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
NO ONE can tell a story like Jodi Picoult. The narration is unbelievable. Perfectly fits the image she wants to portray I imagine. I do not know how a person can read when the narrators bring a story to life. I was a little nervous about this one...not being a fan of history or period pieces but as I said....Jodi just brings it to life.
Sage is a young woman who befriends an elderly man in her grief support group, and he asks her to kill him as a kind of twisted form of justice for his previous crimes 60+ years before when he was an SS officer..........but that's not really what the book is about. Too bad, because that would have made a more interesting book about justice, forgiveness, sacrifice, self-loathing, and self-doubt.
Instead we get a retrospective story about how Sage's grandmother lived and survived though World War II and internment in Nazi concentration camps, in great part because of her unfinished and ongoing story that she'd written.....the story had captivated an SS officer who helped her survive Auschwitz because he kept wanting to know what happened next in her story. That forms the biggest chunk of the book, and it's mixed with that telling of the story that she (the grandmother) wrote - which bears an unfortunate resemblance to a teen vampire love story. 'I killed for him, isn't that a sign that we were meant to be together?' -- Ugh!
There's a definite undertone of Christian mythology in the book, in spite of the fact that Sage is an atheist and her grandmother was a Jew who survived the holocaust: Mary, Joseph, Adam, and Eve (well, it's actually Eva), all appear and bread is a central thread as the staff of life and livelihood, and the manifestation of the baker's emotions. Overall, I thought it was rather heavy handed in it's symbolism and language.
Addicted to Audible!
I have been a big fan of Jodi Picoult, despite the fact that in the past few years she seems to be sacrificing quality for quantity. In this book she has gotten her groove back on a horrific subject and handles it with amazing realism! The holocaust story was very well constructed and at some points literally had me in tears. The writing was Jodi at her best! The rest of the book was a disappointment. Perhaps she needed a more honest editor. First of all there were too many unnecessary storylines which just distracted from the important story. Second, her allegorical story/fable was unnecessary and did nothing for the book. Third, it seemed that she borrowed from, The Reader, in that a prisoner survives because of a story/reading. I also think the names she gave her characters are a bit silly-sisters named Sage, Saffron & Pepper - are you kidding me? The readers were all great except for the voice of Misha, I found her intonation annoying.
All in all, I enjoyed listening to this book and I would still recommend it even with the negatives that I have described.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
How many novels, nonfiction accounts, documentaries and movies have I watched about the Holocaust? My mother even worked at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. I figure I've had my fill of understanding that hideous time in history and yet...I was compelled, once again, to listen to the grotesque details, to ponder the evil and fortitude of human beings and to wonder what I would have done if I'd been alive then.
And then when the heroes show up to rescue the prisoners, I felt that wonderful elation I always do, to be on the side of the good guys who sent Hitler and his minions running for their lives.
Evocative writing with fresh details and intimate performances all the way around. Learned new things and even had to look up Schutzhaftlagerführer in Wikipedia.
I would recommend this book. The narration was done by very talented individuals.
The ending was surprising and not expected. So many details of the story kept you hanging on.
Some authors try to capture an audience many adjectives and numerous descriptions that leave little for imagination; this often bores me. This author secured my attention with critical details and a provoking story. If you like to think while you listen and reflect consistently, this is the book for you.
Mila, Her voice was so genuine. It never sounded as if she was reading text but revealing accounts as if they just happened. If was captured by her tone, pauses and her pitch. I have listened to this book twice and I'm about to start the third time.
I have about 400 books in my audible library, and this ranks among the best!
All of it.
There are several narrators for all of the roles, and all were great.
I have read all of Jodi Picoult's books, and they are all great but this one is the best.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
Perhaps if this is your first book about the Holocaust, this might be the right book for you. For me, I've read too much about it and am so bothered by it that I nearly had to stop listening. I was expecting a different kind of book and with a different angle. Not so. There's an added dimension with the brothers but it all comes down to the same evil. I simply can't bear it. I wish I'd never listened to it.
I have LOVED most of Picoult's books (Nineteen Minutes, Sister's Keeper, Salem Falls are favorites) but Lone Wolf was a disappointment and I hoped it wasn't the dreaded Big Author Slide, but alas it appears to be the case.
Normally, it's fun to have all of the seemingly unrelated facets and characters of a story merge together but this was so disjointed and all over the place (that vampire/werewolf attempt was bizarre) that I found myself suddenly thinking Wait....Whaaat.?
The book seems a bit thrown together, the only part that seemed to be well researched and well written was the Holocaust portion with the remainder of the book as fluff and filler. Bummer.
I have read other Jodi Picoult books and have enjoyed them a lot, but I loved this one. My favorite part by far was the Grandmother's Story. So powerful. I thought Picoult did a masterful job of pulling so many personalities together in a complicated yet totally believable way. My heart was in this story from the beginning. I am not at all sure I liked or agreed with the way it ended, but it has given me a lot to think about, and that is one of the marks of a good book.
The narrators were wonderful! Especially the grandmother. :)
The Storyteller is a very precise, accurate title for this book as it intricately weaves several stories into one that brings you to this ahhhhhhh haaaaa moment at the end (that I particularly did not see coming).
I was absolutely heart broken to read the stories of the Holocaust victims and survivors and while you know this is a story of fiction, you also know in your heart that certain facts are true and there must have been people who had experiences such as this one. You learn about this event in school, but not to the detail that Jodi describes.
I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult and I immensely enjoy how she weaves serious religious issues into each of her books with such care and thought as to provoke you into other ways to think about a particular subject.
Forgiveness was the main issue that I took from this book. While the Lord's prayer states "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", this book asks you to take into question the two words 'against us" at the end of that phrase and that maybe we don't have to necessarily "forgive" people who sin against humanity, but that that phrase is moreso asking us to forgive those who sin against us to keep the bitterness out of our heart. I thought this was particularly interesting because I had not ever thought of it quite like that. Personally, I still like the thought of forgiving everyone as it's not our place to judge, it's Gods.
Sage was not my favorite character. I found her to be quite weak, annoying, oh poor pitiful me, etc and unfortunately she never really redeemed herself. That would be my only qualm with this read.
Not read the print version
Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors and this one does not disappoint
Different voices for each character help to follow the story
Yes. This is a very gritty story which is painful to listen to at times. It is sobering to think that it is set in world war 2 but similar atrocities are happening today
Jodi Picoult at her best
Riveting story of people involved in different ways around the holocaust. I could not put it down.
"don't judge a book by its cover"
near the very top
the different narrators, because this enabled you to understand where the book changed pace, direction and enabled me to keep up with what was going on.
this is the first book with any of these narators
very connected to the book, I cried, sobbed, got angry, yelled, and swooned.
The way it was written was very clever, despite the subject matter, I didn't feel sick at any of the gruesomes elements.
I was going to return this book originally as I thought it was a girly beach book. I am so glad I didn't. The write up for the book was completely misleading, I thought it was going to be shallow and pointless, I was stagger by content of the book, it was full to bursting point.
This now ranks as one of the best books I have ever had the joy to read. the holocaust part was emotional, raw and I hope factual. totally captivating in every way and I felt lost once I finished it.
fabulous book as all of jodi picoult novels are.
great story, moving and addictive.
historically factual with rich characters, the story had me from the first chapter
"Holocaust, morals and ethics"
This is my second Jodi Piccoult book. I am drawn into them by the way she looks at all the characters and plays devils advocate when you do not expect it.
Great narration for Minka and her story, I liked the character Sage as she was not flawless and very believable. For such a harrowing book, I did laugh out loud at the mess up of the funeral song, you will understand when you listen!
This was my first Jodi Picoult novel and I've immediately downloaded another. The story was gripping, I didn't want to put it down.
"A must read...."
Excellent believable thoughtful
The grandmothers story of the german camps.....I had no idea!
I like the way each person became alive
Don,t listen to it at night.....you won,t sleep......too much for one sitting
My fav bit was the song for her mothers funeral.......sort of thing that would happen to me
"Heartbreaking and Wonderful in Equal Parts"
I love Jodi Picoult and this is the first of her books I have listened to (altho I also have the paperback). The narration is excellent and added to the depth of the story for me, I guessed at the twist early in the tale, but it doesnt spoil the ending, in fact I thought it made the revelations even more poignant. Another winner from Jodi.
"The lives I have known"
Hell and back
Three stories in one. The story Sage is living, her grandmother experience in Nazi Germany and the story Sage grandmother has written.
Sage. Sage is having an internal struggle with herself. On one hand she is living with the guilt of her mothers death and the scars on her face. On the other hand can she forgive Josephs his crimes against the Jews during the war. Is it her place to forgive. Can she forgive herself for living while her mother died.
When, as a young girl, Sage grandmother witnessed the cold blooded murder of her friend and the subsequent beating, leaving her battered and broken.
I loved this story. I will no doubt listen to it again and again
"Brutal, Harrowing, Heartfelt"
A story that will make you wretch, cry, reflect, smile and stay with you.
The Storyteller begins in present day when a complex young woman Sage, meets an old German man Josef at grief group - it's not the most gripping start but stick with it - what follows are chapters told from different characters POV flashing between present day and the period of the Second World War.
The characters Sage, Leo, Josef, Minka and Anya each build the story layer by layer with tales of horrendous brutality, contemplations of good and evil and questions about humanity.
Josef's chapters left me feeling sick and at times I thought I would have to turn off as the descriptive passages were so brutal - and yet I kept listening because I knew these details were gleaned from the truth of our living history.
Minka's chapter's were equally harrowing and took up the largest part of the book, although I was happy to hear her story, which was so full of tragedy, unfairness, hardship, family and in a weird kind of way luck too.
Whilst I have watched films and read non-fiction accounts of the brutality the Jewish people faced during the rise of Hitlers Army there is something about the first person narrator in this book that transports you right there, so the horror's are tangible.
Each time I paused this book I found myself thinking about it constantly and whilst I know my mind will eventually drift back to the little problems in my life it has actually made me appreciate how lucky I am to live in a society where I am free, valid and equal. I feel like telling anyone who has little knowledge of the brutality of the concentration camps to read this book, just so they understand the suffering.
I have read several of Jody Picoult's books, my favourite up until know being 'Change of Heart' but the 'Storyteller' has snatched the top spot - a truly powerful and moving novel.
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