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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry Audiobook

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

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Publisher's Summary

The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go.

One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her. A search for Maya’s mother, A. J.’s rare book, and good childcare advice ensues, but it doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the transformation of both bookstore and owner, something of particular interest to the lovely yet eccentric Knightley Press sales rep, Amelia Loman, who makes the arduous journey to Alice Island thrice each year to pitch her books to the cranky owner.

©2014 Gabrielle Zevin. Recorded by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc. (P)2014 (p) 2014 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty, and her affection for the book business is obvious." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 04-06-14
    Ken Draeger SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US 04-06-14 Member Since 2017

    I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Literary Lovely"

    Well written with strong character development. Some mystery well seasoned with tangled twists keeps you tuned in. The exploration of why we read and why some gifted persons write is also worthy of note.
    "Bookies" will love the constant mentions of other books and authors. It pushes you to jot these down since finding other worthwhile authors and reads is a never ending quest for those of us who enjoy reading.
    Cheers, Ken

    26 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia H Philadelphia, PA 08-20-15
    Claudia H Philadelphia, PA 08-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Speed it up"
    If you could sum up The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in three words, what would they be?

    heartfelt, charming, moving


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Scott Brick?

    I strongly dislike Scott Brick. I had already committed to listening to this book when I realized he was the narrator. I have heard other people say that if you speed him up, he's not as terrible, which is what I did. It made the narration much more tolerable.
    (1.25x speed)


    Any additional comments?

    I think this was just feel good literary fiction. It didn't have any lulls in the story, and I just enjoyed it. Some of the characters had a little bit to be desired, like the sister-in-law, but otherwise, great story.

    25 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 09-15-14
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 09-15-14 Member Since 2016

    The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.

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    "A Tale of Redemption"

    Of course, this is a tale about a bookseller and his books. Read most any review and that will be its central focus.

    We can view this book as a gauntlet thrown down in the battle between small book stores and the giant(s) of online bookselling. Perhaps that is not surprising in our age of disruptive transformation in the way we buy and sell books. Not all such change is for the good, reviewers seem to agree, and change risks great loss.

    You can certainly read this wonderful story in that way with great pleasure. It is a beautiful story. But that story, and its lessons, are relevant far behind the musty shelves of an old neighbor book store. Superficially, this book is about a book seller. Really, though, it is about all of us.

    This is a story of loves lost and found again, albeit in different forms.

    It is a story of a man who is profoundly lost and then saved who then, in turn, saves others ... all without intending to do anything special.

    It is a story of the effect each of us has on others and the reservoir of strength we have that enables us to rise to meet new challenges and remake our lives and our world.

    It is a story of hope. And a beautiful one at that. Told with care by Scott Brick.

    Whether you enjoy books and bookstores or not, read (or listen) to this book. It will touch you.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.Reader 04-27-14
    R.Reader 04-27-14

    I don't look anything like that figurine, just love the fact that she's holding a book like that.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved AJ Fikry's Storied Life!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry the most enjoyable?

    The Narrator, Scott Brick, did an excellent job of what I think AJ Fikry would have sounded like - the boredom, the care, the longing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Amelia. I kept on picturing Penelope from Criminal Minds, just so quirky and likeable! She is also quite smart, and can go toe to toe with AJ, yet when he flubbed on the whole Late Bloomer fiasco, she considered his feelings first. Despite the grump AJ was, they complemented one another.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    He *was* A.J. Fikry.


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

    No, I wanted to hang onto it for a while - I listened to it in 3 sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    It seems like all stories these days need a vampire or a dystopian society. This story has a hook - the baby left in a bookstore, but we aren't hammered with that. The baby grows up, has a normal life, Her dad gets married - it's just normal. People who are self proclaimed book snobs, and live on an island - are just normal. It was a breath of fresh air. It might help that I too believe that you should share some sensibility with the person you love...or who loves you.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn L Athens, AL, USA 06-30-15
    Jenn L Athens, AL, USA 06-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Scott Brick is exhausting."

    There are few books I've listened to on Audible that I truly wish I had read instead. This is one of those books because Scott Brick's over the top contrived inflection is exhausting to listen to. Breathy and annoying .

    23 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Ryder 02-25-16
    M. Ryder 02-25-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Surprisingly good"

    Usually, I do not like S.B.'s narration, since he tends to over-dramatize everything but with regard to this audiobook, his performance was much more enjoyable, causing me to laugh at some points and cry at others. Only wish he did not read so terribly slow! With regard to the story, it was definitely heart-warming, not to mention original and quirky. Loved the references to books as well. The character development was actually pretty decent, allowing the listener to relate to each of the main ones and even empathize with them. Purchased book on sale but would absolutely use a credit to buy.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 07-14-15
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 07-14-15 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A surprise treat"

    I did not know what to expect with this book, only that it had some great reviews. It took me a bit to get into the book. In fact, I almost gave up on it, as I often find I need a book to grab me from the first in order to retain interest. However, slowly, the character of A.J. began to take form. What followed was nothing less than the sweetest, most moving story I've read in awhile. A touching but not sickeningly sweet romance and a metamorphosis of a man from a crotchety, mean bookseller into a legend. What a winner.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H2OJunkie College Park, MD 07-12-15
    H2OJunkie College Park, MD 07-12-15

    Meredith Leigh

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    "Wonderfully cute and funny"

    I bought this for a road trip with my family on a two-for-one credit deal (I am one of two adult children to still married parents and we all vacation together once a year.) I was pleasantly surprised by the content, the performance, and the writing.

    The book flows nicely. There a few choppy spots and hurried passages, but for the most part it was engaging and made me both laugh and cry along with my mother. We greatly enjoyed the book and the length was perfect for our trip. We only say in the car for eight extra minutes to hear the ending which was a pleasant little coincidence.

    The story is heartfelt and moving and fun. I liked the character's personalities although I found the description of Maya's communications as a child a little far fetched.

    Overall the book was a great read and I'm very happy I purchased it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 07-07-15
    William 07-07-15
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    "Best Book I Have Read This Year"

    I loved this book. Devoured it in three days. It's the kind of book that leaves you sad after finishing it. because you know it will be a long time before you encounter another book of its stature. Just a beautiful, beautiful book. Don't miss it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quinn 07-04-15
    Quinn 07-04-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Gabrielle Zevin and/or Scott Brick?

    I'm not eager to try another book by Gabrielle Zevin, this one was very difficult to finish. I forced myself to finish listening to find out why some readers seemed to love this book. I normally enjoy Scott's narrations, but he was a little too dramatic with this book. Probably to enhance the dull writing/story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gabrielle Zevin again?

    Doubtful


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

    Yes, I enjoy Scott Brick's performances.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I didn't even like this book; no redeeming qualities I can think of.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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