Sunday, June 30, 2013


Elsewhere, Richard Russo's memoir about his emotionally disturbed mother, was the first audiobook I listened to. I listened to it on the treadmill at gym, bored with my music. I found the experience enjoyable, and will listen to more.

I was often frustrated with Elsewhere as it seemed to focus almost unrelentingly on the logistical details of numerous moves. This emphasis had the effect of numbing me to the emotions and relationships, and many of the specific narrative points ran together for me in a blur.

But, there is a deep emotional heart to the memoir, and it is a moving depiction of a woman incredibly dependent on her only child. Towards the end Russo offers more reflection as his perspective on her and their relationship shifts after her death. What touched me most was his sense of guilt, even though he did more for her throughout her life than most people would.

I enjoyed his reading style, and listening to him tell this story made the experience more intimate.

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