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June 26, 2014 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: The Vacationers by Emma Straub

VacationersThe Vacationers
by Emma Straub
Narrated by Kristen Sieh

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: May 29, 2014
Format: Audio Download: 6 hours | 39 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 3 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.

My Thoughts:

The ‘vacation’ was supposed to be an idyllic get away, a time of relaxation and celebration among family and close friends, except for one problem. No one was thrilled with idea of actually going on vacation. Everyone had issues that were interfering with having a good time.

This was a typical dysfunctional family – if it is possible to be typically dysfunctional – struggling to find answers and resolutions. Original? Not really. We’ve seen these situations before in movies and television, but I enjoyed the story anyway. None of the characters were particularly likable, but they weren’t despicable either. And watching their stories unfold was a bit like peeking into a neighbors window during an argument (not that I would ever do that), and being very glad your family didn’t behave that way. Or so you believe.

I liked the way the book was laid out. Each day of the vacation was a chapter and we experienced what each of the characters was doing that day. The writing was witty and humorous, and at only six and a half hours, just right length to entertain and not get bogged down in too much detail.

Audio Production:

The audio production was delightful. The narration was performed by Kristen Sieh, who kept the story moving at a brisk pace with nicely done accents and some emotional impact. There are a number of characters to remember, and once I figured out who everyone was, it was an easy listen. I don’t know if I would have appreciated the witty writing as much had I read, rather than listened to, this enjoyable performance.

Source: Review copy provided by Penguin Audio.
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Leave a Comment
  1. postingfornow / Jun 26 2014 1:09 pm

    Great review Leslie. I’ve been considering this book lately and have it on my To Read List.


  2. diane / Jun 26 2014 8:09 pm

    I rated it 3.5/5 – but there is certainly lots of hype for a so so story IMO.


  3. Suko / Jun 26 2014 11:50 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed listening to The Vacationers.


  4. Beth F / Jun 27 2014 5:29 am

    Wasn’t sure if I should read or listen to this one … listen it is!


  5. Sheila (Book Journey) / Jun 29 2014 7:54 am

    I want to listen to this one as well. I need to see if it is on my review shelf – if not… audible it is 😉


  6. stacybuckeye / Jul 12 2014 8:34 pm

    I’ve been reading lots of lukewarm responses to this one. Probably not for me.


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