Friday, April 24, 2009

Audiobooks I have loved and lost.

I had discovered audiobook reader Anna Fields/Kate Fleming just a few short months ago and have been listening to her almost non-stop since. I ordered everything that sounded interesting that she read. Then at an ARRT meeting I found out she had passed, tragically. And I finished listening to one of the most beautiful stories I've heard her read today. So I dedicate this entry to her. I hope when my mom finds out it is a mom-read that she gets the audiobook.

Bel Canto Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Patchett tells you in the beginning what is going to happen in the end. But, you won't believe it.

A dinner party for an illustrious japanese business man goes horribly wrong when it is taken over by terrorists who mistakenly believe that the president of the unnamed south american country will be attending. The president stayed home to watch his favorite soap opera instead of attending what was supposed to be the most important night of his country's future. The terrorists had planned to have the president and be out of the building within just a few minutes, but when they find out he really and truly isn't there they decide to take everyone hostage. As the story unfolds what starts as a hostage situation becomes much more complex. The terrorists and hostages spend each day, every day, in close proximity. The terrorists are for the most part barely older than children, two of them are female. There are three older generals in charge, but they start to seclude themselves from the day to day terrorist business. The mansion of the party becomes the universe to everyone and roles become blurred. People are people, after all, regardless of whether they wear the old worn fatigues of a terrorist or the neatly pressed tuxedo or evening gown of a hostage.

Crying on the tollway into work is always awkward. Because no matter what the author tells you at the beginning, the ending will still shock and sadden you. The book unfolds at a leisurely pace, but still manages to be a fairly quick listen (only 9 discs!) Anna Fields/Kate Fleming had her leant her ability towards creating nuanced characters without ever distracting from the story. Patchett's and situations are so well drawn, her since of timing and exposition and dialogue could have been so stilted and far fetched but instead flow into complete suspension of disbelief.

This is definitely a book to recommend to my mom.

View all my reviews.

1 comment:

  1. I read this a couple years ago and absolutely loved it! It was fantastic and I'm sure I would have cried listening to the audiobook. (And I've been there before with the awkward crying: I listen to audiobooks while working out and have had to wipe away tears while on the elliptical machine.)