- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: March 14, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XB1QM76
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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At the Bottom of the River Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Kincaid's style combines the effect of the simple but perfect word with the lilt of Caribbean rhythms. On the surface, these stories are not difficult to read, but they can be challenging to understand for the reader accustomed to more traditional methods of storytelling. The collection is about as short as a book can get, and so the stories can be read in one sitting, back to back, although their absorption can take much longer.
This collection begins innocently enough with one of Kincaid's most impacting writings, Girl. Girl is one of the most severe but accurate depictions of the volatile intensity between mother and daughter. Fueled by a combination of love, fear, and partial loathing, a mother doles out a mantra of life lessons with equal parts concern and venom: "When buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn't have gum on it, because that way it won't hold up well after a wash. ... Always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the (...) you are so bent on becoming." The essays that follow are sinewy with sexual, violent, and spiritual themes.
Kincaid's strength lies in her rage. One senses it above all in her amazing control over words, which, while extremely satisfying on the level of literary technique, also comes across as a refusal to be vulnerable and a reply to anyone who would try to keep her down.
Like a journal, 'At the Bottom of the River' matures in content as it proceeds. Kincaid's prose-poetry initially appears whimsical (she describes some pebbles as "not pebbly enough") and that's the mystique of her writing, how it almost capriciously masks cerebral contemplations on living, dying, and the struggle in-between.
Effectively disruptive, beautiful, introspective and soulful. Read this book if you are colored or an immigrant. Read this book even if your aren't colored or an immigrant. You'll love it.
Most recent customer reviews
I won't pretend to have understood this book. At times I'd put it down and think, huh?Read more
Reading the book is liking trying to look at things at the bottom of the river, which continuously...Read more