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Publisher's Summary

From the incomparable Anne Tyler, a wise, gently humorous, and deeply compassionate novel about a schoolteacher, who has been forced to retire at sixty-one, coming to terms with the final phase of his life.

Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn't bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.

His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets is well, something quite different.

We all know a Liam. In fact, there may be a little of Liam in each of us. Which is why Anne Tyler's lovely novel resonates so deeply.

©2010 Anne Tyler; (P)2010 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Performance
  • Story

Didn't do it for me

Any additional comments?

When the book ended I remember feeling relieved that the characters are not real people that I am related to or have as neighbors. I never have to think about them again. I have enjoyed other titles by Ann Tyler, but not this one.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very slow and plodding narration

Usually love Anne Tyler but this one was a little hard to get to the end of. Not a bad story but ends very abruptly as far as I'm concerned.

  • Overall
  • Lisa
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 03-06-10

Disappointing

Anne Tyler is one of my favorite authors, so I generally purchase her books as soon as they are made available. I don't know if Noah's Compass is any good - I'll have to read the printed book. This is the worst narrated book I've ever purchased - I've heard better from the volunteer readers at Librivox. Disgraceful. Mr Morey's narration lacks depth at all times and is particularly weak when he's reading the dialogue of characters who are female or children. He's reading aloud, there is no art to his performance.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Read the reviews first!

I agree that if this had been the first of Anne Tyler's works, she would not have succeeded in a writing career. It's a dreary boring story, peopled by tedious characters. The lesson learned is to read the excellent and knowledgeable reviews before wasting money on such tripe. I'll know in future.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

B-o-r-i-n-g

I thought I'd try this based on reviews...but I could not stay with this thing. I didn't much care about the characters and it just seemed so pointless. Perhaps I'm just not deep enough to to "get" it; I tried to care about this character; spent three hours trying, but finally gave up. Fast forwarded to last chapter to see if I missed anything: nope.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pointless

A bunch of uninteresting characters read by an uninspired narrator. A big yawn. What WAS the point?

2 of 7 people found this review helpful