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By Gayle on 03-26-12
Captured the Challenge of second language
Where does Leaving the Atocha Station rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
The author wrote beautifully about that weird place of understanding enough of the language and culture to pass as fluency and then never be quite sure of what you heard, said, or took place. For any of us that have been there , it was beautifully done: did he say this or that? Was it future or past? what did I just say? A story that might be ho hum takes and humor and sadness from this perspective.
Which character – as performed by Ben Lerner – was your favorite?
I loved that the reader was the author, He made it rich with his feelings and confusion. The emotions were so heart felt.
Any additional comments?
I recommend this to anyone who has lived abroad or travelled knowing the languge just enough to get into trouble looking fluent.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Rochelle on 12-09-14
I loved this book & I’m not sure why. I think part of it is the language (the author is a poet), the other part is how believable the main character is as a human being.
Adam has a serious case of imposter syndrome, and his way of dealing with this is sometimes to lie, try to look or sound mysterious (I'm not sure how well that actually works for him), or pop anxiety pills. His lies are painful not least because he’s absolute rubbish at remembering that he lied at all. He’s terrified the people around him will see him as a fraud. He’s uncomfortable, we’re uncomfortable but the people around him in the book seem to be completely fine with it all, although he ascribes to them a higher wisdom than is likely. He thinks he's a fraud as a person & as a poet & neither of these seem likely. He certainly puts too much meaning in to his interactions with others & overthinks things.
A lot of this book is us spending time in Adam's head. His perspective is definitely warped though so we see some things he doesn't. He's a painful character (in the sense of cringeworthy) but he's incredibly human & like cellophane - at times we see right through.
The narration is excellent. Initially I was bothered by the monotone of the author's voice, the flattened affect, but getting further into the book this is the perfect voice for Adam.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful