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A Tale for the Time Being Audiobook

A Tale for the Time Being

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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant, unforgettable, and long-awaited novel from best-selling author Ruth Ozeki

"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."

In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki's signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and listener, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

©2013 Ruth Ozeki (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1344 )
5 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.2 (1207 )
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4.5 (1212 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D.P. 02-12-16
    D.P. 02-12-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
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    Story
    "True to Modern Japan"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, well-written and well-read. I lived in Tokyo for 13 years and the descriptions and insight into the city and culture were spot-on perfect. To the reviewer who commented on the graphic nature of the bullying described - THIS HAPPENS. Bullying is a horrific part of an otherwise safe culture. It was not overstated or dishonest.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale for the Time Being?

    The magical aspect of the story was unexpected and at first left me questioning the choice of the book. But it is reality subtle and the ending solidly brings it all together


    What does Ruth Ozeki bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Welll read and truthful.


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

    Everything about Tokyo was so exactly described, I couldn't believe how accurate it was.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Norman Fort Collins, CO United States 02-06-16
    Judy Norman Fort Collins, CO United States 02-06-16 Member Since 2014
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    10
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    "Great book"

    So many interesting twists and turns. Kept my attention from the very beginning. I loved how it switched back and forth between time periods.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin 01-19-16
    Erin 01-19-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    Story
    "A joy to listen to"

    I will keep this short and sweet as I'm typing on my phone but I LOVED this book. It had a complex story line that was layered, as you read you peeled off layer by layer until you felt extremely close to the characters. Her story was captivating, I loved the voice, I laughed, I cried. It was just an awesome listening experience. The summary of the book doesn't do it justice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    7
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    Story
    "Wow"

    I really loved this book. talk about feeling connected. I laughe, I cried...I hoped. I was so invested in the characters who were beautifully described.
    this is now one of my favorite books. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 12-29-15
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 12-29-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intensely disliked it"
    What would have made A Tale for the Time Being better?

    I wish the author had enriched her description of the characters and their situation and not thrown in so many unlikely plot elements. The character of Ruth, whom I presume to be somewhat autobiographical, was unlikeable- I did not care if she never wrote again and I wanted her husband to divorce her. The titular nun did not seem very profound to me. Very serious topics were piled on and addressed only glancingly; e.g., rape, prostitution, suicide, depression, Alzheimers.


    Has A Tale for the Time Being turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not sure what the genre is.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Opening chapters and set-up were quite good. I was looking forward to elaboration of the "Time Being". The double entendre left for a lot of rich possibilities, which were not fully developed, in my opinion.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Tale for the Time Being?

    Way too much going on. What was the point of the injured cat? The rape scene was unbearable.


    Any additional comments?

    I started to lose interest in the end and may have tuned out when the explanation was offered, but I never learned the answer to the fundamental question of how the Hello Kitty box ended up in the water.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    agnes rye, NY, United States 12-07-15
    agnes rye, NY, United States 12-07-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "First Step"
    What made the experience of listening to A Tale for the Time Being the most enjoyable?

    The Author narrated this book with authentic nuances of language, emotion, shaken confidence and love.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I flinched with each identification I had to each flawed and beautiful character and yearned for the healing company of the Great Grandmother.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Scene to me is more the setting of the events. The author puts you in a place that gives physicality to landscapes in your mind. The descriptions of place, detailed by the author through all senses, gave me a visceral feeling. The duality of beauty/danger in the Pacific Northwest, and of Nao in Tokyo.


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

    This book touched me in many ways. I was angry, frustrated, jealous and curious. I laughed and cried. I want the print version so that I can experience the book in a different way. I want to share it with people I love. I want others to experience it.


    Any additional comments?

    The Author taught me something, or reminded me of something that was already in my heart. Either way, listening to this book has become the first step of that journey of learning and remembering. Thank you, Ruth Ozeki, for the First Step.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luv 2 shop Key West, FLA 11-26-15
    Luv 2 shop Key West, FLA 11-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    Story
    "Funny, but amazing story as well."

    Probably the best book I have read. I would recommend this to simply anyone. It contains history, humor, and a sad teenage story line. A bit of everything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 10-09-15
    Patricia 10-09-15 Member Since 2009
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    26
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    "wonderful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes would recommend it ,thoughtful ,funny .


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale for the Time Being?

    the characters are beautifully drawn, unique interested plots and twists and turns


    Which character – as performed by Ruth Ozeki – was your favorite?

    the teen girl and grandmother


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

    touching


    Any additional comments?

    nice mix of philosophy, intrigue, and plot

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ana Manwaring Wine Country 09-09-15
    Ana Manwaring Wine Country 09-09-15 Member Since 2016

    Ana

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my top 5 books of life!"

    I'm a time being and this book was written for me. The story, the despair, the hope. Even Pesto tugged at my heartstrings. I cried a lot throughout this book. Bring a box of tissues to your reading chair, or your car as I did. I listened to the author read A Tale for the Time Being, hence the car, and she was brilliant as a reader. I want to read/listen to everything Ruth Ozeki has written. Thank you for a moving and thoughtful read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Herbster Ann Arbor, MI 08-24-15
    Pamela Herbster Ann Arbor, MI 08-24-15 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Wonderful to hear it reads by the author!"

    A story to get your brain thinking and the author's reading helps with the emphasis

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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