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while I applaud the notion behind getting "name" actors to honor Hemingway by narrating his works, there is a problem that arises too often: good actors are not automatically good narrators. not only did i tire quickly of Patton's breathy whisper which he applies to almost every facet of this novel, it is so passive that it is completely wrong for the prose style and the action. the temperament of the characters, Morgan especially, all seem to blend together into boredom. there is little emotion in any speech, and the poetry in narrative passages is lost into a big homogenous sameness. there are moments when Patton gets more into it, some passages near the end stand out as his better moments of narration, but on the whole the vigor is missing. I felt very much the same way with Hurt's work on Sun Also Rises; it's as though they feel that to give this important writer proper reading they must add gravity to the prose by speaking slowly and quietly. the crispness and vitality of the prose doesn't need their improvement, it just needs a proper reading. again i find myself thinking back to Adams narrations from Books on Tape, I don't remember ever feeling like he was bored with the project; nice to have variation in theory, but give me his vitality. (Campbell Scott is much the same way as Hurt and Patton, and let's not start on Sutherland)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
To Have and Have Not is a difficult book to love, despite this well-handled reading of the text. The story is bleak, violent and pessimistic in tone, set as it is during the Great Depression, and leaves little room for hope to redeem its bleakness. The novel also jumps between points of views and characters instead of sticking with one narrator or protagonist. This creates a novel with less unity, though Hemingway's intent seems to be to give readers a look at both the wealthy and the poor and the troubles endured by both. However, this omniscient point of view is less popular with modern readers and many will interpret these passages as digressions. Hemingway himself is said to have regarded it as his least successful novel. Still, it is an eye-opening look into a now half-forgotten era.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
What else to say beyond the headline? Superbly written by Hemingway, bleak, to the point, sometimes with a tenderness under the despair.
A novel during the US recession era set between Miami and Cuba which got Hemingway into trouble for its supposedly Marxist content.
The highlight for me though was the incredible narration of Will Patton who brought Hemingway's language and the mood to life. The best narrator I've come across on Audible, possibly also because he was backed by a full production team who gets credited in the end.
More Audible of this quality please!!!
Hemmingway is consistently brilliant.
There is no one else like him in their description of scenes, characters and dialogue.