B. Leon

Tacoma, WA
  • 1
  • review
  • 126
  • helpful votes
  • 2
  • ratings
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

  • By: Gabrielle Zevin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,584
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,912
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,910

The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Tale for Booksellers

  • By B. Leon on 04-15-14

A Tale for Booksellers

4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-14

I am almost at a loss for words regarding my love for the Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. While I want the entire world to know this book, I also want to keep it to myself for a little while. I felt that Gabrielle Zevin wrote this book for me (and other booksellers), but mostly for me. As a life-long book lover, and a bookseller for the better part of the last decade, this book captured exactly why those of us in the book-business do what we do. Ironic, I know, considering Audible is an Amazon company. I'm justifying this choice by telling myself it's different since I got this through the 30-day free trial. Don't ruin my fantasy.

This is a tale of love, loss, and redemption. While it certainly stroked my bookseller/lover ego in all the right places, I wouldn't say it's strictly for these audiences. More than anything, it's a tale about community, and the surprising relationships that can develop over shared stories, whether in books or reality.

I struggled with the narration for the same reason I struggle with most audio books: the narrator's performance didn't match the way I would have read the physical book. It was a bit too dramatic for my tastes. That being said, if you're a regular listener of audio books, you will probably find the performance fantastic, as I found it better than most.

Overall, I would recommend you read this book, or give it too the book-lover in your life. I think I'm going to special order a physical copy from my local indie bookstore.

126 of 139 people found this review helpful