Monday, November 01, 2010

Audiobooks, round two

So…another brief recap of things I’ve been listening to over the past couple of months as well as a few I missed in the previous audiobook recap.

The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolaño
I read and listened to 2666 but only listened to this book. A wild ride and after it’s done I feel I don’t know Ulises Lima or Arturo Belano any better as characters than when I started listening, which is probably the intent since it mirrors their quest. As I said about 2666, this may be nothing more than a Fürst-Pückler-Eis treat in the perfect season, but don’t underestimate how good that can be. Both books I mentioned are worth listening to just for their sound.

Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
My introduction to Stegner and I rather liked it as it felt like a one-sided conversation with someone that has experienced far more than I ever will. As short as it is, though, it felt overlong in places.

Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
I read this for the first time last year and picked the audiobook from the library for a listen. Once again I thoroughly enjoyed it (or at least up to the final scenes). Time to explore more Defoe. And hopefully forget much of the dreck I’ve seen written about this book.

The Recognitions, William Gaddis
As I mentioned in a previous post, this is a remarkable achievement by narrator Nick Sullivan. If you have been tempted to read the book but feel overwhelmed by its bulk and many voices, this recording is the way to go. The book feels like it could be shorn of a third of its size and not lose anything, the jokes are usually telegraphed far in advance and seem to lose something upon reaching the punch line, and there’s hardly a likeable character in here. Yet I couldn’t stop listening to it (probably around 48 hours in total), finding myself drawn to it each weekday during my commute. I’ll probably revisit this in book form, if for no other reason than to see and explore the many literary allusions.


Anonymous said...

My favorite Stegner novel, which I highly recommend, is Angle of Repose. Wonderful. Cheers. K

Dwight said...

Thanks Kevin. That's the title I see recommended the most. I just noticed that Stegner also had an interview with the Paris Review that I'd like to read as well.