All He Ever Wanted Audiobook | Anita Shreve | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
All He Ever Wanted | [Anita Shreve]

All He Ever Wanted

A man escaping from a hotel fire glimpses a woman standing beneath a tree. He approaches her and sets in motion a series of events that will change his life forever. Years later, traveling from New England to Florida by train, he reflects on his obsession with this unknown and ultimately unknowable woman, his courtship of her, his marriage to her, and the unforgivable act that ripped their family apart.
Regular Price:$19.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Etna Bliss has just moved to the New England town where her uncle teaches college when her life is transformed in a single stroke. She is dining in a hotel downtown when a fire forces her to escape to the snowy streets outside. Amid the smoke and chaos of that night she is glimpsed, standing under a streetlight, by a man who was dining in the same room - a man who is so overwhelmed by the sight of her that he rebuilds his life around a single goal: to marry Etna Bliss.

That man is Nicholas Van Tassel, and All He Ever Wanted is his account of how two lives changed from that tumultuous night forward. A proud and orderly man, Van Tassel is ill equipped to deal with the ferocity of love. But he is determined to have Etna, no matter what the cost. Riding a train south many years later, he unwinds the memories of the drama that followed and struggles to understand the mystery his life became on that night.

This is no ordinary tale of obsession. All He Ever Wanted is a story about different kinds of love, different ideas of what love is, and how lives can be strained to breaking over those differences. It is a powerful exploration of the music and silences of family life, the unhinging forces of desire, the wrenching power of secrets unrevealed, and the bewildering territories of betrayal and loss.

©2003 Anita Shreve; (P)2003 Time Warner AudioBooks. A division of the AOL Time Warner Book Group.

What the Critics Say

"Shreve is a master at depicting passion's ferocious grip...there's something addictive about her literary tales of lust and love." (USA Today)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (63 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.0 (10 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.1 (10 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Peggie Lansing, KS, United States 07-23-03
    Peggie Lansing, KS, United States 07-23-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    112
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Highly Recommended"

    Nicholas gets all he ever wanted but perhaps learns that sometimes what we want will not make us happy. A poignant but certainly not sappy love story. I really enjoyed this romantic story. The author's use of the English language,drawing images with words, adds a quality to this book far beyond many books written today.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Twyla Menomonie, WI, United States 07-15-03
    Twyla Menomonie, WI, United States 07-15-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Classic Shreve"

    This is a classic Shreve book. Everything is written in reverse and really doesn't make sense until the end. But it was enjoyable, if not realistic. Can anybody be that obsessed?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 11-19-11
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 11-19-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    518
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    469
    252
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    53
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Done With Shreve"

    I barely tolerated this book and almost didn't finish it (a rarity for me). I have not been enthralled with Anita Shreve but I keep trying. I think this book has covinced me to not bother further.

    The story takes place in the late 1800's into the 1930's. The author criss crosses back and forth which makes it confusing and adds nothing to the importance of each traverse across time (he is writing the story on a train and gets interrupted so you hear about how the train was derailed...). There are numerous small details that prove of no value to the plot but only slow the story down further (the personal life of a minor character -- a friend -- from whom he borrows a car, no less how he hates to drive but does it anyway).

    The narration is done well but the main character is such a "prig" it gets tedious listening to him.

    If you like Shreve, go ahead. If you don't like Shreve, or have never read her, don't bother with tis one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne H NYC 02-15-07
    Suzanne H NYC 02-15-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    192
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A great listen"

    Anita Shreve is a favorite author of mine and this audiobook was not a disappointment. It took me a little while to get used to the reader, but as his character developed I realized he was absolutely perfect for the part. Throughout the book the characterization was flawless and the people and events were very realistic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meri Hayos San Rafael, CA United States 01-09-05
    Meri Hayos San Rafael, CA United States 01-09-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Why bother?"

    The only thing that kept me listening to this book was the narrator - he does a fine job. Other than that, the book is boring and nothing much happens. It's ok as a period piece, but doesn't dive deep enough into the minds of the characters to make it interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Sterling, MA, USA 07-19-06
    Melanie Sterling, MA, USA 07-19-06 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Good but...."

    It is a period piece that took me a bit to "get into". I did enjoy this, but I got really annoyed with the number of times the the word "said" was used.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Los Gatos, CA, USA 12-23-05
    Lisa Los Gatos, CA, USA 12-23-05 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    320
    4
    Overall
    "Intriguing"

    I liked this novel. At first it was slow and I found myself not paying attention. Then it picks up all of the sudden and I couldn’t stop listening. This is a story that happens in life more often than not – unfortunately. I liked being able to see it from both perspectives, it was well done. I had to go back and re-listen to pick up what I missed. I recommend it, but keep pushing through the beginning!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Las Vegas, NV, United States 01-21-05
    Susan Las Vegas, NV, United States 01-21-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Rather Disappointing"

    This book doesn't really have any characters that you can root for. The main character is weak and self-indulging, what we would now call a "weenie". It's his pathetic story, and just not a very interesting one. He's the kind of guy you just want to slap.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole Fullerton, CA, USA 02-18-04
    Carole Fullerton, CA, USA 02-18-04 Member Since 2003
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    Overall
    "All He Ever Wanted"

    A bit slow at times but a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.