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Publisher's Summary

When Paul Auster was asked to join NPR's Weekend All Things Considered program to tell stories, he turned the proposition on its head: he would let the stories come to him. He invited listeners to submit brief, true-life anecdotes about events that touched their lives.

And so the National Story Project was born. Just over a year old, it's one of NPR's most popular features. The response has been so overwhelming, with more than 4,000 stories submitted so far, that Auster decided to cull the top works and make them available in a book, and now this audio. His selections, hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies, come from people of all ages and walks of life.

This one-of-a-kind collection is a testament to the power of storytelling that offers a glimpse into the American soul. By turns poignant, nostalgic, funny, and strange, it is an audiobook to be treasured and shared for years to come.

©2001 Paul Auster; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Improbable, hilarious, miraculous: these stories are the stuff of life." (AudioFile)
"A moving collection of stories that realizes the audio format's best possibilities." (Publishers Weekly)
"A powerful book, one in which strangers share with you their darkest secrets, their happiest memories, their fears, their regrets. To read these essays is to look into hearts, to see life from other viewpoints, to live vicariously." (The Boston Globe)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Not as expected

The title and the synopsis wold lead you to believe that it is a catalog of heart-warming stories. There are some but you will have to suffer through many other boring and difficult stories to get the rare story that is worth listening to. I would not recommend it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joshua
  • West Palm Beach, FL, USA
  • 03-24-05

So many stories not enough endings.

This audio book is full of stories. They range in length from very short (1-2 minutes) to short (maybe 10 minutes). The problem is they almost always felt fragmented to me, I found myself wanting to keep going deeper into the story, but that would be it, and then we were off to the next one.The first couple of times this was tolerable but after about an hour it became absolutely maddening, to the point that I couldn't stand to listen to the second part of the book. If you are the type that is interested in the rest of the story... move on!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Simply Great

Paul Auster reads this book with all the right emotional accents, even though the work is a compilation of concise, true stories solicited from people from around the country. There are a lot of stories about mom and dad and growing up in ages gone by. Plenty of humor, sorrow, sadness and just plain interesting histories of ordinary people. With the diversity of content, I feel sure at least one story will resonate within everyone. Don't miss the chance to connect with people on a unique level. And I hope, above all, there is a volume two. Mr. Auster was born to read.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Terrific!

You could not make this stuff up. You absolutely could not sit down and dream up these lives and fortunes (and misfortunes). If you're on the fence about God and miracles and your own raison d'etre, well, this collection will make you a believer in SOMETHING, if only the power of memory and the extraordinary mysteries of every life. Be brave. Dig in.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mynna
  • Huntington Beach
  • 05-09-12

One of the most brilliant authors of our time

Would you consider the audio edition of I Thought My Father Was God to be better than the print version?

I have always admired Paul Auster and his literary projects.

What did you like best about this story?

Paul Auster's compassion of simple slices of other's life stories

What about Paul Auster’s performance did you like?

He speaks poignantly throughout all of the stories capturing the minds and hearts of humankind. I love him!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes...numerous times.

Any additional comments?

I have been following Paul Auster's career and my two children have been readng his books for nearly two decades now.

  • Overall

chicken soup for the NPR soul

I thought I was getting a nice collection of stories, some funny, some sad. Instead I got hours of boredom. The section on Love was absolutely the worst. I kept listening all the way to the end, hoping to find something redeeming, and while there were two or three midly entertaining bits, I felt like I was listening to one very loong episode of Dr. Phil. Nothing challenging, everyone in the stories is either good, or forgiven for their minor transgressions, and everyone learns something life affirming from their experiences. I take back the Dr. Phil comment, it was more like a extended Brady Bunch reunion.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Linda
  • York, SC, USA
  • 01-05-06

Truly enjoyable.

An enjoyable and enlightening aspect of reading is being able to 'view' others' lives and worlds. That is what makes this book so fascinating. You get to see other places, other people - in various times. Some stories are very touching, some funny, a few amazing, and some just enjoyable. It is a relaxing listening and worth the time. My favorite story being "I Thought My Father Was God," as the title. Enjoyable.