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Drawing Lady

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  • 10
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Not for the sensitive but an excellent read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-07-19

Spoilers!
Yes, it's very heavy on the sex and for a while I couldn't take it. But I got used to it (you get used to anything). Sex-wise, I found it all terribly hedonistic and a bit like a Hieronymus Bosch painting - big on lust and low on love - but from the point of view of writing - the author is very gifted. Her characters are each completely true to themselves and feel real; but her real tour-de-force, I think, was her portrait of an abusive relationship. I knew someone who could easily be exchanged for the abusive character: the author could have been writing about him. Not alone was the power dynamic expertly drawn, but the horribly stealthy way it can creep on you was superbly described. And the fact that you can remain complicit in the abuse, too: no one ever talks about that. Or, at least, complicit in not ending it, or not seeing it.

I didn't find the book funny in any way, but I just have a different sense of humour - I can see how lots of people would find it funny. An excellent read, but be warned - the lesbian sex is very graphically described!

The Salt Path cover art

Amazing story, shame about the narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-19

The story was amazing and so well written. Ray is fantastic. But the narration! The lady who narrated it has two problems, only one of which she can do anything about:
1. She is the wrong age to read the story. She sounds as if she is a good twenty years older than the author, which is inappropriate. It makes the author sound as if she's a feeble old lady embarking on a 600-mile journey on foot.
2. Here's the bit she can change: she gave the two fortune-tellers stage-Oirish accents. Nowhere in the text were these two ladies, who appear at different times, described as Irish or as having an Irish accent. Maybe I'm missing something - do all fortune-tellers in Britain have Irish accents? It was racist I'm afraid. If she had given strong Caribbean accents to, I don't know, the only two London bus conductors to appear in the book, unprompted by the actual text, the narration editor would have had a quiet word with her. Here's your quiet word: racism isn't nice. Don't do it. Don't wait for a person from the group you're offending to point it out.

Okay, back to the story. Ray and Moth are a great couple, with dry wit and amazing stoicism, despite the absolute s***-storm that has landed on their doorstep. They're funny and self-deprecating, which makes for great reading. Ray descibes the conversations with people they meet along their journey, without judgment: she leaves that to the reader. That takes skill and restraint.

I love that Ray says that the key word in their story is "sell" their home, rather than "lose" their home, and how the attitudes of the listener change utterly according to which story they are told. It made me want to be kind to people I meet who are in trouble, and worried that I haven't been kind enough (I definitely haven't).

I thought sad thoughts about Britain as I read it, or at least about the interactions with the majority of people the couple met along the way. Maybe the couple were just in a bad place at the time, and saw the world through sad eyes. Maybe they met meanies because humans can be pretty mean to people in need. But Moth more than makes up for anyone - he seems like the nicest man. Ray is a bit more selfish, but that doesn't in any way detract from her likeability - if anything it just makes her more endearing, because she's so honest about her own character.

This is a really uplifting story. It's about resilience and inner resources you didn't know you had. It's very much about renewal and looking Death squarely in the eye and saying, I'm still here.

And the coast is so beautifully described...

Recommended!



The reality of alcoholism

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-19

The author says two things that make me really understand what it must be like to be an alcoholic.
"I fantasise about having a drink the way you would fantasise about having an affair."
"I knew all the whereabouts of the off-licenses within a five-mile radius of my flat."

It must be absolutely horrible to be an alcoholic. I love my glass of wine but it's usually no more than that. I sometimes worry about drinking (once a year, maybe) and then wonder if I'm in denial. But this is a whole different level. i have no idea how the author is still alive.

She seems like a nice person and the writing is excellent. My only criticism is that there isn't a single line of dialogue which can be a bit...lonely at times.

You're transported to the islands of Orkney which my husband says are totally bleak, no matter what she says, but she makes it all sound very romantic. She IS born to it, after all.

It's not depressing at all and I recommend it. And boy am I glad that I never found that drinking and partying lifestyle so attractive that it wasn't easy to walk away at the ripe old age of 23. Poor Amy, what a curse to be born with this terrible affliction. But she has kicked it (no spoiler there) and I admire her greatly for that.

The narrator has a beautiful voice.


Humbling, terrifying, awe-inspiring

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-04-19

Like... What can you say? This man made his life a little sadder in order to do his best to fix others. Like a special giant who says he'll take your pain from you...but then ends up getting hurt by it. What a man. And beautifully written, too. Narration was excellent.

Unmissable, unputdownable, unforgettable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-18

Blew me away. And it's so true...and recent... I'm a better-informed woman for this book, and aside from all that, it was beautifully written, so perfectly narrated, and gripping from start to finish. The worst of it is that it's far from over, with Putin in the hotseat.

Matt, you're a genius and a gentleman

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-09-18

Very touching. Inspiring. Entertaining. Informative. Funny. Eye - opening...I did love this book but in a different way to most audio books I enjoy. This one was honest and unflinching and very admirable. It also took me back to George Dawes on you tube again, what a treat!

Surprisingly touching

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-07-18

Eddie is great. The story is great. Listen to it and be moved. I'm inspired to write my own love story, record it and get someone to sell it for me - I'm that inspired by Eddie. And you can virtually stalk the two protagonists on Instagram. On second thoughts, maybe I won't write, record and sell my own love story

Unmissable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-06-18

A great read. Eddie is a natural storyteller. He's inspired me to do my own thing too - not the safe choice but MY thing - just as Eddie did. He's funny and very brash and rude but we like him that way ("we" is my teenage son and I on our walk around the block, listening together). Eddie takes ZERO crap from anyone and that in itself is really inspiring. I wish I was like that. Ah no, I'm not too bad, getting better. He's a true American in the best sense even though he was very angry with America for all of his young life. Go Eddie!

Don't miss this one!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-05-18

This guy is brilliant...hilarious and good-hearted at the same time. It is a collection of diaries and anecdotes that Adam wrote down during his six years as a doctor, from junior to just shy of consultant. It really is the least family - friendly job in the world and my eyes are opened. The NHS' loss is comedy's gain (although I heard he has written for Mrs browns boys, all I'll say about that is we all have bills to pay). Touching and very funny, and always fascinating. I'm newly grateful for the fact that I had three very easy deliveries...and one last thing - I'm newly astonished and impressed by the inventiveness of the British public. Read the book to find out why!

What were you thinking, Donald?

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-03-18

The narration was terrible. I can't understand how the founder of Audible didn't catch that one. The narrator's voice rose and fell dramatically, meaning that I missed lots of what he said.

I had just finished Shoe Dog and wanted more. But what a difference! This book is a bore. Too wordy, obtuse, zero dialogue... don't bother.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful