Erfreu Dich an Millionen von E-Books, Hörbüchern, Magazinen und mehr

Nur $11.99/Monat nach der Testversion. Jederzeit kündbar.

The Lacuna

The Lacuna

Veröffentlicht von HarperAudio


The Lacuna

Veröffentlicht von HarperAudio

Bewertungen:
4/5 (171 Bewertungen)
Länge:
19 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
3. Nov. 2009
ISBN:
9780061967139
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

In The Lacuna, her first novel in nine years, Barbara Kingsolver, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, a man caught between two worlds-an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity will take readers to the heart of the twentieth century's most tumultuous events.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
3. Nov. 2009
ISBN:
9780061967139
Format:
Hörbuch

Über den Autor


Ähnlich wie The Lacuna

Ähnliche Hörbücher

Ähnliche Artikel


Rezensionen

Was die anderen über The Lacuna denken

4.1
171 Bewertungen / 160 Rezensionen
Wie hat es Ihnen gefallen?
Bewertung: 0 von 5 Sternen

Leser-Rezensionen

  • (3/5)
    Harrison Shepherd is a character that gives Kingsolver the opportunity to write about Kahlo, Rivera and Trotsky in the 30s, and the Red Scare in the US in the late 40s. It's a melancholy story of a man and the history he is a part of.
  • (4/5)
    This was a really enjoyable read, even if it was a bulk 670 pages. Harrison Shepherd is a perpetual outsider. By birth, of an American father and Mexican mother, he is always the outsider in whichever country he chooses to live. He is an outsider, in his times, by sexual inclination. He is forced to be an outsider by those he has met and is perceived views - whether true or not. It makes for a narrative that is never settled and comfortable, there is always that feeling of being off balance or out of kilter with something, a bit like stroking a cat the wrong way. It's not always overt, but it is always there. The book tells the story of his life, with inserts and annotations by his secretary, Violet Brown. It features his diaries and letters, and is not always coherent or consistent in its telling of events. Seeing the world through Harrison's eyes, you feel that there are times when he is missing something. He seems quite innocent and not always able to consider the possible implications or consequences of events. In the latter part of the book, he is gradually drawn more and more tightly in the coils of the witch hunt for communists that swept the US after WW2. It s as incomprehensible to Harrison as it is to me, but that doesn't stop him being swept away by something far larger and uglier than he is. The ending is ambiguous, which feels right and fits the tone of the rest of Harrison's life.
  • (5/5)
    I listened to the audio version which was narrated by the author. I’m quite sure that my experience of the book was richer than it would have been if I had read it in print. Kingsolver knows her characters and she is able to express them through her voice. But even without this, the writing is pure magic! Every character is so vivid and I cared to know each bit I heard them say or do. The story takes place beginning in Mexico in the early 1900s and the scene is wonderfully set. Kingsolver is so good at giving meaningful information in ways that can be playful, fun, and also powerful.

    The story is about an American boy raised in Mexico by a mother who is mostly interested in herself. He comes to know some famous historical people who have an impact on him. One of these is Trotsky. Others are artists. The boy is interested in writing at an early age. The story progresses into post-World War II in America including Hoover and McCarthy chasing the threats of communist conspiracies. So there is quite a bit of history included, but not at the expense of the story. Besides caring so much about the main character, I loved V.B. who is his secretary in the later years. That character is so great to listen to, but I think that the way she expresses herself will shine through from the printed page as well.

    I highly recommend this delightful and meaningful book.
  • (4/5)
    An easy read, the pages flew by. The story shifts from Mexico to Washington, D.C. and then finally Asheville, North Carolina, in different eras, a good trip through them.
  • (5/5)
    Fabulous! Always pleased with Kingsolver, this novel had me reaching for histories in the McCarthyism era.
    Amazing how a label can be embraced in one year then reviled and persecuted a few years hence.
    Highly recommended.
    The audio is read by the author, a big help with the Hispanic linguistics.
  • (3/5)
    "The Lacuna" is the story of a young man who is searching for himself, seeking his identity which is lost amid divorce and dislocation. Shuffled back and forth between his mother in Mexico and his father in the U.S., young Shepherd isn't sure if he is Mexican or American or both. He finds his true home and family with the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and Soviet Leon Trotsky. When he finally relocates permanently to America and settles down as a writer his identity is again called into question. At the height of McCarthyism, he is branded a Communist. The story is told through letters and journal entries with commentary inserted from his secretary. Consequently, for me, it read a bit slowly, dragging in places. It was a fascinating read and a wonderful character study - well worth reading, but the use of the journal/letters as the storytelling device was a bit tedious for me. The book picks up steam as it moves into the latter part of Shepherd's life and the bits and pieces of the tale that involved the artists was well researched. Overall it is well written and engaging, despite some slow stretches.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite authors. Kingsolver delivers an impressive novel about the past, but its themes feel right at home in the present. She’s also one of my favorite narrators, and her skills are on full display here
  • (4/5)
    The Lacuna is a brilliantly crafted novel, part historical fiction and part political statement. Its protagonist is Harrison Shepherd, an American-born author who spent his childhood in Mexico, and most of his adult life in the United States. As a young boy in Mexico, Harrison spent hours in the sea, exploring underwater wildlife and la lacuna: "Not a cave exactly but an opening, like a mouth, that swallows things. ... It goes into the belly of the world. (p. 35)" He later found work as a secretary and cook for the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and became acquainted with Leon Trotsky who lived with them during part of his exile.The book is presented as a compilation of Shepherd's diaries, kept religiously almost since he could write. Shepherd's stenographer Violet Brown transcribed the diaries after his death. And in this labor of love the English definition of lacuna applies:The notebook that burned, then. People who make a study of old documents have a name for this very kind of thing, a missing piece. A lacuna, it's called. The hole in the story, and this one is truly missing still ... (p. 112)Shepherd became a famous author, writing adventure and romance novels set in Mexico. He was unmarried, and somewhat of a recluse, emotionally scarred by certain events in his life. In the late 1940s he found himself under FBI scrutiny, after they discovered his previous association with Trotsky. Kingsolver writes convincingly about the growing hysteria in the country during the time of the House Un-American Activities Committee:"Whenever I hear this kind of thing," he said, "a person speaking about constitutional rights, free speech, and so forth, I think, 'How can he be such a sap? Now I can be sure that man is a Red.' A word to the wise, Mr. Shepherd. We just do not hear a real American speaking in that manner." (p. 443)While the story dealt directly with McCarthyism, I don't think Kingsolver was only writing about that era, over half a century ago. The second half of The Lacuna reminded me of the years immediately following September 11, 2001: the prevailing American public opinion, and resulting public policy. This was a clever way for Kingsolver to express her own political views. And at the same time, she wrote a complex story with likable characters and a conclusion that tied a number of elements together in a most satisfying way.
  • (5/5)
    It’s been a long time since I’ve been touched so deeply by a book. We are so constantly bombarded by new media, stories of heroes and grandeur, fantastical worlds, and supernatural villains. Of course there is room for those and they have their place, but I crave stories about human beings. This story, simply put, is about life happening around you, and surviving it. It is told so poetically and honestly, that it’s difficult to grasp that it’s fiction. There are so many parallels in this book to what society and culture are enduring today, it’s a true testament to the author’s literary abilities. Thank you Barbara Kingsolver for writing this. This is one that I will read/listen to again and again, and again. I can’t wait to explore your other titles. Cheers, and much love!
  • (5/5)
    Mexico, 1929. In the beginning American-born Harrison Shepard is a simple young boy just barely holding onto his Mexican mother's apron strings as she drags him through one failed relationship to another in her never-ending quest for all-adoring lover. He is without friends or proper parenting. His closest companions are housekeepers and servant boys. As Harrison matures he he finds work as a plaster-mixer/cook in artist Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo's home. He befriends political figures like Lev Trotsky. He is now in a world where packing a machine gun along with food and a blanket for a picnic is nothing out of the ordinary. He writes everything down. From there, this coming of age tale turns political. America, 1941. Harrison finds his way to Asheville, North Carolina and goes on to be a successful author. Polio and Communism are the growing paranoias of the times. Harrison's personality, unchanged since childhood, and his involvement with Rivera and Trotsky put him on a dangerous path of presumption and suspicion. This is a tale of loyalty and love; a portrait of a quiet, unassuming man just trying to make it in the world.
  • (5/5)
    This is among the best books I have ever read. It has everything I love in a book - excellent writing, a connection to history, a well-crafted plot, and bigger-than-life themes. I loved every page.
  • (4/5)
    It was a very interesting reading but not so fast-paced I'm used to. It's a kind of a diary about the live of an American-Mexican citizen which describes his life with Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Lev Trotsky with all the busy and turbulent time during communism and how the USA was thinking about it. Also it's a fiction the historical part of thoses events are true. It took me in the maelstrom of the historical facts and therefore I loved the reading also at some times I had the feeling that it was too protacted.
  • (4/5)
    A bit bogged down with politics and history, but still a good read. The first part takes place in Mexico in the 1930s, with vibrant descriptions of the landscape and the lives of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and their houseguest, Leon Trotsky. The second part plays out in 1950s, small-town America, where the reclusive narrator, who happens to be a writer and gay, gains notoriety as an author whose fans turn on him for his political views. It's not surprising that he gets blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee due to his communist connections. Although Kingsolver gets a little preachy by working in the internment of Japanese American, racism, and McCarthyism, she succeeds in prompting us to realize that the spirits of J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy are still very much alive and living in America.
  • (4/5)
    The four stars are for the first two parts of this book. I loved, loved his childhood in Mexico, the writing was so evocative. I loved the Frida Kahlo story line. Once the main character goes back to the US it becomes far less interesting. But when it was good it was very very good.
  • (5/5)
    I am not finished yet, but I am giving this an early rating of 5 stars. I have loved almost every single word/sentance and segment of this book.
  • (5/5)
    I so loved this book. It was a ride through the 20th Century with eyes open. The description of the Bonus Army riots were spot on (why Patton drew drew sabers on the veterans is beyond me), the whole Lev Davidovich (Trotsky) gave pause, and the sections on McCarthyism--I'm still fuming. Written in prose that sings (although a little distracting in the approach--letters/diary entries/editorial comments), I would recommend this book for everyone.
  • (5/5)
    Historical novel that includes Diego Rivera, Freda Kahlo, Leon Trotsky, Joe McCarthy, and the House Unamerican Activities Committee. What more could you want for drama?
  • (4/5)
    I loved the first half of the book. Mexico, a young precocious boy, with a colourful character of a mother, followed by equally colourful descriptions of life with Diego Rivera, Frieda Kahlo and Leon Trotsky. The rest was somewhat of a slog, even though I can appreciate how it fit the plot design. The writing was exquisite, consistently in the same voice and beautifully crafted, but my interest deflated considerably when we moved from Mexico to the United States for the second half of the book. The main character, Harrison Shepherd aka Insolito just fell flat there. Then there is also a question of Trotsky to whom a sizeable chunk of plot is dedicated. The book portrays him with heaps of sympathy. Whereas we undoubtedly feel sympathy for him as Stalin systematically exterminates his family and manages to assassinate him in the end, we can only speculate what would have happened had Trotsky been installed as the helm of the Soviet Union instead of Stalin at the time. It wouldn't have been necessarily any better. Trotsky had a bunch of singular ideas of his own that sounded equally dangerous. But then he wasn't such a crafty politician, so the Soviet 'revolution' experiment could have been over much sooner. We'll never know.
  • (4/5)
    Unfortunately I did not enjoy The Lacuna nearly as much as some of Barbara Kingsolver's other novels. It took me over a month to read it, which is much longer than typical for me (even for a book of this length). For the first half or so, I just wasn't really into it. I didn't feel any strong desire to pick it up and keep reading. In the second half, I became more engaged but it was still somewhat slow reading.

    The novel tells the story of a man born in the early 1900s in the United States of Mexican and American parentage, who spends much of his youth in Mexican and eventually becomes employed by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and later by Leon Trotsky. Eventually he moves back to the US and becomes a writer, and the end of the novel takes place during the McCarthy era. The story is told in the form of the protagonist's personal journals and letters. At the beginning when he is young, the journals are all in a distant and third person voice, and I think this was part of why I didn't feel that engaged at the beginning. It didn't draw me in because it was so detached. Later when he is older his journals are more personal and it was easier to feel involved with the characters.

    Even though I did not find it the most engaging book ever, I can appreciate that it is impeccably written. Kingsolver is a clear master of words and plot. She writes in a variety of convincing styles and tones and the plot is well-constructed and has an excellent, poignant ending that it sad but not unbearably so. I enjoyed her use of language and humor, and did find myself laughing aloud many times as I read.

    This is a novel with a grand scope, much more along the lines of The Poisonwood Bible than Prodigal Summer, and I think it may be the case that I simply like her smaller-scoped works better. I am still glad I read it, and overall I do recommend it if it sounds at all interesting to you.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the most enjoyable novels I have read in a long time. At first I wasn't quite sure of it, because it is written as if it has been assembled from detailed diaries, with some details filled in by letters and newspaper clippings. At times the diaries' editor intrudes to explain gaps in the text or other aberrations, but as the story develops, this becomes more easily understood, and by the end it has coalesced in such a way as to make perfect sense. Unlike many novels that use these devices, the frame of the story serves it well and contributes significantly to the novel's ability to sustain the notes it strikes. I finished the book more than a week ago, but it still lingers with me, and that is a rare virtue.

    Many other reviewers will summarize the plot. Truthfully, I prefer to know only as much as is needed to propel me toward a book and no more, because the delight in any story comes in large measure from its surprises. I thought I had a handle on the basic pieces of this book before I started it, but luckily my imagination is less robust than is Barbara Kingsolver's. So instead of a plot summary, I provide a list of topics that help to make up some of the book's texture, and you can decide if that sounds intriguing or not: the 1930s through the 1950s, Mexico, cooking, Diego Rivera's murals, Frida Kahlo, oppressive governments, art, literature, American society during and after World War II, small-town life, the publication of popular fiction, the right of the individual, Leon Trotsky and the Bolsheviks, character assassination, ancient cultures of South America.

    There are many other items I could mention, but that would be enough to intrigue me. What I thought I knew about the book was that it had many Big Personalities and Big Events in it, but what I ended up loving about it was that these things were at more of a remove from the narrator than I at first expected. It is not a historical novel in the sense that it's about larger-than-life personalities and the fates that drive them. Those people do show up, but the main character, who might at times have claim to being larger-than-life divulges his observations, his thoughts, and his insecurities. He is rarely driven toward dramatic action, just as most of the world's population is not, but he has strong powers of observation. Part of his great charm is how well he bears witness to what he sees.
  • (4/5)
    Kingsolver tells the story of a young boy growing up in Mexico in the households of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky. The story focuses on the personal more than the political, though the overall themes are certainly commentary on the suppression of dissent and the forced orthodoxy of political expression in the last decade in America.
  • (3/5)
    It took me a really long time to get into this book. If it wasn't written by Barbara Kingsolver I don't think I would have continued reading. To me, the first half of the book was long and drawn out set up for the second half of the book. During this time, the narrarator is living in Mexico where he works in the household of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and thus becomes acquainted with the Soviet exile Lev Trotsky. There were a few interesting parts in this section of the book, but it was mostly just mundane and I kept waiting for it to end.

    I just never felt attatched to any of the characters at this point. I didn't get a strong sense of who any of them were, or care much what happened to any of them. I have always loved Kingsolver's characters, so I was really disappointed by this.

    I really enjoyed much of the second half of the book, especially conversations that Harrison Shepherd has with Violet Brown and Arthur Gold about the political and social climate of the United States and the anti-Communist fervor. I've never really read much about this period of American history, and I don't know how accurately Kingsolver captured it, but I loved the points about how most people really didn't know what Communism was, they only knew what anti-Communism was. The book illustrates well how easily people become afraid and suspicious of their neighbors when only a few years before they had rallied as a country and made many sacrifices to support the war efforts.

    When I heard Kingsolver speak about this book, she said that was really the crux of the book for her. The time in American history when people came together and were sacrificing so much for the war effort to the time when it became un-American to question government policies or express any sentiments that America still had work to do as a country. I really liked the parts of the book that dealt with this theme and I just wish it had gotten to that point quicker.
  • (2/5)
    Maybe I'm just tired of Frida worship, or not a fan of fact-meeting-fiction stories, but I was disappointed by this book. It started out strong enough but as soon as the narrator met Diego Rivera it started going downhill for me and the real people in the book distracted from the more compelling fictional characters.
  • (5/5)
    I had the privilege of listening to Kingsolver read this aloud as well as reading the print...I love her. Her voice and her style of narration, her perfectly articulated words and sounds all captivated me instantly. Hearing V.B.'s voice as Kingsolver intended it is what made me want to just hug Violet Brown. The characters were so lovable (even though I'd never want to hang out with Harrison or Violet in real life, but Trotsky definitely).

    I have heard people say that this book had a political agenda. I have to disagree. I believe that this novel, although centered around politics, is about humans, while politics never seem to be. This novel did not turn me into a socialist, a communist, an anti-communist, or a hater of capitalism, but it did make me want to embrace all kinds of people. It made me yearn to learn more about and to listen to people I don't know, and especially those that I think "I know about." Because I don't really. The best part about someone is that which you don't know. Thinking about that recurring message in the novel has impacted me. For reals.

    This novel showed me about:

    McCarthyism: how could we force people to value our government over theirs by silencing, condemning, and violating all of the personal freedoms that make our country so great?
    The Bonus Army: How did I learn about this terrible event in high school (I had to have, right?) without remembering it? It's seared into my consciousness now...
    Having your words used against you
    Being a writer
    Being a private person
    Trotsky & Stalin
    Stupid American slang from the 20's-50's.
    Being gay when hardly anyone around you thinks that is okay
    Censorship & other oppressive behavior
    Artists, especially Frida & Diego
    A lot of ancient Mexican history
    Integrity

    My favorites (I'm being vague so as not to spoil the plot)

    a) when a character protested a violating probe by invoking our personal rights guaranteed to Americans, and the agent responded with something to the effect of, "No American talks like that; that's how I know you're a communist." HA! I don't think this is true anymore, and I'm hoping that we'll be a little less inclined to McCarthyism-type witch hunting in the future.

    b) The metaphorical images in the first chapter and what they came to symbolize

    c) The strong women (Frida & VB)

    d) Lev

    e) The subtlety

    f) The statement that a rule of the media is to fill the silence, keep talking, whether it's true or not. Sounds familiar.

    g) Barbara Kingsolver's voices when she reads aloud.

    h) The ending.


    I have to thank my local library for pushing me to read this by selecting it for book club. I would have really missed out on some opportunity to grow as a person had I not dived into the lacuna.







  • (3/5)
    I did really enjoy the first half of this, when it was set in Mexico and the narrator was working for Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Trotsky.
    However, I struggled to remain interested after that, when the narrator ends up in the US. He isn't really a strong character, and at that point, he isn't hanging out with particularly strong characters either.
  • (4/5)
    Lush and gorgeous. I loved reading this book; definitely an "I can't put it down" novel. Kingsolver gets a little heavy-handed and starts to show her agenda a little toward the middle of the book (e.g., Harrison's response to news of the Japanese internment camps), but Violet and Harrison's very palpable helplessness and rage against the injustice of the McCarthy hearings were beautifully drawn.

    Also, this book makes me want to move to Mexico.
  • (5/5)
    One of the most emotionally resonant and engaging books I've ever read. It fictionalizes the real trials and tragedies of a period of time that feels at times both distant and extremely relevant to the politics of today. And there's so much beauty in the details, especially the characters, real and invented. And I love the humor that exists throughout.
  • (5/5)
    I loved how this book weaves fiction into history and the way it describes the tragic absurdities of post war America. I knew nothing about the book before reading it so it was a surprise to find out it goes inside the private home and life of the Mexican artists, who by the way are irresistibly portrayed.
  • (4/5)
    I acquired Kingsolver’s latest novel to serve as “vacation reading” on a recent trip to Milwaukee to attend my cousin’s funeral. I wanted a well-written yet straightforward novel that would engage my interest without overtaxing my brain with formal experimentation. The Lacuna did not disappoint. I’d rate it on a par with The Poisonwood Bible, heretofore my favorite Kingsolver book. My only criticism is that there are sections of the novel that, in my opinion, suffer from redundancy. For instance, there are just too many examples of fan letters included as evidence of the main protagonist Harrison Shepard’s iconic status as a best-selling novelist prior to his fall from grace during the McCarthy era. I realize that showing the extent of Shepard’s pop-star fame (one that the man himself hides from) underscores just how far he falls when he is later condemned as a Communist through a campaign of lies, distortions and insinuations. Even so, a few choice examples would suffice. The novel as a whole is structured like a biography: an assembled archive of letters, news clippings, and notebook entries. The historical sweep of the novel takes us from a remote island estate in Mexico to a boys' boarding school & the labor strikes and protests of the 1930s in Washington D.C., then on to the San Angel and Coyoacan households of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky in Mexico(the Troksy segment constituting, in my opinion, the most interesting part of the novel), through WWII in Ashville, North Carolina to finally what appears to be a dead end: the irrationality and plain ugliness and mean-spiritedness of the Cold War and the nefarious actions of the House Un-Amercian Activities Committee. I do admire Kingsolver’s ability to be a “political” novelist without sacrificing any of her artistry nor her mastery of a good story.
  • (4/5)
    Audio book performed by the author.
    4****

    Kingsolver tells the story of William Harrison Shepherd, a young man caught in the gaps (the lacunae) between two countries, two parents, two cultures, two lives (public and private). The novel unfolds as a series of diary entries, letters, and newspaper clippings, spanning the period from 1929 to 1954. Never quite at ease with his place in the world, Shepherd is an astute observer, who carefully considers what he witnesses and forms his own opinions. But he is not a man of action; he goes along for the ride, letting history unfold around him and never quite understanding how it has derailed his meager hopes. When he fails to play the media’s game, he finds himself the object of increasingly outlandish stories; and, eventually, accusations taken as truths will destroy him. The lacuna that is most important here is the space between truth and a falsehood perceived as truth.

    I love how Kingsolver’s luscious writing paints the landscape and time period. I could just about taste the sugary pan dulce or savory chalupas; was nearly deafened by the howler monkeys, the din of the marketplace or the shouts of demonstrators and riot police; I relished in the colors of the tropics and felt subdued by the grey of a mountain winter.

    I did eventually grow to appreciate Kingsolver's narration, though I really had a difficult time with her performance at the outset. I thought she was too “careful” with her words; it lacked emotion and “life.” But she really shone, in my opinion, when she voiced Frida Kahlo and, especially later in the novel, Violet Brown. I think I am going to have to read this one again – this time in a text format.