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 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.
Having read a boat-load of murder mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels, I am always pleased when an author surprises me with an ending that I had not anticipated. The topic of this book is an extremely sensitive one and it was a tad too long...chapters could have been removed without distroying the message. But I still very much enjoyed it . I particularly enjoyed Sage's breadmaking description. Delightful. The narrator is excellent...not too over-the-top!
I'm a big Picoult fan, but this book represents a significant departure from her usual character-driven, "moral dilemma" tale.
The book is well-written and reasonably well-narrated (I didn't care for the female reader's attempt at male dialogue, but it wasn't terrible), but I found the story to be lacking in Picoult's usual intensity.
The moral dilemma, while present, isn't a driving force. Much time is spent on a fantasy story told by one of the characters. The protagonist strikes me as too weak, unrealistically lacking in confidence.
On the bright side, the fictionalized retelling of one character's experience with Nazi occupation in WWII is excellent. Picoult covers not just the death camps, but also the long constriction of freedoms that led up to that extreme. Definitely my favorite aspect of that book.
That said, I listened to most of the story while on a long road trip. I'm now just 30 minutes from the end, and I can't say that I feel terribly compelled to finish. Nope, not even to hear the resolution of the moral dilemma. The history part is over and I've lost interest.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
This book had all the right elements for a great read: it was a good story that had many levels, the writing was good, there were lessons about history, as well as philosophical or ethical questions to ponder.
I loved the way there were 3 different stories going on at once. First there is the story of Sage and her struggle with how to interact with Joseph Weber and her meeting Leo. Then there is Minka’s story of the Upior, based on an old Polish fairy tale. This was interesting as a parallel and a metaphor for many of the actions and horrors that occurred in the book. The third and, to me, the most dramatic story was that of Minka herself and her path into and finally out of two different German concentration camps. The author very skillfully weaves these 3 story lines together in such a way that each story line adds to and helps to develop the other.
Spoiler alert here: I had trouble putting the book down! If I have any criticism, it’s with the ending. I’m not sure that the big switch in the character of Joseph Weber at the end was necessary or very well explained. Also, the idea that Sage pulls off her final act but seems to have no intention of sharing it or talking about it with Leo seems unrealistic. OR perhaps I’m unconvinced that she really could or would pull off this final decision. I feel like this final section was, perhaps, rushed or underdeveloped in relation to all that had come before. However, this didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book overall.
I highly recommend it.
I only cared to listen to this once. Depressing holocaust story with the expected cruelty and evil. Even the baker grand-daughter's story that is entwined with her grandmother's death bed story is lonely and sad.
I read Picoult's website, carefully examining her reason for why she wrote this story, but I don't get it. If she thinks she has added to the body of knowledge of the Holocaust, she is sadly mistaken.
This story has a novel twist in it, but only one. It brings nothing new to the table regarding the Holocaust survivors. In fact, I just finished reading a few months ago the memoirs of women survivors in A Train in Winter before starting the Storyteller. In so many ways Storyteller repeats the exact same story. Picoult brings no new ways of understanding personal dynamics in the camps, no new ways of understanding survivors or their offspring. I'm to going to accuse her plagiarism, but scene for scene in the march out of the camp to the next camp, I could have been in the other book. Yes, I realize she used a lot of research but she should have read the body of literature out there already to be original.
I read A Train in Winter for book club; Storyteller for my own entertainment because I liked My Sister's Keeper. Picoult's Storyteller is one dimensional. For a nuanced look at suffering in WWII and a book which brings a new perspective to the table, try The Book Thief, or go see the movie.
I am a big fan of Jodi Picoult, though I don't like all of her books. I think Storyteller is her best book ever. It is not what I expected but that is a good thing. It starts off slow but that information is needed to build the story. Stay with it and you will not be disappointed.
the narrators succeed in bringing each character to life
the entire section devoted to her grandmothers story was captivating. I became completely lost in the tale and when it returned to the current day portion of the story I had honestly forgotten all about the original premise for the book.
Jodi Picoult continues to create classic reads that will endure. highly recommended.
A 10 out of 10. This is a great story and the characters were interweaved with great precision. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Minka was my favorite character. When listening to her tell her story, I sometimes forgot I was listening to an audio book and I found myself feeling like her story was told from the experiences of a real person.
I haven't listened to the narrators' other performances, but I thought they were all excellent in their rendition of the characters.
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.
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.
"another great read from Jodi Picoult"
This book was so interesting and also very sad. The events so horrific to read at times, but these events in history must be told. Away from the doom and gloom, love blossoms, also a surprise ending.
"Excellent, but maybe not ideal holiday reading..."
This was a really good story, up to Ms Picoult's usual standard. The unfurling plot made it gripping listening, and she always manages to inject some unexpected twists throughout.
I enjoyed the novelty of the fiction within the fiction too. However the storyline has some quite harrowing content, and although I was utterly gripped and spent every available moment of the first 4 days of my holiday listening, it did have the affect of making me quite introverted and reflective, which was unfortunate for my husband. So not one for some 'light holiday reading' - but don't miss out, Ms Picoult is never afraid of tackling difficult and controversial subjects.
"well researched emotional roller coaster"
This was a very well written book, but it was so unrelentingly horrible that I felt quite down at times. Not something I would like to listen too again
"Not your normal Piccoult, but totally gripping!"
I would recommend this book because we should never forgot the holocaust and it's effect on people's lives... this book illustrates that so well; it is extremely well written and not heavy-handed in it's treatment of the topic.
Josef's recounting of the things he did in such a matter-of-fact way was my most memorable moment.
Minka was my favourite character, I was right there with her throughout and she was totally believable.
Josef's last words to sage was the moment in the book where I nearly cried.
Go for it, you won't be disappointed.
"Intense and touching"
I will certainly listen to The Storyteller again as I loved the plot and the characters. I couldn't stop listening to it. It was my first audio book and it made me hungry for more!
I liked the different story lines that connect at the end.
I liked the story of the grandmother very much, very touching. It made me realize once more what a hell concentration camps must have been.
Forgiveness : the bread of life?
The only thing I didn't like was Josef's German accent, it didn't ring true.
"Awesome - had me in tears"
I liked the different narrator's as it brought the characters to life
When Sage's grandmother died, and when you found out who Josef really was.
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