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.
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