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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry | [Gabrielle Zevin]

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.
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Publisher's Summary

The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go.

One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her. A search for Maya’s mother, A. J.’s rare book, and good childcare advice ensues, but it doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the transformation of both bookstore and owner, something of particular interest to the lovely yet eccentric Knightley Press sales rep, Amelia Loman, who makes the arduous journey to Alice Island thrice each year to pitch her books to the cranky owner.

©2014 Gabrielle Zevin. Recorded by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc. (P)2014 (p) 2014 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty, and her affection for the book business is obvious." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (370 )
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4.1 (331 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sandra L. Jacob US 07-14-14
    Sandra L. Jacob US 07-14-14 Member Since 2008

    Sleo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charming."

    A wry, charming story about a bookstore and much much more. And for once, Scott Brick didn't ruin it even though his narration didn't add anything. With another narrator it might've earned 5 stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skia Laurence Chelmsford, MA United States 07-05-14
    Skia Laurence Chelmsford, MA United States 07-05-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    Story
    "Sweet Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Probably not, but I might leave it at a beach house or on a boat for someone to find. There's nothing deep about this book, but it's heartwarming and pleasant. Just right when your in the mood to lounge. It's a book about second chances.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca J. Leamon Ellsworth, ME United States 07-04-14
    Rebecca J. Leamon Ellsworth, ME United States 07-04-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought-provoking and enjoyable"

    I enjoyed this novel despite the reader: Scott Brick's delivery and voice personified the "bad" AJ Fikry, the pedantic and patronizing, lonely and isolated man who appears in the start of the book. It's a novel about growth, and it's a novel about reading as well, and eventually I could ignore Brick's voice and fall into the depths of the story itself. It's a little fluffy, but it raises great ideas about human relationships, reading, the role of books, and, finally, the role of our brains in this amazing world we've (at least partially) created. Zevin has a line that captures what I've thought about often. . . . I don't have the exact text since I listened to this book as opposed to reading it, but when AJ goes to see his doctor, he marvels about having to use his brain to understand what is happening to his brain. I remember that same sense of wonder when I was taking AP Bio and learning neuroscience (BABY neuroscience, but still!).

    This is a delicate and enjoyable book. I wish I had a list of all the short stories AJ recommends: perhaps I'll stop into the library and copy them down!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dina LAKE ZURICH, IL, United States 06-21-14
    Dina LAKE ZURICH, IL, United States 06-21-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Just Missed the Mark"

    The reviews of this book were so stellar, I thought I couldn't help but enjoy it. And, the beginning started out really strong with the premise of the widowed bookshop owner and the unexpected things that get him back to living. The book references just didn't save the plot as it started to unravel about halfway through the novel. From then on, there were hints dropped that just never went anywhere. I had this great idea about the ending, but the real ending was just downright depressing. A good first effort by Gabrielle Zevin, but needed a seasoned editor to tighten/add depth to the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 06-01-14
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 06-01-14 Member Since 2012

    i like to read. i like to listen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "didn't quite deliver. becomes a bit pretentious."

    i kind of wanted to love this book and i really just kind of liked it.

    it definitely is a book for people who love books. it's kind of snobbish in the way it refers to and discusses books. i love books, and honestly, some of the conversations about books became a little too much. i mean, i get it -- e books are evil, physical books are god.

    the story was a sweet one. sometimes strange, i really enjoyed the beginning, but it went to a place i didn't expect and i'm not sure it was in a good way...but, whatever. overall, i think it was a bit melodramatic for my tastes.

    it was OK. some of the commentary on books was funny/true. but it wasn't the best thing i've read. too much big buzz for a story that didn't quite deliver

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Stern 05-31-14
    R. Stern 05-31-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BETTER THAN GOLDFINCH!!"
    What did you love best about The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry?

    I loved the delivery by Scott Brick. It enhanced the story but the author is a brilliant writer and I can't wait until she writes another book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Perhaps, the author, Gabrielle Zevin, will write a follow-up story about MAYA, the adopted child as she grows up to blossom into a lovely young woman! Maya was a great character and I want to know more about her!


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    A.J. Fikry…the main character's voice was the best!


    Who was the most memorable character of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and why?

    A.J. Fikry. I love quirky and someone who finally warms up and melted my heart!


    Any additional comments?

    I am so happy I found this book by accident on the Amazon author page. I loved how Amelia was described as "Big Bird!" Who hasn't known a person like her. I'm so happy she found a partner. It gives people hope!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 05-22-14
    Susan Bartonville, TX 05-22-14 Member Since 2012

    Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.  

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    "Going to buy the book"

    Could not go on after 1/2 way. Liked the story but the narrator was ruining it for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin new york, new york, United States 07-26-14
    Robin new york, new york, United States 07-26-14 Member Since 2010

    Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "4 1/2 stars"

    This book was a standout read/listen. Narration excellent. My only issue was that the story transitioned rather abruptly from scene to scene. Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 07-23-14
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 07-23-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A reluncant Book Seller and a Baby"

    I keep wondering if this book appealed to as others the way it did to me. Well plotted, well characterized, very interesting story about people who just end up --right--there--in--the--middle-- of it. A reluctant book seller and a baby -- and a bit of a mystery, drawing in a cop who starts a successful bookclub. What more could you ask for?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    patti 06-29-14
    patti 06-29-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A new Favorite to share w/ my children"
    What did you love best about The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry?

    I will cherish this story for the rest of my life! So glad to know others love to read like this!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    AJ for continuing to show up & his wonderful notes/ list of stories!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When he first goes to Rhode Island


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Entire book


    Any additional comments?

    Charming book I will never forget-may try to read everything mentioned in it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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