The first-born son of his generation, Peter Balakian grew up in a close, extended family, sheltered by 1950s and '60s New Jersey suburbia. He was immersed in an all-American boyhood defined by rock 'n' roll, adolescent pranks, and a passion for the New York Yankees that he shared with his beloved grandmother. But beneath this sunny world lay the dark specter of the trauma his family and ancestors had experienced: the Turkish government's extermination of more than a million Armenians in 1915, including many of Balakian's relatives, in the century's first genocide.
In elegant, moving prose, Black Dog of Fate charts Balakian's growth and personal awakening to the facts of his family's history and the horrifying aftermath of the Turkish government's continued campaign to cover up one of the worst crimes ever committed against humanity. In unearthing the secrets of a family's past and how they affect its present, Black Dog of Fate gives fresh meaning to the story of what it means to be an American.
©1998 Peter Balakian (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"A rare work of seasoned introspection, haunting beauty, and high moral seriousness." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Balakian writes with power and poignancy, confronting his past with justified outrage and transforming that outrage into art." (Library Journal)
of course, I listened to parts more than once
with his aunts in Paris
His voice is genuine, but I would have preferred a professional actor
Diyarbakir life before 1915
. . . and you thought "Stand By Me" was a good story!
I could not get past the reader's tedious monotone...if I had not needed to finish this book for a book group, I never would have made it to the end. I wanted to put it down after an hour.
"Story everyone should read"
It's been years that I had purchased the hard copy of Balakian 's book but unfortunately I've never read it. The audio version helped me to finish it in one week. Very convenient, even though sometimes I had to redo my make up. Thanks Balakian for writing this memoir to keep your grandmother' s and your people story alive.
"couldn't put it down"
this is last time I read an author-narrated book. the reading was infuriatingly bad. but in spite of his horrible & distracting phrasing, the story was so compelling that I read it straight thru. wonderfully written, lovely combination of personal family and graphic historical account of the Armenian experience.
More objective approach and factual claims
The beginning is great. Memories of his childhood and with his grandmother are very fun to hear
This could have been a great book if only the author would have been less biased. The story is very sensitive in nature and requires a great deal of talent, which I think the author lacks. The beginning is lots of fun with his childhood memories, but once part one is over, his style changes dramatically. The story becomes very offensive with full of excoriation and verbal condemnation of the target nation. He often fails to provide proper citation for quotations. I would not suggest this book to those who do not have prior knowledge of the Armenian genocide.
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