Friday, 16 March 2007

A couple of Audiobooks and one novel

Finished March 16
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
3 CDs unabridged, read by Laural Merlington
The is the story of Odysseus's wife Penelope from her point of view, speaking from Hades. Atwood has drawn on several sources to get the information she bases this story on, including the Odyssey. Penelope's story is, of course, quite different than that of her husbands. She tried to run the estates well during his absence, but as it dragged on and the suitors started to arrive, she was unable to protect the livestock, goods, or servants. She uses twelve of the youngest maidens to help her find out the suitors' plans, and they act as both her spies and her assistants in the unravelling of the shroud she is weaving. They are the maidens that Odysseus kills when he returns home, and they act as the chorus in the book. Atwood weaves a lot of current issues into the story and does it in a very natural way.
I found the audio very engaging, and the chorus particularly so.

Finished March 15
Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
A fascinating book that keeps you guessing until the end.
Laurel Estabrook was attacked while biking on a forest road one weekend in her sophmore year, changing her life forever. She returns to college in the next term, swims instead of bikes, withdraws from her former social life and turns to photography and begins to work at a homeless shelter. She is drawn to older men as boyfriends.
When a former client of the Burlington, Vermont homeless shelter, BEDS, dies, a bag of photographs and negatives are the only real possessions of value he had. Laurel, who works at BEDS is asked to look through them. Bobbie Crocker had a history of mental illness and had many stories to tell, not all of which were believed. His photos show that he had worked with famous people like Robert Frost, Flip Wilson and Eartha Kitt. How do Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby fit into the story? Laurel believes that she has found deeply hidden family secrets in his photographs and is determined to follow them to the truth, despite the concerns of those around her.

Finished March 13
Hole in One by Catherine Aird
6 CDs, unabridged, Read by Bruce Montague.
In usual Aird fashion this book immerses the reader into the world of the moment, in this case, golf. Inspector Sloan is called out to the golf club by Inspector Lees when the female twosome playing in front of Lees discovers a body buried in the bunker behind the sixth hole. The face is damaged, and it is not immediately known who is dead. Why takes even longer. Sloan must discover who may have had access, when the body might have been placed in the bunker, and why they might have been killed. Another body turns up, and for this one the motive is more obvious, but who is behind it all causes Sloan to look to his own past.

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