This is my first go-round with an audio collection of short stories, not counting kids books, of course. And I have to say that it’s much more non-committal. Some stories are longer than others but on 9 CDs there are 15 stories. It was pretty easy to start and stop listening since the audio is already fragmented. That was nice, but it also meant the massive pull, the build up and climax, wasn’t strong. Each story stands on it’s own, is beautifully written and has it’s own surprise or twist, but it’s not the same as a full novel with massive character and plot development.
All the stories take place in the African American communities of Washington, D.C. It’s not a Washington much talked about, and it’s enlightening to hear it’s voices. Those voices by the way are owned by great readers. Some audiobooks are totally botched by the person doing the reading, but not Lost in the City. The cast of readers was phenomenal. Each one did a great job playing different characters and really drew you in. They were so good, in fact, they added to the weight of the stories. I feel like it would be less dramatic for me to read the stories myself.
Each story is beautiful but also contains death or violence, people struggling daily with loss. Listening on my walks to work, I’d get a little down. Just a warning. I definitely recommend giving this a listen, but break them up with something lighter. Especially if you’re on Nantucket in February. Don’t let yourself become a debbie downer.
I give this audiobook an A-