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The stories in" This Is How You Lose Her," by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that "love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever."
"Diaz delivers a winning performance; his narration is clear, nuanced, and true to the text, his voice as engaging and confident as that of any professional narrator. Diaz's reading ably captures the emotional states of his characters, his voice conveying all the humor, sorrow, and anger of the prose. Additionally, he lends his characters a host of subtle accents and dialects--each one distinct and appropriate to their background. This is a must listen." - "Publishers Weekly"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-11-26
- Reviewer: Staff
Pulitzer Prize–winner Díaz delivers a collection of linked short stories that focus on love and the challenges it brings Dominican men grappling with their heritage, socioeconomic status, the legacy of machismo, and modern women. As a reader, Díaz delivers a winning performance; his narration is clear, nuanced, and true to the text, his voice as engaging and confident as that of any professional narrator. Díaz’s reading ably captures the emotional states of his characters, his voice conveying all the humor, sorrow, and anger of the prose. Additionally, he lends his characters a host of subtle accents and dialects—each one distinct and appropriate to their background. This is a must listen for fans of the short story. A Riverhead hardcover. (Sept.)
The sounds of great gifts
Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s vibrant, boldly honest, best-selling memoir, grabs you from the very first lines, and you’ll get to know her before, during and after her intense, difficult, soul-saving hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed started this wilderness trek to take herself out of her own wilderness, out of being as “low and mixed-up” as she had ever been, out of her overwhelming grief for her mother’s untimely death and the nagging sorrow of her failed marriage. It’s a breathtaking, mesmerizing adventure, so well told that you feel her blisters and bruises, her trials on the trail and her hard-won realization of who she is and who she’ll be. Narrator Bernadette Dunne does a great job, capturing every emotional nuance, every step of the way.
On February 14, 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death for writing The Satanic Verses. It plunged Rushdie into 12 years of living a strange, strained, sequestered life under an assumed name, where the covert became the ordinary and the ordinary vanished. What it felt like, how he survived and how he maintained any semblance of his old self is superbly unfolded in Joseph Anton and superbly read by Sam Dastor. It’s a brilliant memoir, written in affecting, but unaffected, prose, detailing his daily anxieties, daily triumphs, friends (and wives) who helped, friends (and wives) who disappointed. It’s a long tale, but uniquely fascinating.
The Iraq war with its physical and psychological horrors becomes brutally immediate and intensely close in Kevin Powers’ powerful debut novel, The Yellow Birds. His language is extraordinary, his images and insights searing as he witnesses young soldiers losing limbs, life, humanity and their moral compass. The fog of war isn’t lifted, the confusion of homecoming is still painful, but, seeing it all through Powers’ prism, we can begin to understand these “boys” and the effect of the incomprehensible violence they experienced just a little bit better. Compellingly read by Holter Graham.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
When you read Junot Díaz, you fall straight into the desire-drenched machismo of Díazlandia—that fabulous fusion of New York, New Jersey and Santo Domingo—and are bowled over by his brilliant torrent of in-your-face prose, spiced with the sounds of the barrio. And when Díaz narrates, as he does here for his new short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her, the effect is even stronger. He gives his main character, the swaggering, stumbling, very Díaz-like Yunior, not just voice but life as he lusts, loves, cheats on his girlfriends, suffers the consequences over and over and brings all his baggage along as he moves from the ’hood to the ivory tower.