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
I just figured out something. This book desperately needed to be edited. I made it to the second download and felt I did not know much more than I knew by Chapter 3. I was wondering why the author keep repeating the same information over and over. I am ready to start Chapter 7 and still don't know why the main character has a scar and further more I no longer care. Then it hit me...a book that has 2 to 3 downloads costs a bunch more than one where the entire book requires only one download. I think this encourages repetitive, long, drawn out stories that could have easily been edited into a concise and more enjoyable experience. After a while it just becomes blah, blah, blah.
Also, if I had known it was a story involving reference to the holocaust I would not have purchased it in the first place. I do remember and appreciate that horrid event in human history, but to me it is a cheap way to give a story meaning. I have read a number of books where the holocaust is the central theme like Schlindler's List and The Pianist and for me they are stories that help you see and remember. But, The Storyteller uses the holocaust to get the character where she needs to go. So my review is based on half the story because I cannot make it to the end. This is only my opinion and I note that many people really liked this book as you can see by the other reviews.
A Jodi Picoult novel, narrated by Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, Suzanne Toren, and Fred Berman. The Storyteller is just over 18 hours of listening in the audiobook format.
There are near 10,000 reviews, you need not go far for a synopsis of plot.
No issues with narration, it’s fine.
These comments are directed to the overall impression of mixing a diabolical historical event still an open sore to survivors/descendants, and a mythical SciFi character. The Storyteller very typically Picoult, well written, a page turning mystery with considerable research, a vivid imagination, or a combination of both.
The story within the story is a part of the book I didn’t particularly like - it was extraneous to the heart of the tale - one of the darkest eras of humanity, the holocaust. That segment of the story devoted to modern day Nazi hunting and the memories of Minka through a ghetto, box cars, multiple concentration camps, multiple losses of family and friends, Nazi visceral brutality and genocide, etc., is a gripping tale. These segments are interrupted with another story however, the fictional tale of a vampire - Minka’s writings and link to sanity during her ordeal.
The overall story had me completely lost, initially, until I figured out that the vampire story was Minka’s writings. I had trouble grasping this; it was so bizarre and unrelated to the holocaust. Even Picoult’s effort to weave the vampire tale into a Nazi siblings relationship at the end of the book is a bit silly.
I’m torn with liking/recommending this book. I guess if you like the work of Picoult, you’ll like the book. The Storyteller isn’t the best holocaust book, nor is it the best vampire book - but it is a Picoult novel. Not her best, though.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
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. :)
SET REVIEWS TO BE SORTED BY 'MOST RECENT' INSTEAD OF 'MOST HELPFUL'!
Possibly. As much as it was engaging throughout, some questions were answered much too late or not at all, and the major plot twist was too similar to that of another (more expertly told) quietly suspenseful work: Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper.
Don't wait so long to tell Minka's story. Don't repeat over 20 times the lines "My father trusted me with the details of his death" and "But in the end, I was too late" and then fail to deliver on a definitive father/death scene. Don't wait so long to tell why the young female narrator has a disfigured face and a guilty conscience...and then, when you do tell it, do try to give sufficient detail so that both those facts somehow make sense and remain vivid in the mind of the reader!
No, I dont think I have heard any of these multiple narrators before, although all were good. I particularly enjoyed Leo and Minka.
Possibly, if only to explain the unlikely way in which the essentially decent young female narrator, Sage, would rationalize her decision to continue to hide the truth about her onetime friend, Josef, from her new (and presumably lasting) romantic partner at the end of this book.
I have read and listened to many books about the Holocaust...this one includes so many different facets...the granddaughter of a woman who survived the camps, the holocaust survivor herself, and one of the camp officials and his background. Listened to this obsessively to see how it ended; also, it gave some insight on how Germans were recruited to participate in "the final solution." Chilling, gripping.
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.
This was one of the best books I've read and my first Jodi Picoult. I haven't read her work as I have heard they are sad. While a story involving the Holocost is not a happy one, this story is one of courage, life and luck. It was very well worth reading and not a true tear jerker.
Jodi Picoult IS indeed THE Storyteller of our time. All her books grab you at the start, envelope you in intriguing plots and then trash the rest of your life until the inevitable ending, which you put off by reading the last chapter, very, very slowly.
Being a lapsed Jew myself, who has assiduously avoided all things Holocaust (as my Sunday and Hebrew schools filled me to a lifetime capacity of the atrocities,) I've got to admit, Picoult, skillfully brought that dark period of time to life in a way I'd never read before. Admittedly interminable at times, her tale flew by due to the empathy she illicits by drawing such complex, fallible, intelligent characters. The examination of forgiveness was quite fascinating as well. Her dialogue just gets better and better with each novel. Not sure how she manages to elicit a chuckle in the same paragraph that grips your gut.
Since Picoult is such a studious researcher, with each book I learn so much and am of course amply entertained by her excellent dose of low self-esteem female, estranged to men, finding love with the policeman, detective, lawyer or loner. Love the way she weaves in a well crafted mystery, amidst the squabbling siblings and small town eccentrics.
It's interesting to me that another favorite author, Alice Hoffman, also just re-examined the Jewish culture she shed in her youth in a very fine, albeit somber re-telling of the Masada massacre in 70 CE. (hmm…. in The Storyteller the main character, Sage, finds on the bedstead in the apartment of the ex-Nazi "an Alice Hoffman novel.")
Why, in reexamining ones religious roots, would one goes to horrendous genocides instead of looking at the religion itself? Remember, I'm a Jew as well, but still don't see the point of going over and over how we over-came being victims in the past. Where are the novels examining what the Israeli Jews are doing to the Palestinians, and why?
OK, done being a kvetch. Do read The Story Teller because it is indeed an excellent listen and damn fine historical novel as well. (And then answer my question, please?)
It lost me a bit in the middle, but otherwise this is yet another fine example of JP's talent for writing a great story with satisfying twists and turns. Recommended.
When the grandmother says to young Sage, "but look what is left of me" - very courageous brave old woman.
Leo and Sage, the playful bantor between these 2 -
The story telling by the grandmother became long and drawn out. After listening to the horror this woman went through, maybe I just didn't want to believe this could have possibly happened and the brutality continued and continued, but it did. Was it that it was long and drawn out, or did I want it to stop? enough - but it did continue, as did the suffering in reality.
"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.
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.
"Great story pity about the ending"
I enjoyed this story up until the last chapter. Felt the strong story line could have done with a more dramatic ending.
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