Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Sunday Salon


My girl and I are getting ready to spend an afternoon at the Carnegie Science Center, so this will be a quick Sunday Salon post. There's a promotional initiative going on in the area with more than 50 local cultural and arts attractions that are offering free admission on designated days over the next few weeks. Today happens to be the Science Center's turn, and since Betty has been asking to go there since before we moved, we're taking advantage of this.

Just as well that this is an abbreviated post because not much has really changed in my reading from last week.

My work travel continued in full force this week, which allowed me to finish listening to Jonathan Franzen's novel Freedom on audio.  This one's a chunkster in every sense of the word. With 562 pages in the print edition, this translates into 19 unabridged CDs spanning 24 hours and 17 minutes.

This was my first Franzen book, and early on in my listening I predicted that this would wind up being a "just OK" type of book for me ... and I was right.  Bottom line?  I think Freedom was incredibly over-hyped. It's not a terrible book, but I don't like investing 24 hours of my time in a book only to come away shrugging my shoulders, which is how I feel about this one.

So why didn't this one become one of my DNFs?  Two words: David LeDoux. He's the narrator of the superb audiobook production of Freedom. As audiobooks and their narrators go, LeDoux's talents are exceptional. There are more than a few characters at play in Freedom, which is a challenge to any audiobook narrator, but LeDoux does a great job of differentiating the various voices.  I wound up reading the last 75 or so pages, and even though that may not seem to be enough of a scientific sample to judge whether the audio or print version is better, it was enough for me.

I'm also still reading Ransom Riggs's debut novel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which I am absolutely loving.  It's creepy, but in a great way. This is going to be one of my favorites of this year. I'm hoping to finish this up either tonight (that might be optimistic) or tomorrow, since it is now overdue back to the library.

And now, I am overdue for a much-anticipated afternoon at the Science Center. Later, kids!


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2 comments:

Melissa said...

I felt the same way about Freedom. I just wanted to get through the darn thing! Oh, and I cannot wait to read Miss Peregrine's . . . I love creepy!

Cavalier92 said...

I found Freedom to have a fascinating premise that was (and this is hard to say for such a huge book) underdelivered.

I read it and was pulled along but the gravity of the massive plot, but was left oddly unfulfilled at the end.

Or maybe I was just scared.