• All My Puny Sorrows

  • By: Miriam Toews
  • Narrated by: Erin Moon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (357 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda's life is enviable (she's a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married,) and Yolandi's a mess (she's divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely close - raised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf's desire to end her life. After Elf's latest attempt, Yoli must quickly determine how to keep her family from falling apart, how to keep her own heart from breaking, and what it means to love someone who wants to die.

©2014 Miriam Toews (P)2014 Recorded Books

What listeners say about All My Puny Sorrows

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant and beautiful

This is one of the best books I have ever read/listened to. Magnificent writing. Wonderful reading.

2 people found this helpful

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Exquisite book

Would you consider the audio edition of All My Puny Sorrows to be better than the print version?

Typically I prefer the one I engage with first. It's sometimes shocking to hear how a narrator handles a book I've read. I hadn't imagined it his or her way. In this case, the narrator enhanced what was already a great book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was the mother but her sister and both of her daughters were also beautifully drawn.

What about Erin Moon’s performance did you like?

Everything. Even the hospital staff was well and sometimes sympathetically voiced.

Who was the most memorable character of All My Puny Sorrows and why?

I can't think of anyone who isn't memorable.

Any additional comments?

Unless solicited for advice, I usually don't recommend books. But I sent a few emails after finishing this one.

2 people found this helpful

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Not my usual cup of tea.

But I really liked it. I think the performance didn't quite hit the level of sarcasm present in the narrator's hyperbole, but that's maybe a subjective nitpick. The ending felt drawn out and it was a chore to finish. Totally worth it though. I'm a male with no siblings and this story punched me in the heart. The narration was incredibly sincere. Pretty great through and through.

1 person found this helpful

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Would you assist your siblings suicide?

A sad, serious, humourous family's struggle with life, depression and suicide. thank you 4.5 stars

1 person found this helpful

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Sad Story, Unforgettable Writing Voice

If you could sum up All My Puny Sorrows in three words, what would they be?

A story you'll need to take a breather from every once and awhile as it confronts death and loss head on, but the writing voice will bring you back.

What did you like best about this story?

Miriam Toews is funny and honest about what it's like to be a woman, and she brings a sense of dry whimsy to her memories of her oppressive Mennonite upbringing.

Any additional comments?

I love how Audible tries to use readers from the same area the writer is from. Erin Moon's voice acting was great. I would listen to another book featuring her as the reader.

1 person found this helpful

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Really depressing story

Don't listen to this if you are prone to depression. It's super dark.

However, it is masterfully written and very well performed.

3 people found this helpful

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Deserves more stars!

The narrator was perfection for this tale. I was enchanted by this story. Have listened to the end twice so far and will do it again. So many nuances, descriptions, nuggets of hard learned & earned wisdom are worth rereading for more depth. I recommend this book.

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brilliant story and perfect narration

I've listened to this book twice now and each time I've been swept into its heartbreak, black humor, grief and the healing power of love. Each sentence is packed with so much emotion it's almost unbearable while the narrator captures all the characters perfectly. Don't miss this one if you're tired of trite stories.

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heavy, funny, authentic. wonderful reader.

the story is one that happens all the time. but we never get used to it. it made me think.

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wonderful

I loves this novel. Beautiful writing. I will read more by this author. The narrator is wonderful.

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  • Snorkmaiden
  • 07-01-15

Beautiful writing

A poignant, yet often witty story, with fine attention to detail. A gentle and absorbing listen.

4 people found this helpful

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  • AJ Brown
  • 03-14-17

Pragmatic insight into mental illness

Love Miriam Toews' writing - honest, amusing, realistic. Despite the subject matter, amusing and uplifting, as well as being desperately sad, poignant and thought-provoking.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jane
  • 06-10-19

A skillful mixture of humour, wise and witty observations woven into a thread of inextricable sadness.

I am very pleased that I also have a hard copy of this beautifully written heart rending book, because unfortunately the narrator’s rather monotonous tone and neutral pace do not lift the words off the page, nor do they do justice to Miriam Toews very sensitive and partly autobiographical novel. This narration will not put me off reading more of Miriam Toews’ intriguing work, but I hope that future narrations will be more lively and pertinent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. M. Hassan
  • 02-26-21

Great read

I loved this book and felt so involved in the characters lives that I didn't want to end it! Miriam Toews is a beautiful writer, this story is all the more poignant that it came from true experiences. Her views on the mental health system, even though in Canada are very accurate and insightful .

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  • SHADOW smash
  • 09-09-19

Longwinded and depressing!

This a very slow book with nothing to lift the spirits It centres on a woman who just wants to die. It is hard to sympathise with her as she comes from a loving family, is a successful and talented concert pianist and she has a partner who adores her. I couldn’t get over her selfishness at caring more about her wish to die than the effect her suicide would have on those who loved her. It dragged on at the end and left me wishing I hadn’t bothered! Having said that, it was well written and narrated and I loved the poetry excerpts.