Jolene S, Reviewer
Thank you to NetGalley and Bespeak Audio Editions for the audio edition of 'Membering for an honest review. This audio was narrated by Nigel Shawn Williams and I have to say that this is one of the best narrations I've heard. I almost forgot sometimes that it was Nigel Shawn Williams speaking and not Austin Clarke himself. He narrated with such passion and emotion in his voice, I believe he felt every word he said. If it wasn't for his narration, I'm not sure I would have finished this memoir. Now, don't get me wrong, this memoir started off really good. I was interested in learning about Austin Clarke. Somehow he is a Canadian writer that I seem to have never heard of until much later than probably should have been the case. I read The Polished Hoe last year, and although it was not a book I particularly enjoyed, I appreciated learning a little more backstory about it and Clarke's own thoughts on it. This is a great book to learn about racism in Canada, about the experience of immigrants in Canada and also about being a black writer in Canada. I found what Clarke had to say about these topics very interesting and enlightening. He rubbed elbows with a lot of influential people. Partly through his job as a journalist and broadcaster for CBC, but also as a writer, through his love of music, and his work in the civil rights movement. Where the memoir went off the rails for me was with all of the rants. One rant, maybe even two rants, ok. Several occasions, I found myself thinking - or even saying out loud - are we still talking about this? Is this guy still talking? I found myself zoning out a little too often and it made the book so incredibly long. For the last 100 pages or so, I dreaded having to listen or read more. I felt like it was never going to end. Thankfully, it did end... but the dreaded rants caused this memoir to lose a couple of stars in my rating.