I tried SO HARD to read this book. It’s is on everyone’s recommended list, and currently hold as 3.78 rating on Goodreads, which is generally a good sign. I tried reading the hard copy a few months ago when I first became aware of it, and totally failed to get into it. So I tried again to listen to the audio version — I figured I was on a road trip, and would have nothing distracting me. And the audio version has basically the best list of narrators ever (Nick Offerman, Lena Dunham, Davis Sedaris, Ben Stiller?!?).
And the synopsis sounded great. The story takes place in a graveyard in 1862, and all of the sections are told by different people buried in the graveyard. Lots of references to ghosts not understanding exactly where they are — they’ve fallen ill, or asleep, etc — so it feels very much like people trapped in purgatory. On the particular evening when the “action” occurs, Willie Lincoln has been buried by his parents. There’s a ton of history — stories about the White House, the Civil War, random rich people parties — and distinct voices and stories for each character.
But I COULD NOT TAKE IT. I managed about 30% of the book, spread over several days because I kept switching away from it to listen to ANYTHING ELSE. The story never gelled, I found the allusions to events and people in history dull and confusing, and even Ron Swanson’s voice couldn’t save it for me. I know a lot of people loved it — including a ton of y’all — but it was just not the book for me.