I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The War of the Roses by Warren Adler
Length: 7 hours and 27 minutes
Genres: Contemporary, General Fiction
Published by Stonehouse Press Pages: 243
Narrator: Dave Giorgio
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Also by this author: We Are Holding the President Hostage
The War of the Roses has over time emerged as a synonym for modern divorce and its emotional aftershock. Since its publication it has spawned numerous film and stage adaptations, endless discourse on the dynamics of divorce as well as becoming part of the legal jargon describing the proceedings that follow.
Adler's iconic tale takes us from suburban bliss to an incessant territorial battle. Jonathan and Barbara Rose are at first glance the perfect couple. Jonathan has a stable law career; Barbara is an aspiring gourmet entrepreneur with a promising pâté recipe. Their large home holds the rich antique collection that originally brought them together, as well as the loving familial bond that intertwines them with their children Eve and Josh. When Jonathan finds himself suddenly gripped by what is presumably a heart attack and Barbara confronts the loveless spelllingering between them, the sun-soaked sky that was once the Rose family union drifts into a torrential downpour. Their mutual hatred becomes ammunition in a domestic shootout that escalates in the most unpredictable ways while they helplessly eye their dwindling nuptial flame. In the chaos that unfolds Adler allows a moment of much needed contemplation on the shape of today's matrimonial bonds.
The War of the Roses illuminates the relationship-shattering materialism, contempt and selfishness of husband and wife by posing a timeless question, how far are we willing to allow our material possessions the power to define who we are? Are today's marriages haunted by the struggle to get even?
What I thought of this book.
I remember watching the movie adaptation of this book when I was young. (Oh that makes me feel old). I forgot how horrible the two main characters were to each other and how hilarious it was. This story is the ultimate in dysfunctional families!
Oliver and Barbara always looked like the great couple. The had been married for twenty years and had two great kids, but something was missing. Then Oliver has an episode that felt like a heart attack and was in the hospital but Barbara never even showed up to see how he was.
This is what starts the downward spiral of the Roses. Oliver gets mad because she doesn’t show up and she realizes she could have cared less if he would have died. She wants a divorce and neither will give up the house.
Because they won’t give up the house they are both living in it and trying to go about their lives but each is trying to get the other one to leave. What ensues is a hilarious mixture of things from tainting wine, to adding something nasty to her meals that she prepares as she is trying to become a caterer. Each one getting angrier and angrier as they lash out at each other but neither one is going to budge.
The two lawyers are really racking in the dough as neither one will budge. The poor kids are in the midst of it and have no clue what to do. Finally, they send the kids off to camp and when they do it seems like their war escalates.
It’s horrible how a loving family can go to extremes and because of it, it does have a sense of humor about it but it is also a bit dark. I found myself leaning towards the side of Oliver though I could also see Barbara’s point of view as well. Oliver though was the breadwinner in the family, he worked hard to buy the house and all the things in it. Yes, because they got married young she didn’t finish school, but she could have if she really wanted too. So she is just now starting to make something of herself with a catering service. I can just see how Oliver would want the house because he worked for it, but I just don’t see going to such extremes for a house. Some of the things they did towards the end were just horrid.
I really felt sorry for their kids as while they were at camp they had no clue how bad it had gotten with their parents. Eve knew something bad was going on because nobody had called them while they were at camp. It was like they just totally forgot they had two kids. Kids always have the worst end of an ugly divorce. In the end, I kind of think they both got what they deserved.
The War of the Roses was darkly humorous even though at times I thought it was so wrong. It really makes me want to watch the movie again as it has been so long but while listening to this it was like I could remember bits and pieces of the movie in my head.
Overall, it was a fun listen and I had fun with it. It probably wouldn’t be for everyone but if you like dark humor and can handle it then you should give it a try. I don’t often read/listen to dark humor but I liked this one.
This was my first book with narrator Dave Giorgio and I enjoyed his narration. He did a great job with both the male and female characters.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Audiobook Challenge 2016
- Summer COYER