I did enjoy this but nothing like as much as the recording of Chocolat I bought first. I rate the content as 3 stars but give it 4 because of Juliet Stevenson's amazing reading. The story simply isn't as magical, as evocative or as charming as Chocolat - but that would be a hard act to follow! On the other hand it gives other characters a centre stage and the ending, if trite, is neat.
Let it just keep going, because the start is a little slow. It's long - and it will be worth every minute of your time.
Beautiful writing, and such expert narration.
Sad and sobering though some of the story is, it's not written in a way that cynically tries to milk the pathos. In fact, most of the sad incidents are dealt with in such a matter-of-fact way, it helps you to deal with it, too. It is also a very funny book, with sly, sideways humour and sometimes some pure slapstick comic passages.
I really did love this boo and was very sad to leave it.
If you like your humour satirical, bone-dry and pitch-black, you will probably like this acidic novel whose premise is the state of 21st century American life, and society.
The plot is quite meandering and although the main characters are middle-class, professional Americans, you do feel the ferrous under-tow of sub-culture, of people falling through the gaps in society - or deliberately slipping away from the 'norms'.
It is also a story of love, murder, family, damage and friendship. I found it very edgy and so it is not a relaxing read, but it did fascinate me.
The key characters are Jewish New York state Americans and a lot of the pleasure in the book is to be had from these often very funny cast-members. The thread about the main character's Nixon obsession was very enjoyable too.
Very well written prose and the narration is good. The reader has a gruff voice and yet managed to convey the characters with often very tiny changes to his tone.
Content is fairly adult (sexually) and quite graphic (medically/physically), not that it bothered me, but you might not have it on during the school run.
Addicted to Audible!
The reviews convinced me to try this story...and they did not let me down. A well told and beautifully narrated human story about everyday life regrets and the occasionally exceptional. Highly recommended.