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The Lovely Bones | [Alice Sebold]

The Lovely Bones

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone.
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Publisher's Summary

More than 2 million copies sold by Picador, more than 8 million around the world - now a film by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, Heavenly Creatures)

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer.

This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet . . . The Lovely Bones is a luminous and astonishing novel about life and death, forgiveness and vengeance, memory and forgetting - but, above all, about finding light in the darkest of places.

"A stunning achievement." (The New Yorker)
"A novel that is painfully fine and accomplished." (Los Angeles Times)

©2002 Alice Sebold; (P)2002 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"Spare, beautiful and brutal prose . . . The Lovely Bones is compulsive enough to read in a single sitting, brilliantly intelligent, elegantly constructed and ultimately intriguing." (The Times

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (47 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
3.7 (22 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Story
3.8 (20 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 10-09-14
    Lia Sutton, Australia 10-09-14 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2325
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    544
    479
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    335
    24
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpected"

    Resisted this book for a long time, didn't want to read about a child being murdered. That said, I was surprisingly relieved that the story really does not focus on the actual event as much as it does about a family's struggle to survive and heal in the aftermath and the girl, though deceased, is very much present in a spiritual way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol melbourne, VIC, Australia 02-05-10
    Carol melbourne, VIC, Australia 02-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Way too long"

    the story was enjoyable for the first three quarters of the book, but the last third just went on and on and on. 15 minutes describing the wet washing on the line or the organization of a vegetable patch. could have been 2 hours shorter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adelise seven hills, Australia 03-22-14
    adelise seven hills, Australia 03-22-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    Good start but then trailed off. Such a shame. The reader was good but she could not save the story from its disappointing conclusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    e Bushland Beach, Australia 09-03-13
    e Bushland Beach, Australia 09-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    0
    1
    Overall
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    Story
    "Fabulous Narration"

    The narrator was absolutely brilliant, I will be looking for other books that she narrates, her intonations, the ability to clearly define the character voices made this an effortless, highly enjoyable listen. The fastest I have listened to a book yet!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chandon Paris, France 11-28-12
    Chandon Paris, France 11-28-12 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself! I am a French woman and live in Paris. I love to read - I read almost EVERYTHING! I like also to speak English

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    34
    22
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    Story
    "a roller coaster ride ....."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Lovely Bones to be better than the print version?

    When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven and tells us about her short life story on earth. How life was for her before being abruptly murdered. She looks down to us from this peaceful place called “Heaven” and carries readers through a journey that will end her life on earth. Susie Salmon was raped and murdered by her neighborhood, Mr. Harvey who is a sexual predator /killer serial.
    The event is viewed and told from a dead girl’s perspective, which makes this book unique and unusual.
    The crime description is not unbearable. Susie bears a smart outlook on what has happened to her on earth. Readers are carried through the event at the same as Susie as she does the following days, months and years. Besides, Susie tells the story with a great sense of humor so we are not crying as we are experiencing how though is for her family to deal with her death.
    This story is not just about the grief of those left behind, but also about Susie’s coming to terms with her loss of life. Navigating through this book has been a roller-coaster ride. I truly recommend it for those of you who are looking for a funny, gloomy and great book to read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen oslo, Norway 11-05-10
    Carmen oslo, Norway 11-05-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    82
    6
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    Overall
    "Boring"

    What a drag of a book!
    I regreted buying it pretty soon but I decided to give it a go anyway... I can't say that I recommend it... to put it that way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rasha Toronto, Canada 04-09-10
    Rasha Toronto, Canada 04-09-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    29
    2
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    Overall
    "Good, but..."

    The Lovely Bones is a nice, painful story. The last few chapters just dragged on. I don't think heaven was done justice in the description. I found it a bit too much having heaven depicted as a boring place and the souls of the dead feel bored there! Besides, what was the reason for the final chapters if it didn't lead to anything related to the murder?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charmaine Alberton, South Africa 02-22-10
    Charmaine Alberton, South Africa 02-22-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    108
    3
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    Overall
    "Could not put down"

    A refreshing look at a crime novel.Ienjoyed every second of it. Excellent value for money

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
Sort by:
  • robert
    12/31/09
    Overall
    "Lovely book!"

    I loved this book! Convincingly and sensitively read, the story haunted me for three days. I had to ration my listening - the temptation to complete the story in one session was very strong indeed. Never having \"read\" the book previously, I found the storyline startlingly emotive: charged with a childlike intensity yet delivered with a calm detachment which I found at once inspiring and unnerving. This is a story which requires very little suspension of one's disbelief. Though I found some of the final sections a little \"romantic\", I cannot, in all honesty, rate this super book at fewer than 5 stars.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    4/4/10
    Overall
    "An unusual and moving book"

    I first heard of this book when the recent film-version was discussed on the BBC's Front Row arts programme. The view was that the book was better and having now listened to the audio version I can see why: it's a book full of thoughts and feelings that would be difficult to depict visually. I find it hard to believe that a film could do justice to the complexity of the narrative and get over all the nuances of the writing. It's a well-written book that suits being narrated and the narrator of this version is excellent. My first impression, that this is a book aimed at teenage girls, was wrong: it has something to say to all ages as it encompasses first love, long-lasting love, marriage, loss of a loved one, the desire for revenge and the complex dynamic of family life when tragedy strikes. As it deals with rape and murder the story is harrowing at times but it is also a deeply moving and thought-provoking book that will remain in my mind for sometime.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    1/26/10
    Overall
    "Unique, poignant and imaginative"

    I enjoyed this book greatly, with one minor exception. The writing is emotive and poetically descriptive and the story is a touching portrayal of how a family may suffer the consequences of the loss of a loved one to a particularly brutal murder, narrated through the eyes of the victim.

    The only place I felt it let itself down a bit was during an incident towards the closing chapters, involving a seconday character, Ruth. Without wanting to give anything away, I felt the introduction of the Incident allowerd for so much more with respect to closure and hapiness for the long-suffering family. Instead the author slumps to a bit of a selfish cliche with only a failed after-thought to helping the family.

    The book closes nicely and I understand why it has been so well received and adapted for Hollywood. My gripe is a minor one in the context of an excellent, well-narrated book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    London
    1/22/10
    Overall
    "I'm hooked...."

    One of the best audiobooks I've listened to in a long time...and i've listened to hundreds. A haunting yet beautiful story superbly narrated...

    I'm a couple of hours left to go and savouring every second.

    If you're reading this don't even hesitate to download.

    C

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Susanna
    11/26/11
    Overall
    "Worth reading"

    Interesting reading, a bit distressing at times and with some beautiful moments. Not my favourite audibook but worth reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • mike
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    3/31/11
    Overall
    "The Lovely Bones"

    A beautiful story, well told and narrated. I enjoyed the film, but the book is even better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • POS
    County Cork, Ireland
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Great Read. You will enjoy it very much."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Lovely Bones to be better than the print version?

    I enjoyed reading the book as well as listening to the audio edition at the same time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lovely Bones?

    When Suzie enters Ruth's body.


    What does Alyssa Bresnahan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    She made the story come alive.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I don't do emotional reactions.


    Any additional comments?

    Nope.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • kayleigh
    WIGTON, United Kingdom
    8/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Lovely Bones"
    Would you listen to The Lovely Bones again? Why?

    I would definitely listen to this book again, there will be no chance of me removing it from my library. It was a touching, entertaining and exciting book. If you have seen the film...the book is better!


    Did Alyssa Bresnahan do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    I think the woman reading had a relatively mono tonal voice which was a little off putting, she seemed to lack energy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Germany
    6/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting topic and idea but"

    I found it a bit boring after a while. Some Reviews say that is the reader but I just think the author didn't make enough from the idea. But it describes the Things that Might Happen to a family After One Child is killed. It Could have been a very moving Book, but I couldn't get warm with the Persons, because on the One Hand the Girl describes that she has emotions but the Text doesn't bring them to me, means It is written without feelings, Might be that is what the author wanted but it made it liveless to me. Or the Reader is the One killing the emotions? I am Not sure.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Lisbellaw, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Not memorable"

    One of those books I am keen to finish but will not abandon as I have invested time in them. Perhaps this is the predictable perspective of a man who mostly listens to thrillers, and not the target demographic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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