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
Avid listener on my daily commute!
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 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.
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.
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.
Loved this book. The characters are done so well I felt like I knew them. Lots of history steeped into this as well. I thought I had it figured out towards the end but got thrown a surprise. I wont spoil it for you. Great Listen worth the credit!
Audible Fan, Amazon Customer, Gardener, Quilter, Liberal and Activist. I'll read about anything!
I've read or listened to Jodi Picoult's books since her first novel was published. Sadly the past several have not been up to the first ones. "The Storyteller" is a big jump back to good writing.
Because I've listened to many of her stories I'm quite used to the variety of narrators and, as usual, I think this system of narrating greatly adds to the story.
Not a 5 star, but a good solid 4 star listen I highly recommend.
This book has everything! It's an engaging story with many interesting characters. I was really hooked on it from start to finish. It also brings up many weighty issues around the subject of forgiveness. Listeners should be warned that parts of it can be troubling and very moving because they deal with the Holocaust. It's good for us to think about such things, but may not be the best book to listen to in public places.
The narration was equally wonderful. The book itself was written from the point of view of several characters and the author would switch between them from time to time. The audiobook has a different voice for each character, which made it easier to keep track of who was "talking". I especially liked the fact that they used one voice for Minka herself and a different voice for the story Minka wrote (which is included in pieces throughout the book). Each of the narrators had a nice voice and read beautifully.
I have listened to a lot of Audible books and this is one of the very best. I wish I could give it 6 stars.
The book was so well written , and the narrators were the best I have ever heard . They are spot on with accents , and emotion . Will listen to again in the future it was that good !
"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.
I'm not one to leave reviews generally, but i thought that i would for this book as i was enthralled from the moment i started listening to it. Wonderfully narrated with raw emotion and the way it has been told really let you feel that you wre there in the moment. Harrowing at times, but extrenely well done and with great sensitivity.
Definitely, this was a haunting tale that stayed with me all day, I wanted to saver the listening absorbing the story along the way.
It was beautifully structured and the characters were believable with scenes which you felt part of in the way they were described and read.
"LOVED THIS BOOK"
Definitely. I loved the story, but the 4 narrators just brought it to life. Enjoyed every minute.
I loved them all, but particularly liked Sage, as she blossomed, and Leo's portrayal was very good.
Can't choose - they were all very good.
Not outloud, but it made a big impression.
Having read Jodi Picoult before and finding her books increasingly similar I had been reluctant to read this book. After several recommendations from friends and indeed from Twitter I decided to give this book a chance. It's a great book - it's so moving and really makes you think about life. It made me think about the holocaust in a way that I hadn't before. Now I'm very keen to read more Jodi Picoult's book - hope she doesn't let me down. The different narrators work well and enliven the story.
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