Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
I have read other Jodi Picoult books and have enjoyed them a lot, but I loved this one. My favorite part by far was the Grandmother's Story. So powerful. I thought Picoult did a masterful job of pulling so many personalities together in a complicated yet totally believable way. My heart was in this story from the beginning. I am not at all sure I liked or agreed with the way it ended, but it has given me a lot to think about, and that is one of the marks of a good book.
The narrators were wonderful! Especially the grandmother. :)
This is not a kind review I guess. I was trying out Picoult because had heard she is admired. Will not be writing any more poor reviews For this author I promIse; because I will never try another book of hers. She is 'not for me'.
I might have finished the book as a time filler but the audio transitioned poorly. When multiple characters tell a story it would not kill the audiobook editors to insert a spoken caption between characters. Especially when a female narrator does multiple characters, but a male narrator is used for the one male character. Weird. On top of which, as the story unfolds you realize one thread is a story inside the story, while the rest are just the story. If you think my description was inelegant imagine experiencing it as a listener who does not suspect how the book is laid out.
The second reason I couldn't get through the book was that it was that icky chick lit bunkum that I can't tolerate. Heroine who is horribly disfigured but actually strikingly beautiful, plus an orphan; noble Harvard lawyer who although sticking with the program, realizes after he graduates that the culture is not a good fit, ditches it all for a low paid position as Nazi tracker (with is frankly winding down from attrition these days and is difficult to picture as a calling for a young, sharp, and motivated man who wants to make a difference); Nazi SS guard hiding in plain sight, in the same small town as a holocaust survivor; Jewish mother; vampires; generations of amazing bakers (who are related but who are also each self taught because baking is a genetic gift not a skill); a nun who spurned her vows but has regular epiphanies. And a little dog too.
I should have known that I would be intolerant of such a mix of characters unless the book was a genre- bending meta sendup. I am deeply sorry to Picoult lovers and the author for a nasty review, but for my fellow eye-rollers who feel like they have heard it all and are looking for a new author: Picoult's probably not for you either.
Didn't need to. Never liked them in the first place.
Narrators were good but transitions between characters perspectives was absent and confusing.
Didn't get through book. Would have added audio captions when switching between characters.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
How many novels, nonfiction accounts, documentaries and movies have I watched about the Holocaust? My mother even worked at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. I figure I've had my fill of understanding that hideous time in history and yet...I was compelled, once again, to listen to the grotesque details, to ponder the evil and fortitude of human beings and to wonder what I would have done if I'd been alive then.
And then when the heroes show up to rescue the prisoners, I felt that wonderful elation I always do, to be on the side of the good guys who sent Hitler and his minions running for their lives.
Evocative writing with fresh details and intimate performances all the way around. Learned new things and even had to look up Schutzhaftlagerführer in Wikipedia.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
Perhaps if this is your first book about the Holocaust, this might be the right book for you. For me, I've read too much about it and am so bothered by it that I nearly had to stop listening. I was expecting a different kind of book and with a different angle. Not so. There's an added dimension with the brothers but it all comes down to the same evil. I simply can't bear it. I wish I'd never listened to it.
I have LOVED most of Picoult's books (Nineteen Minutes, Sister's Keeper, Salem Falls are favorites) but Lone Wolf was a disappointment and I hoped it wasn't the dreaded Big Author Slide, but alas it appears to be the case.
Normally, it's fun to have all of the seemingly unrelated facets and characters of a story merge together but this was so disjointed and all over the place (that vampire/werewolf attempt was bizarre) that I found myself suddenly thinking Wait....Whaaat.?
The book seems a bit thrown together, the only part that seemed to be well researched and well written was the Holocaust portion with the remainder of the book as fluff and filler. Bummer.
A Jodi Picoult novel, narrated by Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, Suzanne Toren, and Fred Berman. The Storyteller is just over 18 hours of listening in the audiobook format.
There are near 10,000 reviews, you need not go far for a synopsis of plot.
No issues with narration, it’s fine.
These comments are directed to the overall impression of mixing a diabolical historical event still an open sore to survivors/descendants, and a mythical SciFi character. The Storyteller very typically Picoult, well written, a page turning mystery with considerable research, a vivid imagination, or a combination of both.
The story within the story is a part of the book I didn’t particularly like - it was extraneous to the heart of the tale - one of the darkest eras of humanity, the holocaust. That segment of the story devoted to modern day Nazi hunting and the memories of Minka through a ghetto, box cars, multiple concentration camps, multiple losses of family and friends, Nazi visceral brutality and genocide, etc., is a gripping tale. These segments are interrupted with another story however, the fictional tale of a vampire - Minka’s writings and link to sanity during her ordeal.
The overall story had me completely lost, initially, until I figured out that the vampire story was Minka’s writings. I had trouble grasping this; it was so bizarre and unrelated to the holocaust. Even Picoult’s effort to weave the vampire tale into a Nazi siblings relationship at the end of the book is a bit silly.
I’m torn with liking/recommending this book. I guess if you like the work of Picoult, you’ll like the book. The Storyteller isn’t the best holocaust book, nor is it the best vampire book - but it is a Picoult novel. Not her best, though.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
Possibly. As much as it was engaging throughout, some questions were answered much too late or not at all, and the major plot twist was too similar to that of another (more expertly told) quietly suspenseful work: Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper.
Don't wait so long to tell Minka's story. Don't repeat over 20 times the lines "My father trusted me with the details of his death" and "But in the end, I was too late" and then fail to deliver on a definitive father/death scene. Don't wait so long to tell why the young female narrator has a disfigured face and a guilty conscience...and then, when you do tell it, do try to give sufficient detail so that both those facts somehow make sense and remain vivid in the mind of the reader!
No, I dont think I have heard any of these multiple narrators before, although all were good. I particularly enjoyed Leo and Minka.
Possibly, if only to explain the unlikely way in which the essentially decent young female narrator, Sage, would rationalize her decision to continue to hide the truth about her onetime friend, Josef, from her new (and presumably lasting) romantic partner at the end of this book.
I would recommend this book. The narration was done by very talented individuals.
The ending was surprising and not expected. So many details of the story kept you hanging on.
Some authors try to capture an audience many adjectives and numerous descriptions that leave little for imagination; this often bores me. This author secured my attention with critical details and a provoking story. If you like to think while you listen and reflect consistently, this is the book for you.
Mila, Her voice was so genuine. It never sounded as if she was reading text but revealing accounts as if they just happened. If was captured by her tone, pauses and her pitch. I have listened to this book twice and I'm about to start the third time.
I really like some of Picoult's books. But this one was not very good. It's not what i would expect from her. Dont know what i can say that wont give anything away in the book, other then, The audible description of this book doesn't mention the holocaust. and it a big part of this book. And the ending is pretty awful.
Jodi Picoult IS indeed THE Storyteller of our time. All her books grab you at the start, envelope you in intriguing plots and then trash the rest of your life until the inevitable ending, which you put off by reading the last chapter, very, very slowly.
Being a lapsed Jew myself, who has assiduously avoided all things Holocaust (as my Sunday and Hebrew schools filled me to a lifetime capacity of the atrocities,) I've got to admit, Picoult, skillfully brought that dark period of time to life in a way I'd never read before. Admittedly interminable at times, her tale flew by due to the empathy she illicits by drawing such complex, fallible, intelligent characters. The examination of forgiveness was quite fascinating as well. Her dialogue just gets better and better with each novel. Not sure how she manages to elicit a chuckle in the same paragraph that grips your gut.
Since Picoult is such a studious researcher, with each book I learn so much and am of course amply entertained by her excellent dose of low self-esteem female, estranged to men, finding love with the policeman, detective, lawyer or loner. Love the way she weaves in a well crafted mystery, amidst the squabbling siblings and small town eccentrics.
It's interesting to me that another favorite author, Alice Hoffman, also just re-examined the Jewish culture she shed in her youth in a very fine, albeit somber re-telling of the Masada massacre in 70 CE. (hmm…. in The Storyteller the main character, Sage, finds on the bedstead in the apartment of the ex-Nazi "an Alice Hoffman novel.")
Why, in reexamining ones religious roots, would one goes to horrendous genocides instead of looking at the religion itself? Remember, I'm a Jew as well, but still don't see the point of going over and over how we over-came being victims in the past. Where are the novels examining what the Israeli Jews are doing to the Palestinians, and why?
OK, done being a kvetch. Do read The Story Teller because it is indeed an excellent listen and damn fine historical novel as well. (And then answer my question, please?)