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Songs of the Humpback Whale | [Jodi Picoult]

Songs of the Humpback Whale

Songs of the Humpback Whale is a powerful and sensitive novel of family life that questions how songs are passed down from male speaker to male speaker, but also examines the female tradition of listening that women unconsciously pass on to their daughters. Five rich narrative voices interweave to tell this story of love, loss, and self-discovery.
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Publisher's Summary

Songs of the Humpback Whale is a powerful and sensitive novel of family life that questions how songs are passed down from male speaker to male speaker, but also examines the female tradition of listening that women unconsciously pass on to their daughters. Five rich narrative voices interweave to tell this story of love, loss, and self-discovery.

©1992 Jodi Picoult; (P)2009 Recorded Books LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.0 (19 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
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 (3)
Overall
2.5 (12 )
5 star
 (1)
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 (4)
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 (3)
Story
3.8 (12 )
5 star
 (4)
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 (4)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
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 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Stephanie Sydney, NSW, Australia 05-11-10
    Stephanie Sydney, NSW, Australia 05-11-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    8
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    1
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    Overall
    "Worth a listen"

    Loved it, couldn't stop listening.
    The story is told well, all the narrators are good (the one who reads Rebecca sounds like she is reading but she playing a teenager so it sort of works)
    If you like Picoult other books you should like this one. Was very happy that there wasn't a court case or a sick kid in this one, nice change.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yuliya Novosibirsk, Russia 10-26-13
    Yuliya Novosibirsk, Russia 10-26-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    9
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a very good book"

    I like this author, but this book is not a good one. Story about letters and driving looked very unreal and borring. I would say the whole book looked unreal and borring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 08-10-13
    Dorothy Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 08-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    19
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Confusing"

    I really liked this story, and I wish I could give it a higher rating. I'm glad that it's not the first book I listened to by this author. But the main reason I didn't rate it higher is that it's very confusing trying to follow the story because it is written in reverse sequence of events. Maybe my old high school English teacher would be able to give reasons why an author would do that, but I'm not in school any more and I just want to listen to a good story.
    In the first few chapters I almost gave up on this book. All of a sudden the characters were talking about the death of someone who had not even been previously introduced into the story. I turned off my player to check the track, thinking that perhaps I had jumped a chapter or downloaded incorrectly, but no, so I struggled to keep going. After a while I caught on. I think that the character's death would have made more of an impact if the story had been told in the correct order so that he died at the end; as it was, I knew what was coming all along and so the ending felt spoiled.
    Once I figured out the weird system of telling the story, I was able to follow along so it got easier, sort of like learning to count backward. So overall, it was a great story, just told in a strange way. If you like Picoult's novels, go for it and stick with it. If you're not already a fan, I'd give it a pass and try another one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miranda Christnach, Luxembourg 05-22-11
    Miranda Christnach, Luxembourg 05-22-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "Good read"

    I have read a few Picoult (audio)books and quite liked the story of this one. How she draws parallels between humans and whales, how she describes a passion that takes over and threatens to ruin a family. I like the road movie part of Jane and Rebecca travelling cross country to escape. The only little doubt came when Jane is in love with Sam after only a few days.
    I like her eye for detail on whales, apples etc
    The story is well read and well written. It pulls you along until the end. A good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindy Gembrook, Australia 03-25-11
    Lindy Gembrook, Australia 03-25-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    5
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Confused but satisfied"

    This is the first book by Jodi Picoult that I have read so I don't know if it is just her style of writing or if it is just this book but, I found it quite confusing at times. I really enjoyed the story and the narration was great (even the teenage girl who sounded like she was reading was ok by me) but, I found that a chapter would start and it would take me 5 mins to work out who the character talking is.It turns out to be that she has jumped forward in time to a character we have not been introduced to yet in a place that the main characters are going to but have not arrived at yet. It is so confusing but, when you get to the end of the book, all is revealed and everything falls into place. Anyway, I did enjoy it and it was a bit rounchy at times. I don't think I will read another one of her books though

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • Louise
    Frankfurt am MainGermany
    9/5/09
    Overall
    "Dull"

    I normally love Jodie's books, but I thought this book was simply dull and basically had no story line. I would say she is my favorite author so I was a little miffed that I wasted a credit on this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    GLASGOW, United Kingdom
    7/17/09
    Overall
    "Great, but a downer"

    I have listened to all of Picoult's books and you really need to be made of strong stuff, not to be pulled into the emotional tornadoes she produces. The use of different voices added greatly to this recording; as each character explains the fateful cross country trip and meeting at the orchard.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Hortenzia
    LuxembourgLuxembourg
    4/16/11
    Overall
    "Early work"

    I like Jodi Picoult and have read most of her novels, but this is not one of the best, it's not even her usual standard. It's her first novel, in fact, and her fans (conquered by later novels) can tell the difference.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

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