Book Review

Our Souls at Night


I listened to this using my new Audible subscription. I was able to switch back and forth between phone and iPad, which meant that I listened to some of this while I was outside walking through gorgeous fall weather.  Maybe that affected my feeling about the book. Whatever, I found Our Souls at Night to be delightful.

It’s a slow book. There’s no great action here, no riveting suspense.  It’s also a short book. Kent Haruf writes in a style that is beautiful but spare. I think the total listening time was five hours (versus the usual 11 or 12). I could have probably read it in print in three hours, max. But truly, after suffering through a recent 500+ page tome that badly needed editing, this book was a breath of fresh air. It’s about the budding relationship between two lonely 70-somethings who have decided to thumb their noses at convention in their small mid-western town by spending their nights together. The characters were wonderfully quiet but authentic, and their dilemmas were real.

The reader was skilled. Men don’t do women as well as women do men, but this male reader did just fine. He made listening to the story a pleasant journey, a good thing as it was the final one for Haruf.  He died last winter, a great loss for the literary world.

There you have it, though, three audio book recommendations.  I have three new print recommendations about which to blog next, but in the meantime, consider the question I posed above.  Do you think that the skill of the narrator can add an element to a book that wouldn’t otherwise be there?


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