OK, two things were good. The author draws New England landscapes, particularly in winter, beautifully. Secondly, the boI absolutely hated this book.
OK, two things were good. The author draws New England landscapes, particularly in winter, beautifully. Secondly, the book was exceedingly short, so my misery wasn't prolonged. I need to joke after reading this sad, dismal, depressing book. Jeez, how can people look at life with such eyes?! Stop griping and do something with your life. It is your own fault if you just sob and moan.
You follow a couple that is ill-fit. The reader has to listen to their arguments. On top of this, the wife, Zeena, is a hypochondriac. You have to listen to her sob story, complaints and grumbles. Ugh.
Then there is attraction that arises between the husband and the wife's cousin who has been taken into the house as a maid. This is so corny, and so melodramatically described. Overly sentimental too. At the same time there is no fire in this love, and you scarcely see how it develops. You are instead supposed to moan about the impossibility of it all.
What others may think is if of prime importance.
I know this is maybe going to irritate those who love this book. Please excuse me, but this is how I react to the book.
It doesn't get better; the end is pure maudlin.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Klett. The speed varies. It is not always read too quickly, but much is. Each new chapter starts out at a good speed. Then she seems to get carried away by the story, causing her to read faster and faster. The tone, the voices she uses for the different characters, is fine, so this is quite a shame.
It wasn’t hard writing this review! I knew exactly what I had to say! If you are like me, avoid this book. It is depressing, sentimental and maudlin. ...more
An excellent fairy tale. Fairy tales should first scare you and then resolve happily. This fits that bill. It must be entertaining to both the adult rAn excellent fairy tale. Fairy tales should first scare you and then resolve happily. This fits that bill. It must be entertaining to both the adult reading the tale and the child. I admit it; I was tense, annoyed and worried ....and then happy. If the parent is bored, it is not a good fairy tale. The child will feel your own emotional response.
Hans Christian Andersen knew how to write stories for both adults and kids. I chuckled. I marveled at the author's ability to create an exciting story, ending with a comforting message. A bit simplistic, but that is in the definition of a good fairy tale. The religious message I could have done without.
Audible gave this audiobook to all its members; its 2014 Christmas present. To narrate it they chose Julia Whelan, who won Audible's best narrator prize for the year. I loved the voice she used for the reindeer, but someone could have told her how to correctly pronounce the two Nordic children's names Kai and Gerda. Kai is pronounced" k-eye", not the name of the letter K. Gerda is pronounced gpear-da, not grrrr-da. Kai could have sounded more like a little boy than a little girl. Otherwise the narration was OK. I checked out Katherine Kellgren's reading of the same story and it was a bit better, but heck that was not free! ...more
I listened to an audiobook narrated by Adam (Walter Zimmerman) and Eve (Cindy Hardin). It is only 1hr 8min long. Give yourself a treat. You will chuckI listened to an audiobook narrated by Adam (Walter Zimmerman) and Eve (Cindy Hardin). It is only 1hr 8min long. Give yourself a treat. You will chuckle through the whole thing.
One of the funniest things I have heard in a long, long time. Everybody needs to laugh.
What's it about? Well, do any woman or mans see eye to eye on anything? We are different; let's just admit it. We of the feminine sex talk......and talk and talk and talk. To us something is important just for its beauty. And the men, well listen to what Adam has to say.
I had no idea Mark Twain wrote such a book! He certainly understood the different sexes.
I don't know what is so special with this book. I don't know why everyone is praising it. I found the writing disconnected, not beautiful, not specialI don't know what is so special with this book. I don't know why everyone is praising it. I found the writing disconnected, not beautiful, not special at all. I didn't connect to the main character or any other character. A totally blah book.
I have nothing to praise or criticize about the audiobook's narration by Will Patton....more
Rather than repeating all my thoughts I post the link.
I don't give that many books five stars. They have to qualify as amazing. The author writes so you understand the value of nature, of the gift that is given to all of us. She shows us that a gift is tied with responsibility. Only if you understand that you have received a gift do you feel the responsibility to reciprocate. She opens our eyes to what has been given us. She also shows us how to handle the despair one can so easily feel. What is the point? I can do nothing. She gives us hope, and that is what is necessary so we don't just give up!
She wonderfully intertwines science with marvelous tales of the indigenous people. You can read the book just for these tales. You can read the book to learn scientific detail of flora and fauna. For example about strawberries, pecans, cattails, salamanders, maples and of course sweetgrass. Absolutely fascinating! You can read the book for inspiration; she is a single mother who has raised her kids alone. And what a fantastic job she has done. She remains humble. To top it all off she writes beautifully.
Occasionally I felt she was long-winded, but her message had to be made clear so we all really understand. Her message is SO important - to all of us!
This book is available on Kindle. If you try it and you don’t like it, you can get your money back if you return it within a week. What can you lose? I know, I am too pushy……. but I think this is such an important book. ...more
I enjoyed every minute spent listening to this audiobook. I laughed and laughed and laughed. Pay attention - I have put it on my humorous shelf. The oI enjoyed every minute spent listening to this audiobook. I laughed and laughed and laughed. Pay attention - I have put it on my humorous shelf. The only reason it doesn't get five stars is that it was too short.......I like long books. I didn’t want it to end. I want more and more and more.
So who will love this book? People who love Holly will love this book. So who IS Holly? Now that is the central theme of the whole book so I can only tell you a bit. Holly is a free spirit. The Holly we know is the "Holly of NYC", during the war years, primarily 1943. I have lived in NYC, but later in the 50s and early 60s. Nevertheless the people in this tale are people that breathe of NYC. What they say and how they joke and what they do, well it all felt pitch-perfect. i felt right at home. Yes, my kind of humor and my kind of people. If felt like these are the people that were the "pre-Hippie people”, the people that later became the Hippies and that is to say my younger self. Anyhow, if you love NYC, and there is a special kind of person that is the New Yorker, then your chances of loving this book are exponentially higher.
One hint - pay attention to the beginning because the story starts at the end, after the main time period of the book. Remember the beginning. Who is Holly? What kind of person is she? I love Holly. What if I say she is a REAL phony, that is taken directly from the book! Now what can that mean? Well, read the book and find out.
OMG, what lines!!! Ttaste these, even if you probably cannot swallow them with so little background:
- "José was too prim to be my guy ideal." - Holly likes honesty, but not "law-type" honesty. - If you don't even like looking at the guy, you're gonna be "a cold plate of macaroni".
You see I simply cannot show you how funny this is.
Oh, and don't read this, listen to the audiobook narration by Michael C. Hall. Absolutely superb.
One more thing. I never saw the movie and I cannot possibly envision Holly as Audrey Hepburn. How did they pick her for Holly?! I guess it was good but very hard to imagine.
My explosion while reading the book: I cannot stop laughing.
And the audiobook narration by Michael C. Hall is fantastic. You have to hear Holly and Joe and the fake "Fred" and all the rest. The voices fit the lines and each character's personality. ...more
I cannot cope with short stories, even fabulous ones. Don't do as I did and read them all in a row.
The twelve stories that are said to be in this colI cannot cope with short stories, even fabulous ones. Don't do as I did and read them all in a row.
The twelve stories that are said to be in this collection are the following: 1. A Story Without a Title 2. Art 3. The Student 4. Ivan Matveyitch 5. The June Premier 6. A Slander 7. The Beggar 8. A Malefactor 9. Minds in Ferment 10. The Looking Glass 11. Old Age 12. On Trial
Please note the fifth story is NOT included!
William Coon narrates all of the twelve eleven stories. Each story is followed with a pause and a little music. This is very good since you need time to think about the story just completed and start afresh with the next one. STILL, do NOT read one after the other!
OK, I love how Chekhov writes. With just a few descriptive words he manages to draw distinct characters. You cannot mistake what makes each one tick. You are given their attire, how they move and how they think.... or don't think. Each story has a message. Many of the stories are filled with humor. Some with irony. Some of the stories I did not know what was being said; I hadn't a clue.
I am just going to tell you just about the first story, but only in general terms. It was my absolute favorite. I wish all had been this good, but they weren't. I loved it because it has humor. I mean it is really, really funny. (view spoiler)[A hunter comes to a monastery and exclaims that the monks are just sitting on their butts doing nothing about the problems in the cities around them. He tells them to get off their butts, to go out into the world and DO something about all the problems out there! (hide spoiler)] I loved it because it allows each reader to interpret the facts as they wish. I believe a religious person, which I am not, can equally well draw completely different conclusions than those I have drawn...and yet we can both love it. It has irony. And at the end you can sit and talk about how one can interpret the "loose" ending. This is why people of different beliefs can all love it!
One more thing - Chekhov draw a picture of the Russian people, the common people, that will stick with you forever. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So this was a Tolstoy...... Hmph, the story doesn't say much except to reiterate how difficult and painful death can be, both physically and emotionalSo this was a Tolstoy...... Hmph, the story doesn't say much except to reiterate how difficult and painful death can be, both physically and emotionally. The story is way too short to establish empathy for Ivan Ilyich! He was a judge. A game of bridge was his favorite amusement. All his life he conformed to proper decorum, becoming with age aloof and irascible. What was the point of life - both he and the readers may ask?! Talk about a depressing book!!!!
The narration by Walter Zimmerman was certainly not bad, but it didn't add anything....more
I will write reviews as I complete each story. Seven stories and seven different narrators: David Ledoux, Joe Barrett, Therese Plummer, Kevin Pariseau,I will write reviews as I complete each story. Seven stories and seven different narrators: David Ledoux, Joe Barrett, Therese Plummer, Kevin Pariseau, Suzanne Toren, Edoardo Ballerini, Barbara Rosenblat I have asked Audible to tell me which narrator narrated which story. Have yet to receive a reply. *************************************** STORY 1 The Ballad of the Sad Café : 3 stars What I liked was the feel of the town. It was an entity in itself. The townspeople are not individuals, but a group. Often people behave differently as part of a group than when each feels themselves on their own! The story and what happens in this small southern town is atmospherically told. It is the atmosphere drawn that I enjoyed most. There are three central characters: Miss Amelia (shop/café owner), Marvin Macy (Amelia’s hated and deposed earlier husband) and Lymon (Amelia’s cousin, a dwarf hunchback). Their behavior didn’t make sense to me, even when seen in the light of the novella’s central theme - the difference between being a lover versus the beloved. Group behavior felt spot-on, but not the individuals’ behavior. Maybe I analyze too much. The audiobook narration was slow and atmospheric, impossible to improve upon. I like slow. ***************************************
Story 2 Wunderkind: 5 stars Wow, I am not musical and still I understood the agony of the story’s fifteen-year-old who no longer could play the piano as she had before. Her heart and soul knew how the music was to be played……..but her fingers just no longer could. Heart-wrenching. Oh, I wanted the teacher to talk to her, to comfort her, to give her encouragement. This has to be quasi-autobiographical. The author had wanted to study at Juliard. Again, absolutely marvelous narration. This story is very short. :0( ****************************************
Story 3 The Jockey 1 star This was ridiculously short! How can I “judge” a situation or the people if I know scarcely a thing about them? None of the characters seemed at all pleasant or interesting. Narration OK. ****************************************
Story 4 Madame Zalenski and the King of Finland Narrator: Suzanne Toren 4 stars Not that I understood all of this, but it certainly made me laugh! After completion I thought and thought how to make sense of what I had been told. You CAN have a democracy in a land with a king. Still, Finland is a democracy but has no king! And dogs CAN walk backwards…..perhaps. Who is the crazy one?! I liked how this is written; it makes me curious and is amusing. Excellent narration. ****************************************
Story 5 The Sojourner 2 stars Somebody close dies and of course you stop and rethink your own life. Narration and story just OK. ***************************************
Story 6 A Domestic Dilema 3 stars A touching glimpse at the problems caused by alcohol in a young family. Could Carson McCullers have said more in a longer novel? She said a lot here with few words. Good narration. ***************************************
Story 7 A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud 3 stars Yeah, I liked this one too. The theme? The difficulties of loving a woman. A brief talk between a paperboy, the owner of an all-night streetcar café and an old faded redhead. Carson McCullers paints pictures with words. Then she leaves a thought to think upon. Start by loving something simpler. Good narration. ****************************************
Three stars for the whole book. Some stories are better than others. You get glimpses into the worlds of others, and you start thinking. Always good writing. I prefer long novels over short stories and novellas, even when the writing is as good as this. ...more
A SHORT, short story and you now I am not into short stories. Still, I liked it. Why? Because Thurber lets you escape with Mitty into his fantasy worlA SHORT, short story and you now I am not into short stories. Still, I liked it. Why? Because Thurber lets you escape with Mitty into his fantasy world, and you understand why he flees there. This has to be short, or it will be longer than the story itself....more
Definitely worth reading, but do NOT listen to the audiobook narrated by the author. She is a good author, but not a good narrator. Dreary, let me jusDefinitely worth reading, but do NOT listen to the audiobook narrated by the author. She is a good author, but not a good narrator. Dreary, let me just leave it at that......
The writing reflects that she is trained as a journalist. However, the book is rather unstructured and reads as a group of different stories. Story after story of different Muslim women's experiences in the Middle East in the early 90s. Even if it isn't totally up-to-date you have to understand the past to understand the present.
I liked how the author distinguishes between different sources for current Islamic beliefs - the Koran, the Hadith and cultural practices.
I was upset by the double standard so often evoked in the stories.
The author clearly attacks the misogyny central to many Islamic beliefs...... She is a converted Jew. I was a teeny bit uncomfortable sometimes worrying to what extent her statements were completely objective. She did usually balance different views against each other, but I could hear through her intonation her own personal view on a subject. (Bad narration!)
Very interesting, but not a book where you engage yourself in the lives of the people mentioned....more