Behind him loom the figures of his dead wife, his beloved daughter, and his outrageous friend. In front of Lev lies the strangeness of the British: their hostile streets, their clannish pubs, their obsession with celebrity, their lonely flats.
London holds the alluring possibilities of friendship, sex, money, and a new career. But, more than this, the sense of belonging.
©2007 Rose Tremain; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"A special mention for Steven Pacey"
Impossible not to get attached to the protagonist, Lev, who leaves his hometown, young daughter and mother in his East European village where no work is to be found since the local mill has closed down to make his way to London and hopes for prosperity of some form. He finds work in the restaurant business and having made a new friend and a new lover in this big city, dreams up ways to save his loved ones back home. I was worried I wouldn't fall in love with Tremain's contemporary novels the way I've passionately loved her historical fiction (most especially Restoration and Merivel), but needn't have worried: she is a master of prose and has such a deep and special understanding of humanity and its many frailties, that whatever time period she chooses to write about ends up making for timeless stories somehow. 4.75 stars. I would have given it the full 5, only I do strongly favour historical fiction for taking me outside our current world.
Should give a special mention to Steven Pacey, who narrates the audio version. His reading was beautifully modulated and he successfully rendered a range of accents and gave each character a marked and fitting personality. Really wonderful when voice narration adds so much to the reading experience.
"terrific depth of character"
you won't want to turn it off - you can "picture" each character and event
all round good read
"Great Narration, Good Story"
It is a story of an Eastern European migrant, who comes to London to make money and send back home for his family. You witness the struggle that the central character, Lev, goes through to gain a job, learn English and make friends. There are many colourful charachter that Lev meets in his time in London and with the excellent narration, you are hooked to see how Lev?s life pans out and if he ever goes back home!
At first glance the plot for "The Road Home" seems familiar and grim; the story of an eastern european migrant in London. But this tale of the challenges and triumphs of the forty year old widower Lev is never 'worthy', but is told with warmth and humor as he encounters england in all its menace and opportunity. The cast of characters are colorful and diverse, from Lev's Irish landlord to the celebrity chef who he ends up working for. All the voices are brilliantly and hilariously interpreted by Steven Pacey making this the best audiobook I have listened to.
"The Road Home"
I love this book. The characters are so real that I feel quite sad to think they aren't really out there somewhere continuing with their lives! I don't think I will ever look at foreign workers again without wondering what personal stories have brought them to this country. I finished listening to this book a couple of days ago and keep thinking about it. Proof surely, that this is an excellent novel.
I am a fan of Rose Tremain and this wonderful book was made even better by the performance of Stephen Pacey as the narrator.
I loved this. Fantastically animated by the narrator, this was a wonderful story, a visual, lilting tale of one man's quest to be a little more than ordinary. Lovely.
"2nd time around, it's still as good!"
I had run out of credits and so loaded this up on my ipod again to listen again, something I rarely do and if forced, do it reluctantly. I needn't have had any reservations! I loved it just as much the second time around: brilliantly written and read, poignant and heartwarming, characters so well developed, you find yourself really rooting for Lev. One of my favourite listens - go for it!
"Like relaxing in a warm bath!"
I have to agree with a previous reviewer that if not the best, then this is certainly one of the best audio books I have ever had the pleasure of listening to! Although I am sure to read this novel would be a rewarding and pleasing experience, I cannot think that it could be better than hearing it read by the wonderful Steven Pacy. I was thrilled to hear all the characters come to life in such a realistic and often hilarious way. It seems like it could be a unrelentingly grim storyline, but it is nevertheless peopled by so many outstanding individuals and voices that you do really feel as though they are real and just carrying on thier lives as normal when you have fininshed listening to the last chapter and turned away from them. I really longed for them to be real, it was a extremely bittersweet moment to reach the end, joy and surprise to find a happy and satisfactory ending and desperate curiosity to know what happens next. Listen and enjoy, it will be hard to find better.
I agree with Paul - the best audiobook I have listened to from Audible.
Steven Pacey does not just read The Road Home, he acts every part,
bringing all the characters to life.
"Overrated novel but well read"
I can't understand why this book has been so well reviewed. Storyline seemed interesting enough but most of the characters are cardboard stereotypes (Irish drunk, lonely farmer, Indian bank worker) whilst the central character of Lev just wasn't believable. It serves between realism and fantastical. Someone with limited grasp of English reading Hamlet for pleasure?
It was only Steven Pacey's wonderful narration that kept me listening through the corny plot. Why is he reading an American translation though? I was confused early on as to why Lev would expect to find a bathroom at Victoria coach station; only several more Americanisms later did I work this out.
"Sense of emptiness now"
I loved listening to this story and the narrator was great. One of those booKs, that when it comes to the end one feels bereft for a bit.
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