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Taft: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, September 10, 2019
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"Patchett convincingly portrays a bar manager's conflicted feelings for a teenage waitress in this tale of fatherhood and unfulfilled dreams."-- " Publishers Weekly "
About the Author
Ann Patchett is the author of several novels and books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain's Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novels Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars have been made into major motion pictures. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She has written for many publications including the New York Times, Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.
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And we’re done. It was great, classic Patchett. The story traces the intersection of people at a bar in Memphis. There is the manager, John Nickel, who is a competent, hard-working, put upon man. He’s the father of a son who has moved to Miami and a drummer who gave up his art to become a father. He hires Fay, a young girl with daddy issues and a drug-dealing brother, Carl. Fay falls for John and tensions ensue. The mother of John’s child is moving back into town. Her sister sleeps with John. John’s son is anxious to be with his father. Carl turns violent when John interrupts his drug dealing. John is drawn to Fay even though he knows the relationship is fraught with difficulties. All the while the reader is taken through flashbacks to the life and death of Fay and Carl’s father, Taft. It explains some of the emotions and motivations for their actions in Memphis while showing a different life that was distorted by Taft’s death. The novel is intricate but easy to read. The characters are honest and real and the story moves quickly toward an exciting, if somewhat unresolved, climax. Patchett’s writing is less lyrical than some of her works, but there is still poetry in her descriptions and truth in her characters. A worthwhile journey into the complicated emotions in the depths of our hearts.
I love Ann Patchett ever since reading Bel Canto. I'm reading my way through her books and have loved Patron Saint of Liars and The Magician's Assistant. She's four for four now.
John Nickel, the narrator was a riveting character, with his deep empathy and love for his son, compassion/lust for the young waitress who shows up with her brother, Carl, the most doomed in a novel of lost souls. The story made perfect sense but I had a tough time with the past/present splice. I often felt that the minute I gave myself over to the narrator's tale, I was shoved back into the past - which really needed no expansion and offered no surprises, no greater depth or insight for all the attention paid. But the writing was gorgeous and unselfconscious and written with compassion and wisdom. I did not really mind the ending, although I know many did. I think it suited the mood of the story.
Top international reviews
Nothing goes quite the way you expect it to which makes her novels that much more interesting and realistic. Read this and everything else she's written, if you care about good writing and an extraordinary imagination.