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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

4.3 (6166 )
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4.3 (5593 )
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Story
4.4 (5590 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sara 03-10-17
    Sara 03-10-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13111
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    457
    379
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    722
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Life In Books"

    I really enjoyed this book and thought that Brick did a great job capturing the quirkiness of main character AJ with his narration. The story is awkward, charming, loving and generously told. It does help if you have read the books that are discussed at the start of each chapter. Not an absolute must, but knowing the books did increase my sense of connection with the story being told.

    To me, the writing was laugh out loud funny in places and almost disastrously sad in others. Occasionally the book hovered just this side of being impossibly sweet. Thank goodness for Zevin's ability to walk the tight rope between the saccharine and the melodramatic. In the end the story felt balanced and had believable well developed characters. Definitely a readers book that I found to be both touching and artfully written.

    19 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grateful Lass 10-20-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    18
    5
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    0
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    Story
    "Great story, but it needed a different reader"

    The story is one of hope and redemption, that avoids the saccharine wanderings of many books like this. I found the reader better suited to crime novels, his voice’s natural edge just didn’t sync with this book’s story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Harbison 09-17-17 Member Since 2012
    RATINGS
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    3
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fikry"

    I give this book 5 stars for everything. I loved this book. Wonderful interesting story. Can't imagine anyone not liking this book. Please read this one. A real keeper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DB2000 09-17-17
    DB2000 09-17-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    64
    28
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    "A pleasant surprise "

    This one is worth every minute it takes to read. I laughed and cried. Don't pass it up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DebbieL 09-16-17
    DebbieL 09-16-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
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    Story
    "a life well lived"

    the storied life of a.j. fickry was chock full of twists and turns. gabrielle zevin held my attention with growing relationships and love...well done!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina 08-28-17
    Tina 08-28-17 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    18
    4
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    "from start to finish I couldn't stop listening."

    it was a tender story that was believable, sweet, intellectual, and endearing. I fell in love with all characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernest 08-24-17
    Ernest 08-24-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    224
    23
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    Story
    "I almost loved it"

    I loved most of this book, but I feel it lost its way towards the end. At one point, one of the novel's characters said that it doesn't matter whether a story has a happy ending or a sad one, just as long as it earns whatever ending it chooses. I just didn't feel that this otherwise excellent book earned the final course it took. Too bad. It came so close to being something very special.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise S. 08-23-17
    Denise S. 08-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    "just lovely"

    what a lovely and heartwarming book. brought joy, laughter and sadness at times. I highly recommend it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ky P. 08-18-17
    Ky P. 08-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    78
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sad, interesting and beautiful"

    The slow unraveling of secrets, personalities and narrative is wonderful. A steady stream of surprises and unexpected pleasures (I can usually guess the twists but many took me by surprise). The literary topics discussed are neat insights. The characters are relatable and even the cranky ones are lovable. The transformative power of love is also present. Sad. But very beautiful. And human.

    Recommend it.

    The narrator is fine, but lacks tonal diversity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karissa Eckert 08-06-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    194
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    317
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    "Wonderful contemporary fiction for book lovers"

    This was recommended to me by one of the YouTuber’s I used to watch (it was awhile ago and I am blanking on the name). This ended up being a well done book that I think book lovers will really adore. This was one of those books that could have been something really really amazing but didn’t quite make it there for me because of the rushed and sad ending.

    I listened to this on audiobook and Scott Brick did an amazing job with narration. This is one of those books that was a real pleasure to listen to.

    The story is mainly about a bookseller named A.J. Fikry who ends up with a young toddler girl in the midst of having a very bad year himself. His decision to keep the toddler and raise her as his own completely changes his life.

    The book is also about Alice Island and the people who live there and how their lives are enhanced and/or changed by A.J. Fikry.

    I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and was completely sucked into the life of Fikry and the other Alice Island residents. There are a ton of bookish references in here which I adored.

    My only complaint with the book is that the end took a very depressing turn that left me feeling very sad and down. Additionally things felt a bit rushed and just unfinished at the end of the book. If not for the last few chapters I would have given this 5 stars. I am just not a huge fan of books that leave me feeling really down and depressed.

    Overall this was a great book that, for the most part, I really enjoyed. I would recommend to all you book lovers out there; there is a lot in here for us book lovers to relate to. It’s also just a sweet and special story of one man’s life struggles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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