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BIG FAT SECONDS
The first couple of hours of this was a beautiful pleasure. I have never enjoyed the language of a book as much as I loved this writing. I often complain about overly descriptive language, but that is not what this is. Mitchell just has a way of speaking, of thinking that is unique to him. When other writers try this style of writing it always seems fake to me, but I truly believe this is how Mitchell thinks.
INSIDE I GLOW
So, your wondering why the low rating. I enjoyed the first couple of hours and the female character. She seem like a fairly normal British teenager who just happens to hear RADIO PEOPLE. Oh yea, this is very British. The British English with the colorful language, can make it a little hard to understand at times. That was not the problem for me. For some reason we switched characters and I was bored by the male character. I listened for three more hours, hoping he would get more interesting or we would return to the girl, but I lost patience. For three hours Mitchell bored me and that is something I don't have to put up with. Slade House is a shorter work, so I might try it. The plot was also taking to long to come together.
53 of 58 people found this review helpful
I sort of worship at the altar of David Mitchell, so of course I loved this book. He is simply a masterful writer. And the narrators were all quite good. But the narration was nevertheless a major problem for me. The character around whom the book is structured is Holly Sykes, who we meet in her own voice in the first and last decades of her life. In the other episodes, someone else's story is told, though Holly Sykes is always a character in their stories. It makes sense to have different narrators for different episodes, since many of the stories are told by other characters. The problem is that Holly absolutely comes alive in the first episode: beautifully narrated and wonderfully written. In all the later episodes, she is incredibly flat. I kept looking for some sign of her individuality and her humanity, but really never saw it. So either David Mitchell has not successfully drawn an engaging portrait of Holly through the various decades of her life (quite possible), or I just couldn't get past the fact that when Holly talked in all the later episodes, she had a different voice and thus was not herself, making it difficult for me to connect her to the girl I met in the first episode. So now, after having invested many many hours in listening to the audiobook, I have to buy the book and read it if I want to decide whether or not David Mitchell really is all that. A lot is at stake here! I've been telling everyone I know that he's the best writer of his generation in the English language, and if he's written a crappy central character, I have to stop saying that! Or else he has to let me edit his next novel before it goes to press. Everybody needs an editor or twelve or twenty.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful