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Everything Is Illuminated

Narrated by: Jeff Woodman, Scott Shina
Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)
Regular price: $23.44
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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, read by Jeff Woodman and Scott Shina.

A young man arrives in the Ukraine, clutching in his hand a tattered photograph. He is searching for the woman who fifty years ago saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Unfortunately he is aided in his quest by Alex, a translator with an uncanny ability to mangle English into bizarre new forms; a 'blind' old man haunted by memories of the war; and an undersexed guide dog named Sammy Davis Jr., Jr.

What they are looking for seems elusive - a truth hidden behind veils of time, language and the horrors of war. What they find turns all their worlds upside down.

©2003 Jonathan Safran Foer (P)2016 Penguin Books Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 10-02-18

Lyrical and almost meditative in parts...

I felt I was listening to spoken word poetry combined with Yiddish story telling. This is a moving and energetic work that ebbs and flows through space and time, confronting the tragedies of the Jewish people in Europe in a unique way.

A novel can’t be all good, so I do need to level some criticism. Foer’s Ukrainian alter ego, Sasha, appeared to have severe developmental issues which also extended to the entire Ukrainian populace. This is not a political correctness concern, it just seems unlikely an entire country would suffer from the same mental dysfunction. That being said, I’ve never been to Ukraine (I say that with tongue firmly in cheek).

The narrators were strong and dedicated to their performances. The reason I only gave them 3 stars is two fold, both relating to accents. The narrator handling the contemporary narrative tasked with American and Ukrainians accents, did not effectively manage the latter. The narrator tasked with the historical narrative in the shtetl, sounded more like a Midwest preacher at times than a venerable Rabbi. I’m not sure if this was intentional but the Slouchers and Uprighters sounded more like Quakers and Shakers.

Get it if you like poetic narratives around tragedy, identity, love and the universe.

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  • Petra
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 09-04-17

Big disappointment

What did you like best about Everything Is Illuminated? What did you like least?

The outline of the story was attractive.

What did you like best about this story?

The interaction between the Ukrainians and JSF was amusing.

Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman and Scott Shina – was your favorite?

Grandfather

Any additional comments?

The novel is split between the present and the past / ancient history of JSF's family. I didn't like the overuse of pidgen by the main Ukrainian character, which was amusing at best but became a bit tedious. I didnt enjoy the picaresque nature of the family history: I dont really see what this adds to the book.

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Beautifully philosophical in subtle ways

Beautifully philosophical in subtle ways. Wonderfully performed! It will make you think, if nothing else

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  • TheCritic
  • 05-08-17

really bad

always subjective but I found this one awefull. just nothing to keep you interested had to give my way through it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim Wells
  • 10-19-16

great story great performance

a beautiful story if a little hard to follow. Very funny and deeply moving. The performance from the two actors is amazing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • aj
  • 10-12-16

great work

slow start but stick with it, a wonderful story which touches on the horrors of the not to distant past.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Edgaras Neverdauskas
  • 05-08-16

Awesome book, awesome performance!

I chose to listen Everything is Illuminated, because Veritasium recommended and oh boy I'm not disappointed at all :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-18

By far the best book I've ever read (& now heard)

The title says it all, simultaneously the funniest, saddest and cleverest work of fiction I've come across thus far. Couldn't recommend it enough.

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  • chriskindle
  • 07-05-17

A Lovely Story, but think it should be read

I'm a huge audio book fan I'm not sure that narration does this lovely story justice.
if you have the time, get this one on paper and soak it in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Charmaine
  • 03-08-17

Instant new favourite!

I wasn't expecting anything from it, I just picked it up and started reading... and only when I finished it did I realise how much it changed my perspective on love and life and people and ww2.