- Narrated by: James Yaegashi
- Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 03-09-09
- Language: English
- Publisher: Recorded Books
Regular price: $27.99
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The protagonists are so disparate a 14-year-old assassin in Bogota, Colombia; a Japanese child in 1945 Hiroshima; a young American woman visiting a friend in Tehran it's delightful to hear them in their own voices. The seven narrators give each story its own sound that fits the main characters, letting you sink deeply into the worlds. Henry Strozier, as the narrator of "Meeting Elise", is particularly effective, using his gravelly voice to portray a prickly, aging New York City painter who's about to meet his estranged daughter for the first time just as he receives a cancer diagnosis and longs for his dead lover. Gideon Emery reads "Halfhead Bay" about an Australian teenager struggling with first love and the imminent death of his mother, in a boyish Australian accent. The depths these stories reach in a brief time make The Boat perfect for those who want to escape their days, in hour-long blocks. Kelly Marages
Brilliant, daring, and demonstrating a jaw-dropping versatility of voice and point of view, The Boat is an extraordinary work of fiction that takes us to the heart of what it means to be human, and announces a writer of astonishing gifts.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ryan on 10-29-11
well-crafted, wears literary aspirations on sleeve
If you like literary short stories, this is a well-crafted collection. Le does an impressive job of getting inside the minds of his diverse characters -- a teenage hitman in Colombia, a young girl in World War II Japan, a 30something American woman visiting a friend in Tehran -- and making the realities they live in feel convincing. The pieces drew me in more through the moment-to-moment evocativeness of the language than the plots or the characters, and Le's efforts to be lyrical sometimes felt a little forced, but, for the most part, he writes with impressive maturity for an author so young. The pieces touch on themes like loneliness, obligation, mortality, and the sacrifices that people make that end up setting them apart from others.
I recommend The Boat in its audiobook form: short stories like these are meant for being read aloud, and each voice actor does a fine job, his or her accent and intonation fitting the location and mood of the piece perfectly. I look forward to experiencing Le's first novel, if he writes one -- he has an undeniable talent for viewpoint and texture.
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