And so the National Story Project was born. Just over a year old, it's one of NPR's most popular features. The response has been so overwhelming, with more than 4,000 stories submitted so far, that Auster decided to cull the top works and make them available in a book, and now this audio. His selections, hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies, come from people of all ages and walks of life.
This one-of-a-kind collection is a testament to the power of storytelling that offers a glimpse into the American soul. By turns poignant, nostalgic, funny, and strange, it is an audiobook to be treasured and shared for years to come.
©2001 Paul Auster; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Improbable, hilarious, miraculous: these stories are the stuff of life." (AudioFile)
"A moving collection of stories that realizes the audio format's best possibilities." (Publishers Weekly)
"A powerful book, one in which strangers share with you their darkest secrets, their happiest memories, their fears, their regrets. To read these essays is to look into hearts, to see life from other viewpoints, to live vicariously." (The Boston Globe)
The title and the synopsis wold lead you to believe that it is a catalog of heart-warming stories. There are some but you will have to suffer through many other boring and difficult stories to get the rare story that is worth listening to. I would not recommend it.
This audio book is full of stories. They range in length from very short (1-2 minutes) to short (maybe 10 minutes). The problem is they almost always felt fragmented to me, I found myself wanting to keep going deeper into the story, but that would be it, and then we were off to the next one.The first couple of times this was tolerable but after about an hour it became absolutely maddening, to the point that I couldn't stand to listen to the second part of the book. If you are the type that is interested in the rest of the story... move on!
Paul Auster reads this book with all the right emotional accents, even though the work is a compilation of concise, true stories solicited from people from around the country. There are a lot of stories about mom and dad and growing up in ages gone by. Plenty of humor, sorrow, sadness and just plain interesting histories of ordinary people. With the diversity of content, I feel sure at least one story will resonate within everyone. Don't miss the chance to connect with people on a unique level. And I hope, above all, there is a volume two. Mr. Auster was born to read.
You could not make this stuff up. You absolutely could not sit down and dream up these lives and fortunes (and misfortunes). If you're on the fence about God and miracles and your own raison d'etre, well, this collection will make you a believer in SOMETHING, if only the power of memory and the extraordinary mysteries of every life. Be brave. Dig in.
I have always admired Paul Auster and his literary projects.
Paul Auster's compassion of simple slices of other's life stories
He speaks poignantly throughout all of the stories capturing the minds and hearts of humankind. I love him!
I have been following Paul Auster's career and my two children have been readng his books for nearly two decades now.
I thought I was getting a nice collection of stories, some funny, some sad. Instead I got hours of boredom. The section on Love was absolutely the worst. I kept listening all the way to the end, hoping to find something redeeming, and while there were two or three midly entertaining bits, I felt like I was listening to one very loong episode of Dr. Phil. Nothing challenging, everyone in the stories is either good, or forgiven for their minor transgressions, and everyone learns something life affirming from their experiences. I take back the Dr. Phil comment, it was more like a extended Brady Bunch reunion.
An enjoyable and enlightening aspect of reading is being able to 'view' others' lives and worlds. That is what makes this book so fascinating. You get to see other places, other people - in various times. Some stories are very touching, some funny, a few amazing, and some just enjoyable. It is a relaxing listening and worth the time. My favorite story being "I Thought My Father Was God," as the title. Enjoyable.
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