- Narrated by: Clare Higgins
- Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
- Abridged Audiobook
- Release date: 06-09-04
- Language: English
- Publisher: Random House Audio
Regular price: $19.93
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In Bahrain, Howard works at an oil company and Will makes his first friend. But in short order he is wrenched off to another land, his mother's complicated friendship with American siren Trixie Howitzer causing the family to bolt. In Northern Rhodesia, during its last days as a white colony, the twin enfants terribles Marcus and Julius are born, and Will falls for the gardener's daughter, a girl so vain that she admires her image in the lid of a biscuit tin. Soon the family's life is upturned again, this time by their neighbor Major Buck Quinn, with his suburban tirades against black self-rule. Envisioning a more civilized life on "the sceptered isle," the Laments head to England. Alas, poor Will is greeted by the tribal ferocity of his schoolmates and a society fixated on the Blitz. No sooner has he succumbed to British pop culture in the guise of mop-top Sally Byrd and her stacks of 45s, than the Laments uproot themselves once again, and it's off to New Jersey, where life deals crisis and opportunity in equal measure.
Undeniably eccentric, the Laments are also universal. Every family moves on in life. Children grow up, things are left behind; there is always something to lament. Through the Laments' restlessness and unwieldy love for one another, George Hagen gives us a portrait of every family that is funny, tragic, and improbably true.
"A funny, touching novel about the meaning of family." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mr. Hagen has shaped an affectionate family portrait in which the characters come vividly to life, no matter how adrift they may be." (The New York Times)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By AudibleAvid on 09-04-05
3 1/2 stars
This book had many elements I enjoy...travel, human nature, new family issues...but I felt like some of the events that take place were pointless and only there for shock appeal for lack of a better phrase. There were so many good kernels of potential directions the story could go but the lack of depth in any of them made me want more. I did enjoy the story but I would have rather borrowed a copy of the book rather than use my credit. The narratar has difficulty with female voices and American accents but it's a little entertaining.