Library Ed. Recorded Books 2011
CD ISBN 9781449846718 $77.75 Eight CDs
MP3-CD ISBN 978-1-4618-2572-2 $49.75 One MP3-CDs
DD ISBN 9781449846718 $24.99
The intertwined stories of many characters are set against the backdrop of everyday life in Vietnam. Jennifer Ikeda is a good choice for a novel that needs an Asian sensibility to subtly dramatize the action. Ikeda portrays the male characters who dominate the novel in a slightly husky voice. Her delivery of the flat tones of Vietnamese words—such as “pho,” a noodle soup—makes them flow smoothly amid the English. The novel is both a personal and a national story—a story of individuals who lived their lives amid the French occupation and the civil war that split the country and involved the U.S. The noodle soup in the story is a symbol of the introduction of communism, of the resulting deprivation for some and the abundance for others. Ikeda manages history, description, and a fair amount of cultural explanation deftly, keeping the listener’s interest. M.R. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2011]
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