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Would you listen to Beyond the Pale again? Why?
I would read again - I enjoyed the detail and characterisation - its a fascinating journey
What did you like best about this story?
The description of the bathhouse, the description of this world with the two horses who took turns at pumping the water.
Have you listened to any of Elana Dykewomon’s other performances? How does this one compare?
not yet !
Any additional comments?
This was a story which needed to be told and has been told beautifully.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend this book to anyone who is into historical fiction, as this gives great insight into the experiences of immigrants in the early 1900's NYC as well as the oppression of Jews in Russian and elsewhere during that time period
What was one of the most memorable moments of Beyond the Pale?
the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire was as memorable as it was upsetting and difficult to read, though wonderfully written. Also the moments detailing the Pograms in Russia were painfully real, beautifully written and so tragic.Through her narration and writing you truly felt right there in the midst of the action, and you mourned the losses of loved ones right along with the main protagonist.
What about Elana Dykewomon’s performance did you like?
It was so incredibly authentic... these stories could have very well been her own stories that she is passing on to me, the listener
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I was in tears toward the end, the factory fire... I challenge you to make it through that part of the book (after reading all of the events leading up to it) with a dry eye
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I read this book years ago when it was first published, and I loved it then, and I love it now. Elana Dykewoman captures something essential about the immigrant experience - the cultural and political and emotional worlds they experienced, including unbearable trauma and tremendous joy. At the same time, her main characters are navigating the dynamics of belonging and exile and making new home in relation to learning how to be women-loving-women in a world where there is hardly even language and only the barest beginnings of community for them. It is about family and loyalty and being true to yourself in a changing world. And beautifully written.
That said... having an author-read book is always a bit risky. Elana Dykewoman gets some things absolutely right. She has the Yiddish inflection and expressions and pronunciation that are absolutely required for the characters' voices to feel authentic. What she doesn't have is voice acting ability to create characters whose voices sound different on the recording. So there were times when dialogue that would be clear visually on the page became confusing when listing - hard to know who was speaking. Especially where there are changes in who is narrating. Also, there were far more than the usual number of editing glitches - not a huge deal, but noticeable.
Because this book is probably thought of as "niche", I imagine there may not have been a substantial budget for hiring voice talent - so I'm glad Dykewoman made it happen anyway. Revisiting this story in a new way was wonderful, despite the less-than-ideal recording.
It is a very moving and difficult and beautiful story. Well worth it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful