Thirteen Ways of Looking

Colum McCann, read by the author. Random House Audio, unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-0-14-752158-3
McCann’s reading, like his writing, is disconcerting at first. He will divide a sentence into staccato segments, then rapidly string many nouns or adjectives together. But soon the listener is rapt, as McCann’s tempo follows multiple narrators to intensify his characters’ moment-to-moment experience. The result is spectacular. Soon we are deep into the anguish and mettle of lonely men and women who fill this collection of three short stories and a novella and three short stories. There’s the funny old judge Mendelson, his body and memory failing, maneuvering in the snow to get to he knows not what. There’s a writer struggling to write a story about a young female soldier alone on New Years Eve awhile stationed in Afghanistan. Authors are often not the best readers of their own work, but in McCann’s case it’s hard to imagine who else could master the rhythms of his language and make every moment so vital, so tender, so painfully clear. A Random hardcover. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/2015
Release date: 10/13/2015
Genre: Audio
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-4434-4625-9
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-8129-9672-2
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4434-4627-3
Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-1-4104-8609-7
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-8129-8658-7
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4434-4626-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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