Julie Orringer's astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family's struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it.
Paris 1937. Andras Lvi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Svign. As he falls into a complicated relationship with the letters recipient, he becomes privy to a secret history that will alter the course of his own life.
Meanwhile, as his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena and their younger brother leaves school for the stage, Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. At the end of Andrass second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war.
From the small Hungarian town of Konyr to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andrass room on the rue des coles to the deep and enduring connection he discovers on the rue de Svign, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a love tested by disaster, of brothers whose bonds cannot be broken, of a family shattered and remade in history's darkest hour, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.
Expertly crafted, magnificently written, emotionally haunting, and impossible to put down, The Invisible Bridge resoundingly confirms Julie Orringer's place as one of todays most vital and commanding young literary talents.
©2010 Julie Orringer (P)2010 Random House
"To bring an entire lost world....to vivid life between the covers of a novel is an accomplishment; to invest that world, and everyone who inhabits it, with a soul, as Julie Orringer does in The Invisible Bridge, takes something more like genius." (Michael Chabon)
“Profound love, familial bonds and the deepest of human loyalties play out against the backdrop of unimaginable cruelty. . . . A stunning first novel.” (Los Angeles Times)
“One of the best books of the year.” (Junot Diaz)
I loved the descriptive language of this book. The streets of Paris and Budapest came alive. I loved the strong relationships of the family members which is so characteristic of European culture with multiple generations involved intimately with one another. The reader of this book was excellent ! Lots of expression in his voice - perfect emphasis and pronunciation- a real talent for speaking !
I have a new understanding of the unimaginable suffering the survivors and victims went through in WW2. I felt a serious connection to all of the characters. I loved this story!
I think for anyone it is really hard to understand or imagine what it must've been like to try and live through World War II, especially as a European Jew. I thought the breadth of her story gave a very good perspective and told a story that we need to repeatedly hear. It is impossible for me to wrap my mind around what happened during World War II. I feel the same after finishing this book, but it reminds me to always remember that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it's mistakes.
The author took time to build the story, to let us appreciate each central character, and then to unfold a brutal history of war time without ever losing the sense of telling a human story that had human compassion even in desolate dark times.
Arthur Morey told the story beautifully.
I really like this book, and the narrator did a pretty good job overall, but I was appalled at how he butchered the pronunciation of the French and Hebrew terms (I'm in no position to judge his pronunciation of the Hungarian terms). Is it really so hard to find a reader who is knowledgeable about these other languages? or at least, willing to learn how to pronounce a few words? For the record "charoset" is not "chair-row-set"! Ugh.
My name is Ted and my wife is Sandy. I am a school teacher in Montana. I teach math and History. I live on 40 acres south of Great Falls.
Yes I a a history teacher and the book gives an account of the horrible times of Hungary during WWII for the Jews.
Yes but it kept me running for a month.
I would like some other accounts of people in Eastern Europe or Europe in general during WWII that were not Jews. Most of the books I read are great but are written by Jews. I like their prospective and know it was a horrible time for them but I would like other views of the history.
This book builds the characters so that when WWII comes about you are going through their struggles with them. I was a little disappointed with the ending but the reader did a good job bringing out the personalities of the characters. It is sad and depressing and a difficult subject to read but the author did an amazing job.
I can't honestly comment on the story because i gave up listening to it - twice.
Please get involved in the production of your work in audio form. I have to believe that if the author had listened to even the first chapter this book it would not have been allowed to continue with all the mispronounced language.
I purchased it over a year ago and set it aside when i could no longer tolerate listening to the narrator butcher the Hungarian and French language which play a huge part in the book. I have just recently attempted to listen again and as before I was so distracted by the constantly mispronounced language that it interfered with my enjoying the story.
Mr. Morey should have done his homework! Just like actors who train with voice coaches or language instructors for certain roles this should be a vital part of preparing to read a piece like this.
In having said this i also fault the publisher and author for allowing the publication of this audio book with such badly pronounced language. The least thing the publisher could do at this point is to re-record this work because I think author, narrator and publisher dropped the ball on releasing this audio book in this state.
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
Boring. I recognize good writing, but this story lacked something. I could not bring myself to care about the characters. When I wasn't listening I did not reflect upon the story or characters. I had five hours left to complete this novel and I could not finish it.
Disappointing because others had rated this novel so highly. I would not recommend this book nor will I listen to future books by Julie Orringer.
This was too dark and not redemptive enough. I suffered through it but wish I had just given up. The readers were fine but the story laborious and painful.
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