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The Lake Shore Limited Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (April 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307715116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307715111
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 14.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,245,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Samantha TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 24 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Years after 9/11, Billy Gertz, a playwright deals with her complicated involvement by creating a play about a train wreck. This novel is about her, her play and three other people involved in her life: Rafe, the star of the play; Leslie, Billy's deceased lover's sister; and Sam, a friend of Leslie's. The characters' lives intersect at the opening of Billy's play and continue throughout the novel. Miller builds each character with finesse, deftly bringing the reader into their private struggles. We come to understand them, what motivates them and ultimately find empathy for them in their vulnerability. Well crafted literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 6 2010
Format: Audio CD
When an author reads his or her own work quite often an awareness, an understanding not only of the story but of a character's psycheto enriches the narration. These subtleties of meaning would be difficult for even the best trained actors access but it is all there in the mind of the author who, after all, is the creator of the tale. Such is certainly the case with Sue Miller's narration of her 11th novel THE LAKE SHORE LIMITED.

It is a story hinging on a play penned by Wilhelmina "Billy Gertz, a complex figure who reflects emotions that many of us feel, anger, conflict, a desire for validation. Six years ago Gus, Billy's lover, was killed in a 9/11 plane crash. The couple had been cohabiting but Billy intended to end their relationship. Now, with Gus dead she's unwittingly placed into the position of being thought a tragic figure, a widow - sort of. After this length of time she is more than ready to move on.

Leslie, Gus's sister is unable or unwilling to do the same. She holds on to Billy, presumably either in memory of or to honor Gus, despite her husband's pleas to let go. In Boston, as the opening of Billy's play nears, Leslie issues an invitation she believes helpful - she invites Sam to meet Billy after the performance.

Billy's play concerns the terrorist bombing of a train as it pulls into Chicago's Union Station. A man is waiting to hear whether or not his estranged wife who was on the train managed to escape alive. A parallel between the way Billy waited for news of Gus? Of course. Rafe, the lead actor in the play delivers an astounding performance, only to be filled with regret that he has called upon the impending death of his wife to provide the tears he needs to shed on stage.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 102 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Will be reading more by this author in the future May 6 2010
By Holly - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read "The Good Mother" years ago and haven't read anything by Sue Miller since that time. Based upon my experience with this novel, I need to go back and read what she has written in between that first novel and this latest one.

In "The Lake Shore Limited", the story is told from the point of view of four main characters. First we have Billy who is a playwright originally from Chicago. There is Leslie, the much older sister of Gus who is the man Billy lived with in Boston and Sam, who is a friend and neighbor of Leslie's. Finally, we have Rafe, the man playing the lead role in the play Billy has written about a man waiting to find out if his wife was on a train that was hit by a terrorist attack. All their stories become interwoven and the reader is allowed to come to know each one of them intimately and what their individual hurts and wounds are.

A beautifully written character study of mature adults (as it relates to age) who are reflecting back upon their lives and revisiting their life paths. How did they end up in the relationships they are in? What do they wish they had done differently over the years? What do they want from this point on? This is not an action-packed or quick, easy novel but one that should be savored along the way. For the older reader who has the perspective of time, this will definitely strike a chord. While sometimes these types of books can feel like navel-gazing, this one manages to be introspective without wallowing. It's more of an honest reflection of what is good and bad without much filter.

If you enjoy Elizabeth Berg, Anne Tyler, and Anna Quindlen, this novel would be a good one to try.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Engrossing, well-paced, beautiful May 7 2010
By Mary Lee Moser - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Other reviewers have described the play-within-a-play feature of the plot, which I enjoyed. All in all, I found this book to be engrossing, well-paced, and beautifully written, as I found other Sue Miller books to be. (I personally find it so jarring to see "leisurely" used as an adverb, but I know it's accepted now...)I finished it in 2 days, and am on my way to drop it into a book-loving friend's mailbox. I think Miller presented the 9/11 aspect well, which many writers have failed to do, and I believe a message of the book was this: How DO we use our tragedies and traumas to move our lives forward; how do we transform such events into our own art, into a life fully-lived? By the skillful way she explores all the main characters' actions and interactions, she intriguingly begins to answer these questions. I know some reviewers didn't "like" the characters; I liked them all. I'd love to see a sequel in which Leslie, Rafe, Billy, and/or Sam are featured. All their stories were touching and real to me. One other small complaint: the generic-looking cover art. (If it was supposed to be Billy and Reuben, the proportions were way off!) Mary Lee Moser, author,There and Back: A Journal Companion for Special Needs Parents
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain" - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Four lives, connected in some way by an event that changed the world, now continue to intersect over the years afterwards.

Leslie, Billy, Sam, and Rafe--their lives are forever altered.

Leslie is comfortably married to Pierce, but her loving connection to her brother Gus is a truly nurturing relationship. Childless, she has become almost like a mother to Gus, since she is fifteen years older.

Billy, a playwright, was Gus's live-in lover on that fateful day when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers. What nobody knows is that she had already decided to leave Gus, so when he dies as a passenger in one of the planes, she feels like a fraud as she grieves for him.

Sam, an architect, who bought property when Leslie was selling real estate many years before, is now divorced; his first wife had died years before and his children, somewhat distant from him, are grown. Sam has harbored feelings for Leslie for many years.

Rafe, whose wife suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, is an actor. He is one of the stars in Billy's newest play, called "The Lake Shore Limited"--a play about a terrorist act on a train that leaves people waiting for news of their loved ones, just as many did after 9/11.

These characters all connect at the beginning of Billy's play, and then for weeks and months afterwards, in various ways.

As the story unfolds, we get to view the interior lives of these characters, as sections are devoted to each one in turn. We see what motivates them, what they're worried about, and what they fear. Their worlds are truly explored and we come to know and understand them. Even empathize with them, despite some of their choices.

In the end, I sincerely wanted to know what would happen next with each of them, as we are left at a point in all of their lives where much is unresolved.

There's a moment in the story where Billy, the playwright, is reflecting on the success of her play, now that it's over, and feeling some satisfaction that, in her creation of a terrorist act on a train, she has used similar events (from 9/11 and what happened to Gus), but that, in a way, she has memorialized him in as she would not have been able to do otherwise. She sees this as her homage to him, her "not forgetting" Gus.

Sue Miller has done it again, with her characters, her plot, the multi-layered story that exposes the dark and light side of the human condition...and she has totally captured the attention of this reader. The Lake Shore Limited definitely earned five stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dealing with different survivors guilt May 4 2010
By Y. Scott - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a story of 4 people who are bound together by the 9/11 tragedy.
Leslie lost her younger brother Gus whom she loved as if he was her son. Her grief made her overly compassionate to Gus's surviving girlfriend Billy. Billy, however has a secret survivor guilt. She no longer loved Gus, but he was killed before Billy could tell him. Billy, a playwright, has written a new play, and Leslie comes to see the play planning to introduce her friend Sam to Billy. Her intention is to give Billy a permission to love someone else. Leslie is shocked when she saw Billy's play because it reveals something about their relationship. Rafe, the actor who plays the main character of Billy's play has his own tragedy at home. And Sam has his own loss, too.

You may not like The Lake Shore Limited if you need likable characters. There's also no suspense. However, her writing is superb and her character study is as good as usual. This book is not Miller's best, but still a compelling read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I'll be chewing on this for weeks Dec 25 2010
By Barb M - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One of the things I love about Sue Miller's books are that they reach deeply into the characters and they all speak to me. Perhaps those who didn't like this book and felt it was "tedious" don't understand that it isn't supposed to be an action book, but is built around feelings. To me, it was a poignant book about events or people that can elicit seemingly contradictory emotions, and how we, as humans, deal with those emotions. It isn't a frivolous book; I found I was digging deep inside myself, shifting from one role to another as her voice moved among the major characters. As my title says - I'll be chewing on it, mulling it over, for weeks to come. For me that's a GOOD thing. If you want a book for quick entertainment, that you can then just put down and forget, I wouldn't recommend any of Miller's books. What I like best about them is that the protagonists are real people, in potentially real situations, leaving me to contemplate how I would respond in similar circumstances.

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