Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Going somewhere?

Taking a road trip? A long one, perhaps cross-country? Well, grab one of our two hefty new audiobooks to keep your entertained along the way. Since listening to these is the equivalent of two-weeks' employment they should stand up to the longest of journeys.
Clocking in at 39 hours of listening pleasure(?), The Kindly Ones is the new novel from Jonathan Littell. This European novel (the author is American, but grew up in France) has been creating quite a bit of controversy. The fictional memoir of a Nazi SS official, this book relates the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust from his perspective. Although the book won two major French literary awards, reception in other countries - especially Germany - has been more mixed. The combination of cruel violence, incestuous love (between the protagonist and his sister), and his unrepentant adherence to Nazi ideology is a little too unsettling for some readers. Caveat emptor...
Our other massive audio tome is Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country. The two volumes combine for 40 hours (the book is a conglomeration of three separately-published novels). Winner of the 2008 National Book Award, this story is a fictional account of Florida sugarcane planter E.J. Watson. He is a murderer, a businessman, a liar, a pioneer and a force to be reckoned with at the beginning of the 20th century. Beginning the story with Watson's death at the hands of his vigilante neighbors, Matthiessen uses multiple narrators to tell the rise and fall of this brutal (and real-life) character.

No comments: