The Lacuna

Narrated by: Barbara Kingsolver
Length: 19 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (1,372 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the Mexico City of Frida Kahlo to the America of J. Edgar Hoover, The Lacuna tells the poignant story of a man pulled between two nations.

Born in the United States, but reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers and, one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed muralist Diego Rivera. When he goes to work for Rivera, his wife, exotic artist Kahlo, and exiled leader Lev Trotsky, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution.

Meanwhile, the United States has embraced the internationalist goodwill of World War II. Back in the land of his birth, Shepherd seeks to remake himself in America's hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. But political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach - the lacuna - between truth and public presumption.

©2009 Barbara Kingsolver (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    188
  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    153
  • 3 Stars
    83
  • 2 Stars
    44
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth the wait for a new Kingsolver novel

I listened every spare moment (and some not so spare) to this compelling love story about a kind man and his devoted stenographer living through relatively recent history from Trotsky to McCarthy. 50 years ago, but such a different time.
At first, I wished for another reader than the author herself, it worked better in "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"
But Kingsolver drew me in with her gentle narrative and subtle characterizations.

A wonderful listen. Made this grown man cry (and laugh and think.)

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors; however, her decision to read The Lacuna herself was not a good one. This is the first of hundreds of audiobooks purchased that I have been unable to enjoy because of the reader.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Great Writers need Great Narrators

I love reading Barbara Kingsolver and think she is an exceptional talent and an interesting person. That said, I will probably resort to reading her in print. While she has a lovely voice, I find her over-enunciation and too-careful diction to be distracting, verging on annoying. I feel as though I'm listening to a first grade teacher reading Dick and Jane stories to me. I'll wade through the Lacuna, but this would be a much better listen with a narrator who could do Mexican accents and "perform" this novel. Sorry, Barbara.

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

After listening to the first hour twice...

I bought the recording based on having read "Poisonwood Bible", which was awesome. I didn't even hesitate to use a credit for this book. However, I've listened to the first hour twice over the past week, and I have no idea where this story is heading, or even what it is about. I didn't look to see who narrated the book before buying it. I just checked into audible to see that the narrator is Babara. She should stick to writing and let someone else do the reading of the book. Her narrative is too monotone for me and I'm having a really hard time understanding which character is talking. I don't know if I can continue listening...

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

Although I admire Kingsolver for her courage in reading her own book, this most excellent story could certainly have benefited from a professional reader.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

What can I say

Barbara Kingsolver is a fine writer, I read and listened to "the poisonwood bible" and enjoyed the book both times. I'd like to read, and enjoy it again sometime. However, this novel was boring, no, I mean I was bored by this novel. I couldn't possibly criticise the author since she is a successful writer, and I am not.
In this case perhaps the authors political emotions determined much more of the story than the plot she created. By the time I stopped listening (I could not finish the book), the main character seemed a two dimensional mouse of a man, and most of the other characters were incomplete caricatures of people. Perhaps it was the style of the book, perhaps it might have been Kingsolvers narration to some degree, but I gave up on it before I could finish the last of the third download. Probably my failure was the result of a character fault of my own.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

It is a mistake for a writer to be a reader

This is a wonderful novel, poignant and fascinating. Kingsolver's narration ruins her story. Don't bother with this one....her voice and inflection drove me crazy. Kingsolver's arrogance rings through the novel and destroys it's sweetness.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Can't get past it

While Ms Kingsolver is a talented writer and "The Poisonwood Bible" one of the most amazing books, her turn as narrator had me shelving this version in the first hour. New rule for me: NO MORE AUTHOR-READ Audiobooks

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a great book in every way

"The Lacuna" is a wonderful book.
A sensitive, powerful, interesting story,
With themes of important matters of human civilization and history, it never is idealized or didactic.
Despite these large issues the book like the main character Harrison Shepherd always modestly comes back to the life of one person.
The author's skill and judgement and intelligence are daunting.
Most of all it is superb entertainment with the luxury of being performed by the author as audiobook.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Always the most wonderous English

It is such a pleasure to hear English spoken with such flavor and colorful delight. Complicated and enticing.

5 people found this helpful