I read Picoult's website, carefully examining her reason for why she wrote this story, but I don't get it. If she thinks she has added to the body of knowledge of the Holocaust, she is sadly mistaken.
This story has a novel twist in it, but only one. It brings nothing new to the table regarding the Holocaust survivors. In fact, I just finished reading a few months ago the memoirs of women survivors in A Train in Winter before starting the Storyteller. In so many ways Storyteller repeats the exact same story. Picoult brings no new ways of understanding personal dynamics in the camps, no new ways of understanding survivors or their offspring. I'm to going to accuse her plagiarism, but scene for scene in the march out of the camp to the next camp, I could have been in the other book. Yes, I realize she used a lot of research but she should have read the body of literature out there already to be original.
I read A Train in Winter for book club; Storyteller for my own entertainment because I liked My Sister's Keeper. Picoult's Storyteller is one dimensional. For a nuanced look at suffering in WWII and a book which brings a new perspective to the table, try The Book Thief, or go see the movie.
I am a big fan of Jodi Picoult, though I don't like all of her books. I think Storyteller is her best book ever. It is not what I expected but that is a good thing. It starts off slow but that information is needed to build the story. Stay with it and you will not be disappointed.
the narrators succeed in bringing each character to life
the entire section devoted to her grandmothers story was captivating. I became completely lost in the tale and when it returned to the current day portion of the story I had honestly forgotten all about the original premise for the book.
Jodi Picoult continues to create classic reads that will endure. highly recommended.
A 10 out of 10. This is a great story and the characters were interweaved with great precision. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Minka was my favorite character. When listening to her tell her story, I sometimes forgot I was listening to an audio book and I found myself feeling like her story was told from the experiences of a real person.
I haven't listened to the narrators' other performances, but I thought they were all excellent in their rendition of the characters.
While not a fast-paced thriller, this novel was gripping nonetheless and kept me listening for hour upon hour. The author (an awesome storyteller) tells related stories from several vantage points and it's not until close to the end that you realize how they mesh. The main character is a young American girl who has distanced herself from her Jewish heritage. Seemingly by accident, she meets an old man who has a connection to one of her ancestors. He is tormented by guilt and asks her to help him. Several interesting characters and plot twists keep this novel moving at a good pace. Highly recommend.this listen.
The Storyteller is an emotional family story that is so well written. Jodi Picoult does such an amazing job describing the characters and really makes you connect with them. A couple good twists and turns as well! The narration is some of the best I've heard in an audio book so far. The great narration helps even further to mold the great story.
Like a dancing bear, the key issue concerning "The Storyteller" isn't how well it's done, but that fact that it's done at all.
The fact that a book like this, with so much excellent and accurate information about not just the Shoah, but also about the people involved and the culture in Europe at the time, is simply amazing. The fact that an awesome number of readers not only read or listened to it, but reported liking or even loving it, is even more amazing. It's reaffirming, in some simple way. In a world where way too many people, on too many continents, are openly saying they wished Hitler had succeeded, it's good to know that opinion isn't shared by everyone.
I'm also astonished at the amount of research Ms. Picoult -- or her research assistants -- did. Although the main story line -- the writing of the story about the vampire or golem -- is fictional, virtually all of the stories that comprise Minka's experiences before and after her incarceration in the camps are factual and written about by actual survivors. In order to come up with all these little stories, someone did a whale of a lot of reading to find them all. That's impressive.
Also unusual is the fact that several times, Ms. Picoult manages to make the very clear distinction between Jewish "forgiveness" and that of the Christians. That was brave -- and much appreciated, at least by this Jew. This is a theme that almost never appears as a plot point -- at least not favorably -- in contemporary fiction, and it blew me away, how well she did it. Kol hakavod!
... which made it disappointing, I have to admit, that when Leo decides to take Sage to a shul in a subtle attempt to reconnect her to her roots, that he took her to a reform synagogue. That was a major false note and very disappointing. What that meant was that as Sage sat there, contemplating that her grandmother in her youth had said these same prayers, attended these same services, that simply wasn't true. Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat services at an orthodox shul would have been 100% familiar to her grandmother -- orthodox services haven't changed -- but in a reform organization, an awful lot would be different to Minka I'd guess that she would have been shocked. What a bummer! Since Ms. Picoult goes go far to be accurate in her Shoah history, why fall apart over that issue?
Even so, I greatly enjoyed the book. I'm delighted that it's out there, that a lot of people who would never think of picking up and reading a book on the Holocaust can get so much accurate history from a contemporary and compelling novel like this.
Unfortunately, I can't tell which of the narrators read the part of Leo, but he was absolutely excellent. Great voice, and perfect timing for Leo's many funny lines. Whichever of them it was, he was great.
On the whole? Great book. Very well done.
Hearing Minka's story blew me away. I wanted to listen to her for hours.
Many things can be taken away from this book and so not to spool it for any one, I will only review on the main thing I gained from this story. Many have forgotten the true horror and brutality of the Holocaust, thank you Jodi Picoult for painting a real and touching reminder in respect to the Jews who survived and those that did not... May God have mercy and never allow humans to repeat this kind of hate and ignorance again.....
Loves to shop
It was dark, but an amazing story.
The weaving of two stories within one.
No, but it was wonderful.
The atrocities committed against Jews as described in this story.
It is quite intense and took me a while to listen as I could only deal with small portions at a time.