- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 52 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: June 7, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0089IBQWQ
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Inside Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
I guess lately I've become tired of reading about failed men and women, worn and regretful divorcees. So I was grateful that, although those character types exist in "Inside", Ohlin allows them to inhabit some qualities of that role as well as transcend it and achieve a sense of, forgive the pun, grace. Because that's what this book is about, one of the things, anyway, the recognition and acceptance of another's complete personhood, failures and wrong turns included, the only thing that sustains us in the long run.
I was so taken in with Ohlin's writing that I was sad when I realized that Grace, the eponymous protagonist, doesn't exist in the real world because I loved her character so. Then I got the sense that somewhere out there, a Grace does exist, and Ohlin has just put her on paper rather than the other way around.
My highest recommendation.
Inside is aptly titled given that Ohlin has a preternatural ability to penetrate her characters' minds and hearts. This, even more than Ohlin's gorgeous prose and carefully crafted plot, is the reason to read Inside. As Ohlin maps out the lives of her disparate characters--from an up-and-coming actress in New York and L.A. to a former relief worker in Rwanda--she makes visible the inner workings of absolute strangers. (I say strangers because as I read Inside, I began to feel that Ohlin's characters were actually real people I didn't use to know and now do.) In making visible what is dim at best in others, Ohlin offers the possibility that this kind of seeing may not be an impossible feat--and that we therefore may also see others, and be seen, with an eye not just to the specific form our troubles have taken but also to our kinship.
When reading Inside, I was reminded of D.H. Lawrence's "Odour of Chrysanthemums," in which a woman, when presented with her husband's corpse, confronts the reality that she never really knew him--the implication being that we can never really know another. 'Was this what it all meant - utter, intact separateness, obscured by heat of living? In dread, she turned her face away." Inside is so beautiful because Ohlin doesn't turn away.
Alix Ohlin's novel is an extraordinary work written about one of the great human instincts, to help another human being. And it is written about the failures caregivers must experience, the strange, dark corner within us all that causes us to injure those who care for us best. It is a novel about emotional betrayal, insensitivity, and the courage of those who continue to care for others despite the damage done to them. And, in the midst of this, it is a novel about hope.
The story is told in a broken-time sequence that is expertly woven between four characters. Annie is a self-lacerating, ferociously self-involved adolescent who finds herself grown up to be an actress in New York caring for a young, pregnant runaway who is detestably self-involved as Annie ever had been. Grace, Annie's former therapist, finds her faith in herself destroyed by Annie, Annie's parents, and the third character, Tug. Tug is a perfectly rendered victim of the massive failure of caregiving experienced by those who must try to help the victims of genocide. Finally, Mitch, the husband Annie rejected, is rejected again and again by those who `employ' him to provide care for their children and themselves.
These intertwined lives are suffused with failure in their attempts to care for and love others. Yet the wisdom and depth of Ohlin's novel is achieved through a fundamental truth that seems completely evident to the reader, yet just beyond the reach of the characters themselves. That truth? Personal commitment and sacrifice can be their own reward.
But do we really believe this? Ohlin tests our belief in human goodness at every corner.Read more ›
The tangle of characters that are connected to Grace weaves a nice web for the reader. It becomes one of those books that one can't seem to put down . . . even in the middle, which I found dragged a bit, one is pulled toward the end, wondering what will become of these characters. And for this reason I was thankful that the novel wasn't too long. While the characters are variegated, I found their unhappiness a bit suffocating at times.
Overall, the reader will enjoy the journey of these characters, especially Anne the actress, who was my favorite, and who, for me, really kept me reading. But I believe different personalities will relate to other characters more, and this makes for a successful book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I listened to this as an audiobook (which was very well-narrated). Despite all the critical acclaim and positive customer reviews, I just didn't think the story was that great. Read morePublished on June 21, 2013 by rockchick
The novel starts on a tragic note.
Grace, a female therapist, finds a man half buried in the snow. Read more
I didn't like `Inside' at all. The writing is clunky, full of banalities, flowery metaphors, platitudes and clichés (am I repeating myself here? Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by Cassandra
Three and a half boring characters, and one potentially interesting character. The characters, whether full or half, center around a female therapist, Grace, who has no personal... Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by onanisland
Although I found it a little hard to keep the storylines straight, they did blend in the end. It was a good read, although a little depressing. Read morePublished on May 10, 2013 by F. L. Leghorn
Well written, interesting characters... this is my third Ohlin book and it may be my favorite (not quite finished yet)!Published on April 24, 2013 by Betty
A good read...complex characters with interesting motivations, relationships ...not always the happiest story, but I read it in a single afternoon!Published on April 12, 2013 by kgkbooks
I enjoyed the characters in this book, but couldn't really relate to any of them at all. Perhaps if I was a commitment-fearing, self-destructive, pregnant at 17, and self absorbed... Read morePublished on March 25, 2013 by jmb
Just my personal feeling, but i refuse to read books that have the "F" word in it. You never know til you start reading, but this has it for all those interestedPublished on March 1, 2013 by Connie