Sunday, February 8, 2015

Still Life with Breadcrumbs

by Anna Quindlen
October 2014-January 2015

I gotta make this one short and quick. Even though I struggled for about three months to get through it. Because "Still Life" was exactly that for me – still. I didn't feel like there was really any complexity to the characters and the story dragged on in a very uninteresting way. I'm disappointed because I really adore Quindlen's work, but to be fair, the majority of the issues I had were with the narrator.

For the second time I've been unfortunate enough to stumble upon Carrington MacDuffie, the same narrator who ruined (albeit a rather dull story anyways) Never Knowing for me. Not to completely slander a person I've never met, but honestly, this woman should not narrate audiobooks. Her accents were laughable and she somehow manages to make every person sound ignorant, and most frustratingly of all, whiny. Oh how I hate whining.

The other thing that contributed to this marathon reading session was the 'Serial' podcast. I dropped this book like a hot potato so I could listen to Sarah Koenig. There would also be days and days I would go without giving it even a five-minute listen. I guess one could argue that because of this I was never fully engaged in the story. (I was going to write a post on "Serial', but what could I say that hasn't already been said? Plus, every single American has already formed his/her own opinion.)

But again, NOTHING HAPPENED! The most interesting characters were the ones who had the least amount of page time; specifically, Rebecca's mother, who played an imaginary piano incessantly, and Jim's mentally ill sister, whose death was, regrettably, an interesting moment. Finally, I'm love the idea of a woman dating a (much) younger man, but either the narrator or the author managed to make this come across as creepy, and honestly, kind of gross. Plus, with Rebecca being in her 60s, I related less to her than the "younger man."

Perhaps a more interesting read for a Baby Boomer.

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