- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: August 12, 2005
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000AWGX22
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Housekeeping Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot of the book is hardly the point, however. The words are. Reading this book was like looking at an impressionist painting or living inside someone's dream or reading her mind. Words and sentences on their own don't seem to make much sense, but in the context of the larger work, they swirl to form feelings, images, dreams, fears, and thoughts, bouncing from one to another to form a narrative whole. The resulting picture is utterly stunning, dripping with metaphor and stacked in layers.
This is one of the most skillfully written books I've ever read. Aside from a couple passages I found hard to get through, the book captivated me completely from beginning to end. Read it slowly to enjoy every word.
A difficult book to understand? Yes surely. But very unusually in my experience, the jacket blurb includes a phrase which provides the perfect key to reading this book: "the dangerous and deep undertow of transience." It is, in fact, a meditation on impermanence, and it operates on a plane of recurrent and beautifully crafted imagery whose overall effect is almost surreal and certainly spiritual. The facts of this particular story are unimportant compared to the sense that everything we have and are in this world, and all the "housekeeping" we frantically undertake to keep hold of it, are temporary at best. I have certainly felt this myself, and I am not depressed but consoled to know that others understand this too.
Robinson's beautiful writing does have another side to it, however. Unlike other books about childhood, this one is narrated in a voice of exquisite sophistication. But the authorial voice does not square with what we know of the education and later life of the heroine, giving a self-conscious air to its artifice, despite the manifest poetic talent of the writer. Read as a sustained prose poem, however, the book is nothing less than superb, a minor masterpiece.
[Thinking again about this book a year after reading it, I also recognize that, although the details of its plot may vanish, it is one of those rare novels whose atmosphere and message grow and deepen in the memory, long after one has laid it down.]
Housekeeping is not light entertainment. You will have to work and study it but it is so beautifully written that it is a joy. Settle down with your dictionary and enjoy it. I know I did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just too lengthy descriptions of everything. Didn't get to the point quickly. Very depressing at times.Published 1 day ago by Joan M. Parker
Superbly written, excellent imagery. Unusual story plot with characters and events not in my scope of experience so made it hard to imagine.Published 5 days ago by Rick B.
Marilynne Robinson is one of my favorite authors. I became a fan after reading Housekeeping and have now read all of her fiction and look forward to reading her non-fiction. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Lynn D
A tough read. I stuck with it because it took to a place I have never been in a manner I have never taken.Published 12 days ago by Lucy
This book came highly recommended by a couple of friends and I read it as a part of my book club recently. It was just too dark and lacking any hope for me. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Winona M.
after finishing the book the feeling of sadness, futility and some pointlessness of life remained, although the characters themselves perhaps wouldn't share my feelings... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Monika Jaruskova
Marilynne Robinson's beautiful prose almost mesmerizes, her earthy imagery balances the internal action and musings of the first-person narrative. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Catherine Lawton