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Welcome to our audiobook review of “I Have Some Questions For You” by Rebecca Makkai. We will be providing a detailed literary critique of this enthralling novel, analyzing its themes, writing style, and narration. Our review aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of Makkai’s work and its impact on the literary sphere. So, let’s delve into the world of “I Have Some Questions For You.”

Overview of “I Have Some Questions For You”

Rebecca Makkai’s “I Have Some Questions For You” is a captivating story that revolves around the life of a Chicago-based librarian named Lucia Stanton. The novel is set during the early stages of the HIV/AIDS crisis and centers around the struggles and dilemmas faced by Lucia as she navigates the complex realities of a changing world.

The audiobook review of “I Have Some Questions For You” is a poignant coming-of-age tale that addresses themes of sexuality, gender, love, and loss. With its engaging storyline, well-realized protagonists, and meticulous attention to detail, the novel presents itself as an insightful exploration of the human condition.

The plot of the novel is structured around a series of flashbacks that alternate between Lucia’s present-day struggles as a widow and her teenage years, during which she fell in love with a gay man named AIDS activist and punk rocker Aidan.

“I was a naive girl who fell in love with a naive boy,” writes Makkai. “We knew nothing of the vast, indifferent forces that would conspire to keep us apart.”

As the narrative unfolds, we witness Lucia’s gradual transformation as she comes to terms with the harsh realities of her life and learns to grapple with the aftermath of loss.

Character and Themes

Throughout the novel, Makkai explores a range of complex themes that speak to broader societal issues, including the adverse effects of stigma, prejudice, and fear. The central characters grapple with their identities and the consequences of societal norms, leading to a profound exploration of the complexities of the human experience.

The audiobook also showcases Makkai’s ability to create well-rounded and dynamic characters. The main character, Lucy, is portrayed as a multifaceted and relatable protagonist who the reader can easily connect with. Other characters, such as her husband, parents, and best friend, are equally well-drawn and contribute to the story’s overarching themes and motifs.

Final Thoughts

Overall, “I Have Some Questions For You” is a beautifully written and deeply moving novel that explores a range of themes and ideas in a captivating and memorable way. Through the audiobook, the listener is drawn into the world of the characters and can easily empathize with their struggles. This review provides a glimpse into the beginning of a detailed exploration of Makkai’s work, setting the stage for a deeper analysis of the prose, themes, and messages conveyed throughout.

Writing Style and Narration

Rebecca Makkai’s writing style is captivating, with its use of language, imagery, and narrative techniques. It is evident that Makkai has a gift for pushing boundaries and engaging her reader’s imaginations. The audiobook narration does an exceptional job of bringing Makkai’s prose to life, allowing the listener to feel as if they are a part of the story.

The narration is expertly executed, with great attention paid to the emotional impact of the story. The narrator masterfully switches between characters, each with their unique voice and personality. The use of sound effects throughout the audiobook further adds to the immersive experience, making it a delight to listen to.

The combination of Makkai’s writing style and the excellent narration makes “I Have Some Questions for You” a must-listen for anyone looking for an audiobook that will keep them engaged from beginning to end.

Character Development and Worldbuilding

In “I Have Some Questions For You,” Rebecca Makkai masterfully crafts a diverse set of characters, each with their own unique motivations and experiences. Through the course of the audiobook, listeners are able to witness these characters grow and evolve in response to the challenges they face, resulting in a deeply satisfying and emotionally resonant experience.

One of the standout characters in the novel is Nadia, a college student grappling with her own identity and a family history shaped by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Makkai portrays her struggles with sensitivity and nuance, deftly exploring themes of sexuality, family, and personal growth.

Another key element of “I Have Some Questions For You” is its vivid worldbuilding. Makkai transports the listener to the streets of Chicago in the midst of the AIDS crisis, skillfully capturing the nuances of the time and place through richly detailed descriptions. From the bustling city streets to the quiet confines of hospital rooms, every setting in the novel comes to life in vivid detail.

The combination of expertly drawn characters and immersive worldbuilding makes “I Have Some Questions For You” a truly memorable listening experience. Listeners will find themselves fully invested in the lives and struggles of Makkai’s characters, and emerge with a newfound understanding and appreciation for the world they inhabit.

Themes and Symbolism

Rebecca Makkai’s “I Have Some Questions For You” delves into complex themes and employs symbolism to convey deeper meanings and messages to the listener.

One of the central themes of the audiobook is the notion of forgiveness, as explored through the character of Zee. Through her journey, the story illustrates the power and struggle of granting forgiveness, and the impact this has on one’s life and relationships.

Another notable theme is the exploration of privilege and its effects on individuals and society as a whole. By highlighting the disparities and inherent biases within the education system, Makkai prompts a discussion about privilege and its hold on our cultural institutions.

Symbolism also plays a vital role in the story, particularly with regards to the representation of the bee. As a symbol of industriousness, community, and decay, the bee illustrates the complexities of life and the importance of interconnectedness, while also hinting at the looming threat of environmental collapse.

Overall, “I Have Some Questions For You” uses themes and symbolism to provoke thought and provide depth to the story, leaving a lasting impact on the listener.


Pacing and Plot Execution

Rebecca Makkai’s “I Have Some Questions For You” boasts an intricate plot that requires skillful pacing and execution to maintain listeners’ engagement. Fortunately, Makkai succeeds in this aspect without leaving any room for boredom or confusion. Throughout the audiobook, the plot slowly unfolds, with the right amount of tension building up and unexpected twists and turns that keep the listener invested. The pacing of the story is balanced, neither too slow nor too fast, providing the appropriate amount of time to comprehend the plot developments, understand character motivations, and absorb the overall atmosphere of the story.

The execution of the plot is similarly impressive, with each event flowing seamlessly into the next, and each detail contributing to the development of the story. Makkai’s ability to entwine different storylines, timelines, and characters is praiseworthy, as it adds multiple layers of depth to the plot, leading to an overall satisfying listening experience.

The plot execution and pacing of “I Have Some Questions For You” effectively blend to create a cohesive and captivating story that leaves listeners in awe. Makkai’s ability to meticulously craft a plot that is both intriguing and thought-provoking is a testament to her writing skills and her commitment to telling powerful stories that move her audience.

Literary Merits and Critique

Rebecca Makkai’s “I Have Some Questions For You” presents a compelling narrative that skillfully combines the themes of love, loss, and betrayal in a way that captures the reader’s attention. The author’s writing style masterfully conveys the complex emotions and motivations of the characters, drawing us into their world and helping us empathize with their struggles. The novel’s vivid imagery and carefully crafted prose make it a joy to read, highlighting Makkai’s ability to wield the power of language to powerful effect.

Despite these strengths, there are areas where “I Have Some Questions For You” falls short. While the characters are well-developed, their actions and decisions at times feel forced or implausible, detracting from the overall quality of the story. Additionally, the pacing of the novel can be uneven, with some stretches feeling slow or draggy.

In spite of these flaws, “I Have Some Questions For You” remains a noteworthy achievement in modern literature. Its exploration of the complex relationships we share with those closest to us, as well as its thought-provoking interpretations of the nature of love and loss, make it a standout novel in the audiobook review genre. Rebecca Makkai’s skillful prose and evocative storytelling offer a powerful reminder of the enduring power of the written word.

Impact and Reception

Rebecca Makkai’s “I Have Some Questions For You” has captivated readers and listeners alike, leaving a lasting impression within the literary sphere. With its compelling storyline, nuanced characters, and thought-provoking themes, the audiobook has received positive reviews and critical acclaim.

The impact of the audiobook can be seen in its widespread popularity and recognition. It has been featured in various literary publications and has been selected for numerous book clubs and reading lists.

The reception of “I Have Some Questions For You” has been overwhelmingly positive, with praise for Makkai’s writing style and the audiobook’s narration. Listeners have been drawn to the novel’s themes of identity, memory, and the power of storytelling, as well as its exploration of LGBTQ+ relationships and social issues.

“Makkai’s writing style is both poignant and evocative, exploring complex themes and characters with grace and nuance.” – BookPage

The audiobook’s impact and reception showcase its power to resonate with readers and listeners on a deep and meaningful level, cementing its place as a modern literary classic.


Rebecca Makkai’s “I Have Some Questions For You” is a captivating and thought-provoking piece of literature that explores themes of love, loss, and identity. The audiobook offers a unique listening experience, enhanced by the skillful narration of the talented cast.

Makkai’s writing style is both elegant and poignant, weaving together multiple storylines and characters with remarkable skill. The character development and worldbuilding are particularly noteworthy, as Makkai brings each character to life with vivid detail and complexity.

The themes and symbolism embedded within the story provide a deeper layer of meaning and resonance, inviting listeners to reflect on their own lives and relationships. The pacing and plot execution are well-balanced, building suspense and tension while still offering satisfying resolution.

Overall, “I Have Some Questions For You” is a literary masterpiece that showcases Makkai’s talent and creativity. We highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who appreciates well-crafted storytelling and powerful character development.

Our final verdict is that this audiobook is a must-listen for any fans of Rebecca Makkai or those looking for a compelling and thought-provoking story.

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