and rolling life the people live there and this story brings that point to reality. This is a slow and rolling story. The 'son who comes home' is frustrated with his own life and Robinson shows that frustration by making the reader frustrated with the character. However, the sister who is at home is, ultimately, as frustrating as her brother. Then, the disappointed and loving dad, ties the story together. I loved how Robinson made me examine myself and my own beliefs about family and family interaction by letting me look into these peoples' lives. The story is simply - GREAT.
The reader was top notch! I hope to hear more from her. Be warned: If you are looking for light reading - don't try this book because it makes you work. (I think it also makes the reader ask questions about himself or herself that lots of people would rather not ask). I suspect that Robinson threatens her students the same as she threatens her readers: don't come into this room with me unless you are serious about story telling. Marilynne Robinson is one of the most serious story tellers I've read in many years. Her stories are classic and I appreciate that she takes time out of her life to tell me a story.
4 people found this helpful
- Lunada Bay Lady
Good book, dreadful narrator
I was pressed to finish this book for my book group meeting, so I forced myself to slog through the worst narration to which I've ever been subjected. It's a hauntingly beautiful story that deserves a good reader -- how could the publisher let this happen? The voice of Robert Boughton was done so amateurishly as to be laughable -- very distracting! If you can read this book any other way, please do yourself a favor and avoid this recording.
4 people found this helpful
- THAGEL ARTS
Slow, but thoughtful
Enjoyed the book, but had to actually READ it because narrators voice was irritating. very disappointed in this audio cuz of the negative voice quality.
3 people found this helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
No, I don't think I would recommend this book. I found it pretty disappointing after the first book of the series: Gilead.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
I was very disappointed with the ending. I wanted a more positive outcome.
Was Home worth the listening time?
I put the time into this book because I really liked the story of the first book of the series. I thought the concept of telling the story from the perspective of other characters was interesting. Although the story did not go as I had anticipated, it was good enough to keep me interested and I sprang for the third/final book of the series.
2 people found this helpful
Great book, poor reader
Based on the book Gilead, which I loved, I was looking forward to this book. The content didn't disappoint. It is a wonderful, complex, and bittersweet story. A retired minister at the end of his life dealing with the black sheep son whom he loves. Told from the point of view of a daughter who has moved back it deals with love, loss, hope and that strange relationship of love and fear that parents sometimes have with their children. As I read I could certainly identify with certain aspects of the characters and will revisit this work again. I think Gilead was the more powerful of the two work but both are wonderful.
The flaw in the book is the reader. At times she comes across as beyond bored and it is all she can do to get to the next word. She does better when doing the character voices but she really doesn't do the book justice. I almost stopped about an hour in. I am glad I persevered, the book is worth it.
2 people found this helpful