Run Unabridged Cd Audio CD – Audiobook, Sep 6 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
SignatureReviewed by Andrew O'HaganNovelists can no longer take it as an insult when people say their novels are like good television, because the finest American television is better written than most novels. Ann Patchett's new one has the texture, the pace and the fairy tale elegance of a half dozen novels she might have read and loved growing up, but the magic and the finesse of Run is really much closer to that of Six Feet Under or ER or The Sopranos, and that is good news for everybody, not least her readers.Bernadette and Bernard Doyle were a Boston couple who wanted to have a big lively family. They had one boy, Sullivan, and then adopted two black kids, Teddy and Tip. Mr. Doyle is a former mayor of Boston and he continues his interest in politics, hoping his boys will shape up one day for elected office, though none of them seems especially keen. Bernadette dies when the adopted kids are just four, and much of the book offers a placid requiem to her memory in particular and to the force of motherhood in lives generally. An old statue from Bernadette's side of the family seems to convey miracles, and there will be more than one before this gracious book is done. One night, during a heavy snowfall, Teddy and Tip accompany their father to a lecture given by Jessie Jackson at the Kennedy Centre. Tip is preoccupied with studying fish, so he feels more than a little coerced by his father. After the lecture they get into an argument and Tip walks backwards in the road. A car appears out of nowhere and so does a woman called Tennessee, who pushes Tip out of the car's path and is herself struck. Thus, a woman is taken to hospital and her daughter, Kenya, is left in the company of the Doyles. Relationships begin both to emerge and unravel, disclosing secrets, hopes, fears. Run is a novel with timeless concerns at its heart—class and belonging, parenthood and love—and if it wears that heart on its sleeve, then it does so with confidence. And so it should: the book is lovely to read and is satisfyingly bold in its attempt to say something patient and true about family. Patchett knows how to wear big human concerns very lightly, and that is a continuing bonus for those who found a great deal to admire in her previous work, especially the ultra-lauded Bel Canto. Yet one should not mistake that lightness for anything cosmetic: Run is a book that sets out inventively to contend with the temper of our times, and by the end we feel we really know the Doyle family in all its intensity and with all its surprises.Andrew O'Hagan's novel Be Near Me has just been published by Harcourt.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* The question of what makes a family is central to this luminous novel, Patchett's first since her award-winning Bel Canto (2001). Boston lawyer and ex-politician Bernard Doyle has nurtured his three sonsSullivan, 33, and African American Tip, 21, and Teddy, 20, brothers adopted 20 years earliersince the death of his beloved wife, Bernadette, some 15 years ago. Then, one snowy evening, Tip, inattentive and annoyed at his father, is pushed out of the way of an oncoming vehicle by a woman, herself hit and badly injured, who turns out to be the boys' birth mother and who's been watching the boys for years, along with her 11-year-old daughter, Kenya. The drama of a single day is given an unreal quality by the snow that curtails normal activity, as these vividly portrayed characters struggle with their circumstances: Sullivan, the prodigal whose mistake his father lied about; smart Tip; sweet Teddy; speedy runner Kenya; and her mother, Tennessee, whose dreamlike sequence in her hospital room reveals another twist in the family muddle. In extraordinarily fluid prose, Patchett unfolds this story to its epiloguelike final chapter as she illuminates issues of race, religion, duty, and desire. Leber, Michele --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a nice story, but Patchett never really develops any one single character more than the others, and so I did not grow attached to any of them. I felt like I was reading a long recap of a series of too-coincidental events, without really feeling that I could live the story and feel the emotions.
Bernard finds himself to raise the three boys alone. He is very protective and has plans for them, however between his politically-oriented job and raising the family by himself, as the kids grow up some strain starts to develop between them. Sullivan, much older than Tip & Teddy, moves out very quickly and resurfaces only every now & then.
One snowy night, a stranger passing by with her daughter saves Tip from an accident, but she ends up badly injured. The Doyle's lives shall change forever after the accident.
My first book by Ann Patchett but I shall read more. The prose flows beautifully, despite the intricate backs & forths from past to present, from character to character. This shifting however is uncomplicated and it adds an interesting touch to the narrative style.
I gave it 4 stars (instead of 5) only because, despite my liking it a lot, I found some situations a bit far-fetched, and some of the characters with a goody-goody quality that I found a bit unreal given the circumstances.
All in all however, I would say that this book is quite a page-turner and I would certainly recommend it.
The first chapter told an interesting history of a beautiful religious statue that had been in the family for generations. The rest of the book, however, was completely different in tone. Almost all of it is about the night of the Tip's brush with death, told in such excruciating detail that it was hard for me to stick with the book. There is very little action and most dialog is followed by one or more paragraphs in which the speaker mulls over his words ad nauseum. This writing style got old fast for me. I grew impatient for something to happen and tried to skim the book, only to find that important details were tucked into the most boring private reflections.
The basic plot is a good one and would have been very successful as a short story, but for me, the novel is way too draw-out and dull.
What is a family? Most people define that as a mother and father and some kids. Those from cultures where extended families are more important will include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Ann Patchett clearly feels that wherever the family feeling is present there is a family. The book will give you much room for thought on that point.
Bernard Doyle and his sons aren't typical in some ways of most nuclear families, but in other ways they are. Sullivan is Bernard's oldest son, the surviving memory of his great love for his deceased wife, Bernadette. Wanting a larger family than God gave them biologically, Bernard and Bernadette sought to adopt. Because they didn't specify sex or race, a beautiful African-American baby boy, Teddy, joined the family. In an unexpected surprise, Teddy's mother asked if the Doyles would like to also adopt Teddy's brother, Tip. They did and the family was blessed with one more son.
Bernard had three loves, his political career in Boston (which led him to become mayor), his wife, and his boys. But due to Bernadette's death, his loves fell to two areas . . . and then to one as his political career evaporated. But he still wanted political success for his sons, much like Joe Kennedy once plotted for Joe Jr.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is the second book i have read by this author. I enjoy her writing style.
It was a good plot and well written. it is a very moving story. Definitely worth the read.
Ann Patchett is brilliant. I can't wait to read her backlist. Run is in my top 10 reads this year. I thought it was a perfectly formed story. Really engaging. Read morePublished on Dec 20 2007 by SoMisguided.com
Run is one of the most satisfying family novels I've read in some time. I was very impressed by the many ways that Ann Patchett gently portrayed love among family members within a... Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2007 by Donald Mitchell