Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?
©2013 Jodi Picoult (P)2013 Recorded Books
The Storyteller is an emotional family story that is so well written. Jodi Picoult does such an amazing job describing the characters and really makes you connect with them. A couple good twists and turns as well! The narration is some of the best I've heard in an audio book so far. The great narration helps even further to mold the great story.
Like a dancing bear, the key issue concerning "The Storyteller" isn't how well it's done, but that fact that it's done at all.
The fact that a book like this, with so much excellent and accurate information about not just the Shoah, but also about the people involved and the culture in Europe at the time, is simply amazing. The fact that an awesome number of readers not only read or listened to it, but reported liking or even loving it, is even more amazing. It's reaffirming, in some simple way. In a world where way too many people, on too many continents, are openly saying they wished Hitler had succeeded, it's good to know that opinion isn't shared by everyone.
I'm also astonished at the amount of research Ms. Picoult -- or her research assistants -- did. Although the main story line -- the writing of the story about the vampire or golem -- is fictional, virtually all of the stories that comprise Minka's experiences before and after her incarceration in the camps are factual and written about by actual survivors. In order to come up with all these little stories, someone did a whale of a lot of reading to find them all. That's impressive.
Also unusual is the fact that several times, Ms. Picoult manages to make the very clear distinction between Jewish "forgiveness" and that of the Christians. That was brave -- and much appreciated, at least by this Jew. This is a theme that almost never appears as a plot point -- at least not favorably -- in contemporary fiction, and it blew me away, how well she did it. Kol hakavod!
... which made it disappointing, I have to admit, that when Leo decides to take Sage to a shul in a subtle attempt to reconnect her to her roots, that he took her to a reform synagogue. That was a major false note and very disappointing. What that meant was that as Sage sat there, contemplating that her grandmother in her youth had said these same prayers, attended these same services, that simply wasn't true. Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat services at an orthodox shul would have been 100% familiar to her grandmother -- orthodox services haven't changed -- but in a reform organization, an awful lot would be different to Minka I'd guess that she would have been shocked. What a bummer! Since Ms. Picoult goes go far to be accurate in her Shoah history, why fall apart over that issue?
Even so, I greatly enjoyed the book. I'm delighted that it's out there, that a lot of people who would never think of picking up and reading a book on the Holocaust can get so much accurate history from a contemporary and compelling novel like this.
Unfortunately, I can't tell which of the narrators read the part of Leo, but he was absolutely excellent. Great voice, and perfect timing for Leo's many funny lines. Whichever of them it was, he was great.
On the whole? Great book. Very well done.
Hearing Minka's story blew me away. I wanted to listen to her for hours.
Many things can be taken away from this book and so not to spool it for any one, I will only review on the main thing I gained from this story. Many have forgotten the true horror and brutality of the Holocaust, thank you Jodi Picoult for painting a real and touching reminder in respect to the Jews who survived and those that did not... May God have mercy and never allow humans to repeat this kind of hate and ignorance again.....
Loves to shop
It was dark, but an amazing story.
The weaving of two stories within one.
No, but it was wonderful.
The atrocities committed against Jews as described in this story.
It is quite intense and took me a while to listen as I could only deal with small portions at a time.
Simply her best novel to date. I recommend it to everyone. My only negative is the number of readers -- it was not always obvious which character was 'speaking'.
A story within a story
YES! I kept waiting for what happened next
I have never listened to this performer but plan to again
Yes...but it took 2 instead
This is an amazing listen. I love this book and author!
Not my type.
I would not have chosen this book. I read it almost accidentally. I purchased the wrong title but read it anyway (without reading the reviews or the story line). I listened with shock, enjoyment and anticipation the whole way through. I have since recommended this book to my bookclub and to anyone else who reads. I have no regrets reading this book - and had a hard time putting it down.
Yes, because I couldn't stop listening to it. The story really hooks you and pulls you in.
Altogether, the plot of the book is a little predictable. I guessed a lot of what was going to happen next because the foreshadowing used in the story is really obvious. The flow of the story was good though. I liked the direction of it. I will probably listen to this story again down the road.
"A real page turner"
Enjoyed this book but wasn't too impressed/satisfied with ending.
Gripping in many places but couldn;t really connect with character Sage.
"Ambitiously promises a lot which it can’t quite de"
This is a moving account of the holocaust with excruciating attention to the horror- the subject matter is dealt with better then might be expected. However, I was desperate for the book to do more that it managed to achieve- it promises in its subplots and undertones to explore the monstrous nature of humanity and unpack the complexity of forgiveness and death. However, these themes never seem to quite get out of the box. I failed to understand the ending and the decisions made by the central characters left me back tracking through the story to see whether it was my mistake to find it baffling. This book promises much that it can’t quite deliver, tackling an incredibly difficult subject it falls short of its own very high ambitions and, a victim of its own ambition, left me a little bewildered and disappointed.
"A Page Turner"
Whilst its definately a page turner that will have you listening way into the night its not my favourite Picoult book because I failed to relate to the main characters. I found Sage quite whiney but then she was in a difficult position.
You think you know it all but you will be led up different paths before finally it all becomes clear. Well worth listening to but somewhat different to what we have come to expect from Jodi Picoult. The subject matter is difficult and an horrendous period in time which she deals with very well.
The ending had to be a difficult one but I felt it to be the best we could expect.
I loved listening to this book as the narrators really bought it to life, totally first class reading.
"Moving, but predictable"
The writing and narration were beautiful. Minka's retelling of her experiences of the Holocaust was heartbreaking and moving. Much of the rest was entirely predictable and cliched.
Being a great fan of Jodi Picoult, again, this book is excellent if somewhat terrifying, and like all others I have read by her, extremely well researched.
However, I found the voice of Leo (Fred Berman) hugely distracting and irritating because of the sharp intake of breath before each sentence. The other narrators were good.
"Simply The Best Book I have read!"
From the beginning it hooks you. The characters are fascinating and I honestly felt I was missing them when I had to stop listening to the book inbetween opportunities to listen. I don't want it to end. Harrowing at times, addictive yes, beautiful throughout. Thank you JP!
fantastic! was hooked immediately, really got drawn into this book. made me think about things in a different way.
"Great listening. Fantastic storytelling!"
This was great. I had never read any of this author but it's made me want to read more.
Jodi as always draws and holds you throughout
With a gripping story which descriptions that paint perfect picture in your mind
"Major flaw in the plot"
Probably not, and this is a first with a Picoult book. The premise the book was based on was flawed. At no point did Sage ask "Why can't you kill yourself? Why do I have to bear the guilt/responsibility?" If he wanted to die, due to the guilt of his actions, why would she facilitate his death, enabling him to continue to spread his evil to another person?
I did learn things about the holocaust and it was well written and flowed well. However I just couldn't accept the key premise of the storyline.
First Picoult book I've read which made me feel it was written to meet a deadline, not because there was a story waiting to be told.
Report Inappropriate Content