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Publisher's Summary

Now read by the author, this edition also includes an interview with Alice Sebold and the first chapter of her new book, The Almost Moon.When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public-service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed things like that didn't happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place where she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets.

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief: her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor, and they begin the difficult process of healing.

This story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching narrative about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

©2002 Alice Sebold (P)2007 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A stunning achievement." ( The New Yorker)"A keenly observed portrait of familial love...a deeply affecting meditation on the ways in which terrible pain...can be redeemed." ( The New York Times)"A personal and artistic triumph." ( Time)

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Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Kim
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 12-10-09


I've just been listening to this book and I'm completely underwhelmed by the author's reading. It's a monotonous and single voice reading of a book I was very much looking forward to. I don't know who told Alice Sebold that she was a good reader - she isn't. I'll be hard pressed to buy another book that is read by the author. An experienced reader could have done ten times the justice to the story that she's doing.

46 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Story - Poor Narration

This is an excellent story though the author should not have been the narrator. As we all know, narrators bring the entertainment value to the books, but this author explained in the beginning she likes reading her books a loud before she publishes so apparently feels she is qualified to narrate to the masses. I have to say though that the story is excellent, the entertainment value was hurt by her desire to not pay a good narrator.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great! But authors should NOT narrate their books.

Fabulous descriptive writing but the monotone of the author took so much away from the usual amazing audible experience.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Germantown, TN, USA
  • 10-24-07

Lifeless Narration.

A classic example that authors don't always make good narrators.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Author as Narrator ruined

Once I got past the painful first chapter, the rest of the story was just okay although it is hard to evaluate the story due to the fact that Ms. Sebold is one of the worst narrators I have ever heard. Her affect is flat and I think it would have been much more engrossing if just about ANYONE else had read it. Very disappointing.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joann
  • Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 01-13-10

Great book, boring reader

I found this to be a very good story. It was an emotional story and would have been much better, had it been read by someone who that put emotion into the reading. I felt like I was listening to my old Social teacher. I wish I had chosen to read this story instead of listening to it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jonathan
  • Grand Rapids, MI, USA
  • 09-12-07

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This is not a story for the faint of heart. But if you like tearjerkers, you'll love this suspenseful story of coping with tragedy and learning to let go. I took away two stars in my rating because the narration is a little bit of macabre. I don't believe the dead people can watch over the living, and I don't believe in Alice Sebold's two-tiered approach to heaven. But this author deserves high marks for creativity, and for drawing her readers into the lives and afterlives of her characters.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Horror Once Removed

The unspeakable act at the heart of this story is not forgotten by the heroine/protagonist, but she does not dwell on it, either. It happened; she moved on. Is there forgiveness from beyond the grave? Despite the fact that The Lovely Bones is a parent's worst nightmare, Alice Siebold tells the story in a way that makes you confront the fear behind the nightmare, and find the peace beyond the fear. You have here an excellent author reading her own work delicately and forcefully, and injecting the story with a context that another narrator may not have captured.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic Book

This is my second time with this book, though the first time I think was a different reader, I enjoyed it thoroughly in every way.

I appreciated the neutral reading by the author though many here seem to have disliked it. After I listed to The Lovely Bones I heard Stephen King's Under the Dome wherein the reader literally performed the entire book, with exaggerated accents and interpretations that weren't necessarily in the writing.

Having experienced the two extremes side-by-side, I much prefer Siebold's low-key approach.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narration ruins the book

I try not to say anything negative because I don't like to direct negativity towards others, but the narration really ruined this book for me. There was no distinction in affect, ever, no different tones for characters, which made the book not only hard to follow, but hard to pay attention to. I don't recommend the audio version of this book, unfortunately. Buy the book, watch the movie, don't listen to this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful