In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren’t so lucky. Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father. Edward understands that some things cannot be fixed, though memories of his domineering father still inflict pain. Then comes a frantic phone call: Luke has been gravely injured in a car accident with Edward’s younger sister, Cara. Suddenly everything changes: Edward must return home to face the father he walked out on at age eighteen. He and Cara have to decide their father’s fate together. Though there’s no easy answer, questions abound: What secrets have Edward and his sister kept from each other? What hidden motives inform their need to let their father die . . . or to try to keep him alive? What would Luke himself want? How can any family member make such a decision in the face of guilt, pain, or both? And most importantly, to what extent have they all forgotten what a wolf never forgets: that each member of a pack needs the others, and that sometimes survival means sacrifice?
©2012 Jodi Picoult (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
This book really had me after an initial, 'what the heck it this'? It had me sitting in the driveway more often than I should. The narrator is terrific, but the story is riveting.
Whenever a character was 'speaking' they were my favorite. I think that means Jodi Picoult was my favorite. Each character was developed in a way that when they were featured, I loved them and understood their position.
I think the narrator did a fine job. When I would rejoin after it had been off (which means when I got back in the car) I knew exactly where I was, but,she did not exaggerate the voices so much that it was annoying. I'm from Massachusetts and I hate it when narrators who think the know how we sound try to sound like a native, and then have no idea how to say quahog or pronounce the names of our towns.
There are so many levels that this will appeal to folks. Listen, or read it. I purchased the book from Amazon so my friends who don't listen can read it. It is well worth the time.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
Despite what many of the reviews and much of the marketing says, I don't see Jodi Picoult as Chic Lit. I see her as straightforward Lit. The gap between her and Barbara Kingsolver seems to me to be more one of style than intent. What they both have in common is the ability to get me inside the heads of multiple characters and see the choices that they face in a different light and empathise with them, even if I don't like them.
"Lone Wolf" is structured around two Big Topic: what it means to be in a wolf pack, living in the moment and always to putting the pack first and the ethics of dealing with someone in a persistent vegetative state.
The exploration of these topics was cleverly, and often dramatically, woven into the story, without leaving me feeling that I was being force-fed a lot of research and driven to a particular point of view.
The accuracy of Jodi Picoult's depiction of wolves has been challenged. I think this misses the point. This is a work of fiction that explores the life of Luke, a man who is better able to relate to wolves than to his own family. All the descriptions of wolves are given by Luke, who may or may not be a reliable narrator. How he describes wolf behaviour is important for what it tells me about t Luke, not for its merits as a popular-science manual on wolves.
Picoult uses the Big Topics as vehicles to help us understand what it means to be part of a family led by Luke, the charismatic "Lone Wolf" of the title, who is beloved by strangers, but who will always place his wolves ahead of his family.
We see the impact of Luke on his family from the point of view of Cara, the daughter passionately devoted to her father but guilty about her role in the events that put him in a coma, Edward, the son who walked away from his family because he could not live with who his father had become, Georgie, the ex-wife who finally decided that she could not live with always coming second to Luke's wolves and, indirectly through extracts from Luke's autobiography, describing how he became "the man who lives with wolves".
By using multiple first person accounts, some of which pre-date the main events and some of which recall previous events, Jodi Picoult makes clear that there is no single truth about who a person is or how a family works; that the past can be re-written and the future can be changed but that we remain, always, ourselves.
The message I took from this books was that, unlike a wolf pack, where roles and rules are strongly enforced to place the security of the pack above the welfare of the individual, a human family is a series of choices and willingly made commitments that shape the individuals who live in them. The love between the family members is the strongest force determining the growth that the family enables and the damage that it inflicts.
Jodi Picoult's writing and her decision to have each chapter from a specific character's point of view, already made the voices of the characters very distinct. Recorded Books' decision to cast different actors for each character makes the book stronger and much easier to listen to.
My only quibble with the book is in the, short, last scene, which I don't think fits the rest of the story.
I recommend this book as more than an entertaining read or tear-jerking chic lit. Read it as the literature it is and see whether you think it measures up.
Loved the story, but hated the concurrent wolf story. About half way through the book, I fast forwarded past the wolf parts as it gave no added meaning to the story. Or if it did, I didn't get it.
So enjoy the read, but skip the wolves.
MBaggins of Blue Star Mage.com
totally outrageous! meaningful on so many levels.
The research must have been enourmous, I wish I had written it!
no not in this lifetime
The story had some potential, but the author wanted a politically correct ending.. The strong emotions of both sides of the issues were not fully developed.. In addition, the brother who hated the father got his revenge and the little sister was bullied throughout the story and disregarded her position.. In essence it made little sense due to the fact that the exploration of the character's positions were unrealistic.
the narrators were okay
I would not cut, I would have rewrote for continuity of the story line.
What a waste of good story line
The book had many lessons to be learned. So if it were to be used with students, then it's a great book. But if you're looking for entertainment, then this would not be the book. Throughout the entire time, I felt like I was waiting for it to get good. And it never did. There was no true climax in my opinion. There was just lessons after lessons. I also was tired of hearing about the metaphorical wolves. This book was in my library for some time before I decided to give it a listen, so I didn't remember what the book was actually about and had no idea they would actually be talking about wolves in so much depth. I thought the title was strictly a metaphor. So for me, listening to Lone Wolf was a waste of time.
This was my first book by Jodi Picoult, so now I see what type of stories she write and most likely will not purchase anymore of her books.
Edward was my favorite character.
All of the narrators did an excellent job. Although, I found the story line to be boring, the narrators kept me interested enough to not stop the listen abruptly.
Compelling, sad, heat wrenching
I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan and this is probably my favorite so far.
maybe will decide when I finish
only heard part
only heard part
only heard part so far good
I must say, I didn't like the last book (Sing You Home) and started this one with some trepidation. No worries; JP is back as before. Her plots always have so many thoughtful elements -- very gestalt -- and with that one exception have always been a satisfying story. I have to say that I really didn't have much interest in wolves before listening to this book, but now they fascinate me. The way that JP wove wolf packs, families, misfits, reconciliation, alienation and end of life issues was truly wonderful. Enjoy!
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