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Narrating is David Colacci, a gruff-voiced orator whose brusque delivery gives these tales of addiction, infidelity, and hopelessness an emotional urgency. The risk here is that Colacci could veer into hokey, sentimental territory, sympathizing with the characters in a way Stone doesn't intend. But Colacci's interpretation is spot-on, oozing with the venomous contempt these characters feel toward themselves and those around them. In "High Wire", the longest (and best) of the eight stories, about the long-term relationship between two addicts, Colacci is particularly heartbreaking, his voice and cadence perfectly reflecting a junkie's sad descent: "We would embrace. Sometimes we would hold each other, as chaste as Hansel and Gretel, to show we cared. We hoped we cared."
This isn't to say the book, clocking in at just over six hours, is an unpleasant experience, though at times it makes for an uncomfortable one. As much as the characters can be unlikeable and their actions unconscionable, they aren't entirely hard to relate to. They may represent the bleaker sides of humanity, but they still come across as, well, human. This as much due to Colacci's forceful yet wistful portrayal as it is to Stone's poignant storytelling. Jaime Buerger
Entire lives are laid out with remarkable precision, in captivating prose: a screenwriter carries on a decades-long affair with a beautiful actress, whose descent into addiction he can neither turn from nor share; a bored husband picks up a mysterious woman only to find that his ego has led him woefully astray; a world-beating Silicon Valley executive receives an unwelcome guest at his mansion in the hills; a scuba dive guides uneasy newlyweds to a point of no return.
Fun with Problems showcases Stone's great gift: to pinpoint and make real the impulses - by turns violently coercive and quietly seductive - that cause us to conceal, reveal, and betray our very selves.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By robert on 05-11-10
great book for listening
I'm not much of a fan of the audio book experience so far. But this is a great book for this format. The stories are done well and work great for audio in the short story format.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful