"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Holes by Louis Sachar



Louis Sachar
A literary phenomenon

Published in 2006
Read by Kerry Beyer

Duration: 4.5 hours
Unabridged

I teach high school Spanish and history but even if you don't have much interaction with young people, you'd have to live in a cave not to have noted the literary phenomenon that is the novel Holes. Although my students don't read Holes in my class, they have mentioned it so I decided to listen to it as an audiobook during my drive to and from school.

The plot itself is fairly unique in that there are literally no loose ends. Nothing is introduced that does not have a consequence later on, be it the prison guard quitting smoking and chewing sunflower seeds instead or the references to peach preserves, it all ties together. All of that makes the story less believable, more like a dark fairy tale but all of the more enjoyable.

The story itself is pretty solid. There's a mystery, a sense of camaraderie and an awful tale of injustice in the flashbacks. It is dark, but not overwhelmingly so.

The audiobook lasts about 4.5 hours. It was read by Kerry Beyer. A little research shows that this may be Beyer's only foray into audiobook narration. That would be justified. It's not that he did a bad job (he was easily understood), it's just that, as a frequent listener of audiobooks, I know that there are much better readers out there. Beyer had a tendency to make every sentence sound as though he were exclaiming over the most marvelous of things. It was all supposed to sound very exciting but it grated after a while. I suppose it's not the fault of the reader but the fault of the producers who didn't re-direct his efforts.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Holes by Louis Sachar.

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