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Footnotes > Apeirogon by Colum McCann - who else is reading it?

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message 1: by NancyJ (last edited Aug 07, 2020 07:27AM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5686 comments Has anyone started this yet?

I'm up to chapter 326 (!) in the audio (about 32% in, 5 hours). It's beautiful and impressionistic, but after listening to some of it twice, I'm not sure how much has stuck. I'm not sure if I should attempt to finish this on audio, or give up and wait for the book. But than again, maybe listening to it is the best way to enjoy it. If I were reading it, I don't think I would stick with it. The author is narrating and I love his voice. (This is nice to listen to at bedtime, but then I have to rewind and re-listen to a lot of it.)

The non-narrative style isn't conducive to building a story that I will retain. I'm left with many impressions that I would have difficulty explaining to anyone else. For instance, in the last 20 minutes I heard some small details inserted by themselves (e.g. about chemicals produced in Pennsylvania, and a meeting with John Kerry) that had an impact, but it's fleeting because he's immediately on to something else. The information on birds is interesting in the moment, but again, hard to retain.

I finally gave in and read a review that included the names of key characters. I recognize that I've picked up a lot about one main character (and his daughter) but not the other. It would have been beneficial for me to gain a summary with names in advance, so that I would recognize them and begin to build a framework in my head.

I think that this is a book that would benefit from discussion and advance information. I can't think of any information that would spoil the book - the magic is in the writing. The exception might be opinions or information that was critical or negative about the two main characters. It could harm the empathetic theme of the story. Ooh, I caught a theme! Maybe.

OK I just talked myself into sticking with the audio for a while longer while I have it.


Nicole D. | 1492 comments Nancy - my favorite book in a long time. Started on audio and realized I needed to transition to print. The masterpiece of this book is the connections find in the writing.


Booknblues | 6331 comments Nancy, I started it but have veered to Conjure Women. I will return to it when I finish. In between all that, I am reading How to Be an Antiracist.

July and August are the slowest, I've read all year. Hoping to snap out of this lull.


Michael (mike999) | 569 comments Loved it, as with most of his work I've read.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 5: by NancyJ (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5686 comments Excellent review Michael! I really appreciate the chapter numbers of their statements at the conference. I think it will be a good touchstone or anchor for me. I'll read that when I get the book and listen to the rest via audio. I like to have the jist of the story first. Then I can enjoy the connections and side comments. I sometimes talk like that when I'm teaching (side comments, connections). Some of my students like it, some don't.

"I’m sorry to tell you, Senator, but you murdered my daughter."

This statement was jarring because I didn't hear anything first that explained the connection. Perhaps I missed it, or it was intentional to jar the reader.

I decided it was worth buying the audio.


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