Monday Mini ~ The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham

MondayMini3Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.

I typically don’t listen to celebrity narrators outside of the titles I listen to for the Armchair Audies. I have heard good things from trusted audiobook fans about Claire Danes’ work and I have wanted to take another shot at Michael Cunningham’s fiction after my lukewarm reaction to By Nightfall. So, when I was offered an audiobook review copy of The Snow Queen, I decided to give it a shot.

The Snow Queen by Michael CunninghamCover of The Snow Queen
Farrar, Straus & Giroux ~ May 2014 ~ 273 pages
Macmillan Audio ~ Claire Danes ~ 6 hours 47 minutes

At just under 7 hours, The Snow Queen is a shorter novel. It should have flown by. It didn’t. I had a very similar reaction to this book as I did to Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children. The characters could not have taken themselves any more seriously. While they did nothing more than write mediocre music under the influence of drugs and resell trendy clothing, brother Tyler and Barrett Meeks spent an inordinate amount time and energy on their inner lives. Despite caring for a sick fiance and friend, how could they not bore themselves into some kind of change? Barrett may have at least been fun to talk to at a party, Tyler is one of those self-righteous people content to preach about politics and little else. While he has a significant break through by the end of the novel, I’m either not New York enough of not cynical enough to care for The Snow Queen.

The only reason I finished this book was because of narrator Claire Danes. Her understated way of performing this audiobook made it more appealing. Throughout the audiobook I wondered what it would be like to experience her narration with a book I actually enjoyed. Danes is a celebrity who has the talent to crossover into audiobook narration. I would definitely recommend her work. I wouldn’t suggest reading this book any other way. Michael Cunningham’s novels may not be for me, but I’m glad I was open minded enough to give Claire Danes a try.

1 Comment

  • At 2014.07.01 16:59, Care said:

    I would imagine Claire Danes would be an excellent narrator. Too bad this story wasn’t more appealing. (I didn’t like The Emporer’s Children, either so I’m not sure I would try this one now.)

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