Written by: James Frey
Read by: Trevor White and Lorelei King
Published by: John Murray
This audiobook reads like a script..a theatrical performance with Trevor White reading the ‘he said’s’ and ‘she said’s’ with a versatile candour.
There’s nothing uplifting about its choppy tale. Yes it reflects the city’s diversity; punctuating the dialogue of its varied characters with equally thought provoking historical snapshots read by Lorelei King.
Lorelei opens with a statement that sends me hunting for Google mobile; “On September 4, 1781 a group of 44 men, women and children who call themselves the Pobladores… I’m guessing that some of these snippets are fact – but some are fiction.
The distance this puts between reader and listener means that I never warmed to a single character.
This could, of course be the point; Old Man Joe, a homeless Chardonnay drinker who lives on the Venice boardwalk; Esperanza, a Mexican American post graduate who pretends to be an illegal immigrant so she can work as an abused maid; Amberton, a rich, handsome and successful movie star with a wife and children, who is charged with harassing his gay lover…
Another point may be that these are all characters that have come to Los Angeles to fulfil their dreams; they all want to become something they are not. And isn’t that a stereotype of LA? Every waitress and hairdresser is a would-be actor?
I found this a difficult book to listen to. Because of its disjointed feel, too many characters and themes..but i also had to listen to the bitter end. (which wasn’t a happy one!)
There..and I didn’t mention the ‘Million Little Pieces’ debacle once…(Doh! Dammit!)
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