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A Tale for the Time Being Audiobook

A Tale for the Time Being

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.
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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 (1088 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.2 (975 )
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Story
4.4 (977 )
5 star
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4 star
 (212)
3 star
 (81)
2 star
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1 star
 (20)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Diann L Rice 07-31-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disjointed"

    I had a hard time following the story and I could have done without some of the science and esoteric philosophy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 06-30-15
    Jennifer 06-30-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to finish"

    It started out alright then completely floundered in the third section. Questions like, 'Where is she going with this?' Flashed through my mind.

    I CAN appreciate how well she paints the characters in Japan. She really created that side of the story very well. It's Ruth's side of the story that I didn't care for at all.
    There were moments that were very philosophical that I really enjoyed but they were like the last minute sparks from a dying sparkler.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Kressin 05-21-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Confusing"

    The overall concept is confusing and a little depressing. The story is not what I expected from the summary. However the audio performance was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    endoduo 05-19-15
    endoduo 05-19-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Cultural And Time Bridge"

    I was slowly pulled into this tale, and journey through time . I resisted at first, but found I had a lot to learn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. D. White 05-08-15
    C. D. White 05-08-15

    Just Looking

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "I LOVED IT. My wife ... well, didn't."

    This is an engrossing tale for those who are patient, who embrace ambiguity in art and life, and who know some mysteries are just that ... Mysteries.

    But, if you like to read the end of a book first (as my favorite person does), don't do it. Just take the ride and see where this story takes you.

    (Not a book for young teens.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eugene 05-04-15
    Eugene 05-04-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Full of surprises"

    The initial straight mystery tale dissloves into a space time origami where stunning realism coexists with clear-eyed questioning of sanity, memory, and even existence. Cool!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Fields Merida, Mexico 05-04-15
    Ellen Fields Merida, Mexico 05-04-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    Beautifully read by the author. A fascinating story with lots of bye resting details... Well worth the time spent listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin Shields BEND, OR, United States 04-25-15
    Kristin Shields BEND, OR, United States 04-25-15

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    6
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    Perfect narration (beautifully done by the author) and great story! I would highly recommend this book. I've read or listened to it three times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Florence P Poupore 04-21-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating exploration of minds"

    I was enthralled with the mystery and points of view in "A Tale for the Time Being". Listening to the author read the story added awhile other dimension that was quite enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea S. Lee 04-17-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Twists and turns, but no awesome hooks"

    This story entwines three time periods (all modern) to tell the stories of an older middle aged (guessing at age), young man (19-20) and a teenage girl (16). Their stories interlock when a mysterious ziplock baggy arrives on the shore where the middle aged woman is beach combing, telling the story of the girl and her great uncle through various letters and diaries. Lots of interesting Japanese cultural references and some historical (WWII) info here. The character of the girl is very keen, interesting and pretty engaging. I just disn't get hooked. The older woman even less so, and the Uncle even less than that, a true pivotal secondary character. The story is well read and the reader's voice and Japanese are easy to listen to. Overall 3.8 story 3.5 performance 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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