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I'm trying to figure out what it is. I mean, I loved the book, liked the movie. The audiobook? Where the hell did the charm go? I'm thinking the narration is at fault. Don't get me wrong. Being an Audible Addict, I have plenty of Joe Barrett, and he's brilliant in "Defiant" and "Roberts Ridge." He has the right stuff. But here, he turns a backwards, inside-out, unhappy man into a snappish man with a stick up his wazoo who has to have everything his way (rather than feeling that it would just be safer if things were done such and such way). And he makes people feel stupid. I just couldn't feel for him. Listening to the book, even when Macon's grandfather is discussed in explanation, isn't enough to up the care factor. His presentation throughout the book is exasperating, the love story isn't credible as delivered, and I'm feeling really, really disheartened right about now. Truly, I loved the book, like I said, was even fond of the movie. But I just can't give a rat's patoot about Macon here, and he's what the whole thing hinges on.
If you loved the book/movie, listen carefully to the sample. There's a bit of his coldness in there. I mean, can't he show Sarah some warmth, consideration? I don't hear any sort of this-is-just-the-way-I-think; I just hear hear a cold, self-absorbed man.
49 of 54 people found this review helpful
I had read this novel many years ago and loved it. It had been my first Anne Tyler novel. Listening to this now, I was disappointed throughout the first half. The characters were quirky, almost typical Anne Tyler characters, but the freshness of the experience was gone for me. This is the story of Macon, an odd, finicky man dealing with the demise of his marriage after the tragic death of his son. When Macon meets Muriel, an unlikely mate, his life begins to change in big ways. Halfway through the novel, the characters became alive to me, and I loved the second half of the book. It was hard to rate this, as the first half is a basic 3 star novel, but the second half was a 5 star story which kept me glued to my iPod. This does not feel dated, and I recommend it to anyone who likes Anne Tyler or quirky middle-aged romances.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful