In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place where she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets.
With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief: her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor, and they begin the difficult process of healing.
This story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching narrative about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.
©2002 Alice Sebold; (P)2007 Hachette Audio
"A stunning achievement." (The New Yorker)
"A keenly observed portrait of familial love...a deeply affecting meditation on the ways in which terrible pain...can be redeemed." (The New York Times)
"A personal and artistic triumph." (Time)
I've just been listening to this book and I'm completely underwhelmed by the author's reading. It's a monotonous and single voice reading of a book I was very much looking forward to. I don't know who told Alice Sebold that she was a good reader - she isn't. I'll be hard pressed to buy another book that is read by the author. An experienced reader could have done ten times the justice to the story that she's doing.
Say something about yourself!
This is an excellent story though the author should not have been the narrator. As we all know, narrators bring the entertainment value to the books, but this author explained in the beginning she likes reading her books a loud before she publishes so apparently feels she is qualified to narrate to the masses. I have to say though that the story is excellent, the entertainment value was hurt by her desire to not pay a good narrator.
I am another who felt a good narrator would have added a great deal to my enjoyment. A good narrator can add so much just as a poor one can take away. This one suffered from that fate.
The unspeakable act at the heart of this story is not forgotten by the heroine/protagonist, but she does not dwell on it, either. It happened; she moved on. Is there forgiveness from beyond the grave? Despite the fact that The Lovely Bones is a parent's worst nightmare, Alice Siebold tells the story in a way that makes you confront the fear behind the nightmare, and find the peace beyond the fear. You have here an excellent author reading her own work delicately and forcefully, and injecting the story with a context that another narrator may not have captured.
Once I got past the painful first chapter, the rest of the story was just okay although it is hard to evaluate the story due to the fact that Ms. Sebold is one of the worst narrators I have ever heard. Her affect is flat and I think it would have been much more engrossing if just about ANYONE else had read it. Very disappointing.
This is my second time with this book, though the first time I think was a different reader, I enjoyed it thoroughly in every way.
I appreciated the neutral reading by the author though many here seem to have disliked it. After I listed to The Lovely Bones I heard Stephen King's Under the Dome wherein the reader literally performed the entire book, with exaggerated accents and interpretations that weren't necessarily in the writing.
Having experienced the two extremes side-by-side, I much prefer Siebold's low-key approach.
Fabulous descriptive writing but the monotone of the author took so much away from the usual amazing audible experience.
I found this to be a very good story. It was an emotional story and would have been much better, had it been read by someone who that put emotion into the reading. I felt like I was listening to my old Social teacher. I wish I had chosen to read this story instead of listening to it.
This is not a story for the faint of heart. But if you like tearjerkers, you'll love this suspenseful story of coping with tragedy and learning to let go. I took away two stars in my rating because the narration is a little bit of macabre. I don't believe the dead people can watch over the living, and I don't believe in Alice Sebold's two-tiered approach to heaven. But this author deserves high marks for creativity, and for drawing her readers into the lives and afterlives of her characters.
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