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If you could sum up Fire in the Belly in three words, what would they be?
I'll be forever thankful to Cynthia Carr for this incredibly comprehensive, evocative, thoroughly researched and atmospheric account of a fascinating and underrated East Village artist--from his harrowing childhood to his premature death from AIDS. It's a biography not only of the man but of an era. It made me wistful and nostalgic, and brought me back to a long-gone NYC when things were raw, exciting, gritty, and full of possibilities, even at a time of plague.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire in the Belly?
Very hard to say. The book is like an incredible tapestry of intricately interwoven events and observations. It would be hard to isolate one as a standout moment, especially given that this is a biographical work.
Did Cynthia Barrett do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
Question does not really apply to this book, which is a biography.
Ms Barrett does have a nice, even, clear voice that is very easy to listen to (even though she does tend to over-enunciate at times).
HOWEVER-- I was kind of appalled that she didn't know how to pronounce an alarming number of words and names. And she completely demolished every French word she pronounced. I don't expect perfect, prissy language but an Audible reader should be able to pronounce fairly common terms, names, and places, especially for a book filled with cultural references like this one. "Basquiat," for instance, was uttered in every conceivable way except the correct one. "Oeuvre" was occasionally pronounced as "oorf" and any European artwork or artist names were mangled to the point of farce.
Ms. Carr's text deserved better than this.
I actually dreaded passages in which David W. was heading back to France because I knew that I'd be subjected to more hideous mispronunciations. But aside from such considerable distractions, she read beautifully. I wish she could go back and record over the gaffes, though this would take a considerable amount of painstaking work.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, although that would have been one extraordinarily long sitting!
Any additional comments?
Loved it. One of the best artist biographies I have ever read.
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