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Austerlitz

Narrated by: Richard Matthews
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by "one of the most gripping writers imaginable" (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man's search for the answer to his life's central riddle. A small child when he comes to England on a Kindertransport in the summer of 1939, one Jacques Austerlitz is told nothing of his real family by the Welsh Methodist minister and his wife who raise him. When he is a much older man, fleeting memories return to him, and, obeying an instinct he only dimly understands, he follows their trail back to the world he left behind a half century before. There, faced with the void at the heart of 20th-century Europe, he struggles to rescue his heritage from oblivion.

©2017 W. G. Sebald (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"W.G. Sebald is a monster - a gorgeous and unwaveringly assured writer, a bold formal innovator, and a man always plunging into the core of identity, singular and national. In Austerlitz, he's created his richest and most emotionally devastating story, and this book might be his finest." (Dave Eggers, "who has no right to be commenting on this man")
"With untraceable swiftness and assurance, W.G. Sebald's writing conjures from the details and sequences of daily life, and their circumstances and encounters, from apparent chance and its unsounded calculus, the dimension of dream and a sense of the depth of time that make his books, one by one, indispensable. He evokes at once the minutiae and the vastness of individual existence, the inconsolable sorrow of history and the scintillating beauty of the moment and its ground of memory. Each book seems to be something that surely was impossible, and each (upon every re-reading) is unique and astonishing." (W. S. Merwin)

What members say

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  • DJ
  • NYC
  • 04-20-18

A Novel of Memory

Reading W.G. Sebald takes some getting used to. Like many of his stories, "Austerlitz" focuses on memory, and how what we remember influences the way we live our lives. Further, the integration of facts, data, images, and other items generally associated with nonfiction makes a Sebald novel in some ways closer to an essay. The performance was strong, capturing the detachment of both the narrator and the main character. I recommended out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

have read this book many times. interesting listen

Where does Austerlitz rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

the book itself is #1 in my life, the voice was irritating and pompous

Who was your favorite character and why?

austerlitz: deep, observant, humble, tragic

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes, the story is mostly non linear, remembrances and insights

If you could rename Austerlitz, what would you call it?

travel to landscapes of soul

Any additional comments?

one of the best books written...ever

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Moving story extremely well narrated

This is a moving story of a man who was brought as a child to the UK researching the past and the fate of his parents. The novel is very well written, literal and beautiful in its details. The weakest part is the end, which is too abrupt. The narration is outstanding.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Meh

I listened to this book in preparation for a trip to Prague after finding a list of "books about Prague." Prague is a minimal part of the story. The language and imagery is beautiful, but the reader is too hurried (and listening at 75% is too slow), and the story jumps around in ways that are difficult to follow. The book is a nice study about the effects of childhood loss and emotional deprivation, as the main character spends his life studying, studying, studying, but there is no real "character arc", just some revelations at the end. Probably a better READ than a LISTEN.

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Too Rambling

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Perhaps a true history buff might enjoy this book. For me, the story line was presented very dryly and without emotion. The style was a little rambling, so that I had to keep going back and repeating some area. I found the ending abrupt, without closure.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful