Michelle's Reviews > Duplicate Keys

Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley
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's review
Jan 24, 2009

it was ok
Read in March, 2009

I listened to this book, which may have largely contributed to my not really liking it. I didn't know anything about it and just picked it up at the library because I like Jane Smiley.

The premise was somewhat interesting -- two musicians were found murdered in their NY apartment, and the list of people who had keys to the apartment was so long as to make it nearly impossible to reconstruct, and thus the list of possible suspects was equally long.

The narrator, Alice, found the bodies of her friends, and the story was told from her p.o.v. The problem was that I just didn't find her character compelling, or even all that likeable. Worse still, the reader of this audiobook was singularly annoying. The voice she used only for Alice sounded like an elderly woman (possibly her attempt at making her sound shy and vulnerable?). In addition, she said grimace with a long A. The first time she said it, I thought I heard her wrong, but she went on to say it several more times. (I looked it up to see if that was an alternate pronunciation, and it turns out it is, but I still found it highly distracting.)

As I progressed in the story, the CDs became more and more prone to skipping, which ultimately made the decision to stop listening halfway through an easy one.

The highlight for me was learning two new words:

sybaritic (adj.)

1. (usually lowercase) pertaining to or characteristic of a sybarite; characterized by or loving luxury or sensuous pleasure: to wallow in sybaritic splendor.
2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Sybaris or its inhabitants.

adamantine (adj.)

1. utterly unyielding or firm in attitude or opinion.
2. too hard to cut, break, or pierce.
3. like a diamond in luster.

Interesting, but not enough to recommend.

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