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Publisher's Summary

A monumental new audiobook from the best-selling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, "Abraham!" before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham responds, "Here I am". Later, when Isaac calls out, "My father!" before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, "Here I am".

How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others'? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer's first novel in 11 years - a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.

Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, DC, Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home - and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.

Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that listeners and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer's most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer's stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers in America.

©2016 Jonathan Safran Foer (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    322
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    156
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    44
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    36

Performance

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    75
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful novel marred by imperfect narration

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I am so disappointed at the narrator choice for this book, which I have long been awaiting. While he is generally a very good narrator, his mispronunciation of nearly every Hebrew or Yiddish word he encounters is so jarring and distracting, I am thinking of returning the audiobook and waiting until I have time to read in print. That the producers did not consider how important a natural flow of authentic American Jewish use of words like siddur, bris, kiddush or Israeli names like Noam or Yael (which have two syllables, not one) is surprising given that the content is Rothian in it's self-conscious Jewishness.

What did you like best about this story?

The writing is brilliant and the pacing is masterful.

Would you be willing to try another one of Ari Fliakos’s performances?

Not for a book by this author or any other book that required accents.

Any additional comments?

I hope you fix it!

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great book, probably best to read (not listen) it.

The narration was great, and the story is really interesting. I'm not sure this is the best book for the audio book format. The author changes place, character and time several times in critical periods of the story. in text, he uses "space" to note the changes. In the audio book format those changes are not always clear, or become clear once you already missed a point.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa
  • University City, MO, United States
  • 10-22-16

Hebrew consultant needed

This review is about the narration. While it was clear that Mr Filakos learned how to pronounce some of the Hebrew in this book (priestly blessing), it is glaring that he didn't consult anyone about how to pronounce Noam or minyan as well as others. It would have been easy to do and made the story less believable because an observant Jew who cared about a minyan wouldn't mispronounce it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

How to explain

The ending brought it together and left me satisfied, but the ups and downs had me loving or hating it along the way. Yes it was deep and the dialogue and personal style of the secrets shared by the characters had almost a philosophical edge...but many points in the book I thought went on too long an others not long enough. It allowed me to reflect occasionally, but maybe I wasn't close enough to the circumstances to truly feel the love for this story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

unexpectedly tragic

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, to some but not others. The author is amazing, but this book is, in a word, a Bummer. a beautiful, well-crafted Bummer.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Here I Am?

please, i'm trying to forget...

Which scene was your favorite?

the end of the book, the last scene. it was the most depressing part and the most moving. i hated it. but it was good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

oh my god, no.

Any additional comments?

lots of things happen around the plot of this book, but not within it.
J.S. Foer has an amazing capacity to pinpoint and describe the otherwise ineffable with painful accuracy. this book much heavier than his other work. it is a dirge, singing about the death of people and religions and pets and marriages and careers and nations. i could say it was anti-climactic, but the truth is that real life is anti-climactic, so if you feel like you want to listen to a beautifully written and narrated book about everything that sucks about real life, then this is the one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous, simply fabulous

Smart, funny, heartbreaking, people you will remember, fabulous, wanted it to go on and on.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration

If you could sum up Here I Am in three words, what would they be?

Kept my attention

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the narration the best. I noticed some reviews had a problem with the way the narrator pronounced a few Hebrew words. I find this to be completely nitpicking. This narrator did a phenomenal job with this work.

Which scene was your favorite?

There's not one particular scene that stands out. The novel has its ups and downs, but overall it was a good listen.

If you could rename Here I Am, what would you call it?

Life, in General

Any additional comments?

This book certainly isn't for everyone. It's about an American family with Jewish roots. The book is more about everyday life, and while that doesn't appear to be all that interesting, I like the novel.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

learned to say it "pamplemoo"

Moments of greatness, but overall... kinda like a super long Woody Allen movie with no plot & fewer women.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • JC
  • 10-08-16

Gifted writer and well performed

Unfortunately for me too much unnecessary vulgar language, so I can not recommend to my friends and associates. Not his best work, but I appreciate Foer's insightful view into modern Judaism.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Touching. Funny. Moving. Clever

Enjoyed this so much that I bought the physical book as well - since I only listen to audio during the commute to work. Glad I did the combination of Audible and Physical since the Narrator did a really good job with the voices - especially that of Grandpa Irv.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful