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This book is one of those few novels that just don't translate well into an audible book. While I thought Stephen Hoye sounded good, and I thought the writing was exceptional, this book just did not work in audio format. I think the problem is that, in this novel, Ray Bradbury writing emphasizes extremely rich imagery...so rich and complex that hearing the words are just not adequate to catch it. Let me try to explain what I mean...when one reads the printed word, the content "sticks" better than when one "hears a speech". I struggled through the first couple of hours of this audio book, eventually I realized that I was just not engaged with the story...then i realized that there really was not much of a story here. This book is written as an “ode to summer and childhood", it main purpose of this book is to try to convey the memories and feelings that R.B. felt towards his childhood summers. As much of the content is "stream of consciousness" of a young boy imagining things, remembering things, and trying to describe things (as a young boy would describe them if they had a master’s degree in English Lit). The rest of the content is "3rd person stream of consciousness" of an old man trying to describe their memories as a child. The result is simply too complex for someone to grasp and imagine simply from hearing the words...I think you have to actually read the words yourself to understand and get into this story. SO I gave this book 3 stars for performance and story, but a one overall because I felt that while either element was fine (even excellent) the overall effect of this audiobook fell flat due to this being the wrong medium to enjoy this novel.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
The magic and dark tragedy in the summer of 1928 seen through the eyes of Bradbury's alter-ego Douglas Spaulding. The audio performance is excellent. The story was nostalgic like somewhere in time, but rather a love story about growing up and the love of life as it passes you by. It's a good story but not really my cup of tea.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Dandelion Wine in three words, what would they be?
Nostalgia, for a time that has long gone; a better time that we can now only dream of.
Joy, in watching a young boy grow up.
Fear, that everything may just go wrong for him. and the knowledge of what is waiting in store for him.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The main character, a young boy (Name forgotten I'm afraid), who is so busy trying to just grow up and to understand what the whole thing is about. But he is such an interesting character that, despite everything, you feel drawn to him, to wish him well.
Have you listened to any of Stephen Hoye’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No, but I shall look for him again.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Pretty much. It was beautifully done, both the writing and the narration.
Any additional comments?
I read one of Ray Bradbury's later books a long time ago. This has made me realize that I must re-visit his list.