Saturday, June 8, 2013

Audio Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Author:Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Narrator: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Format:Unabridged Audio
Length: 7 hrs,  29 mins
Publication: 2013
Source: Publisher via Audiobookjukebox

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I few friends told me about this book and suggested I read it, so when I saw the audio was available, decided to give it a try. Although they loved it, it just wasn't for me. Sometimes the male perspective in teen fiction is refreshing because there aren't that many but Ari didn't draw me in as I would have hoped. He spends a large portion of the book angry at the world and his parents. He missing his brother and wants them to tell about him but they are afraid he will be like his brother. He begins to change when he meets Dante, who seems so worldly. Dante knows who is, never really questions himself and remains firm in his decision even when he faces being harmed. He engages Ari to come out of his shell and encourages him to broaden his outlook on his life. Ari spends a large portion of the book describing the events of his life and giving a good sense of who is and the end may be surprising for some readers. For the most part, I was wondering if that would happen but wasn't certain. What's great about this book Ari's internal battle and how his journey to discovery will change everything he believes about himself. Overall, this coming of age story would be good for those looking for something more realistic. 

The pace of the book moves to slowly but that's not the fault of Miranda, who I enjoyed listening to. My friends did tell me it would be slow going and they were right. Miranda does a great job of breathing life into these two distinct personalities using his tone of voice and accents to make them more three dimensional. The sound is clear without any distracting noises in the background. I liked that it wasn't too long, so it would be something that could be listened to within a day or during a road trip. Miranda has a beautiful voice that I could listen for days and look forward to hearing more of his work.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry it wasn't exactly your cup of tea. But, I may give it a try. I love surprise endings. Also, if you loved the narrator's voice, then I have to pick up the audio!


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