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Publisher's Summary

Bristling with intelligence and shimmering with romance, this novel tests the boundary between history and myth.

Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the 1920s and earns his living searching for a vanished millionaire and tunneling beneath Lake Ontario. In the course of his adventures, Patrick's life intersects with those of characters who reappear in Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning The English Patient.

©1987 Michael Ondaatje (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb

the author is at his best in this book. lyrical and tense, this has many of the elements which make his work so durable when thinking back on it. The beginning especially has some of the most beautiful images in literature

131 of 151 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not for entertainment

This story was horrible. If you’re looking for an enjoyable listen, this is not it. I was able to purchase it for just a few bucks and forced myself to listen to the entire book. I have almost 300 books in my audible library and have listened to them all. There are two books that I couldn’t finish listening too because they were so bad. I should be able to say there are three books in my library that I couldn’t listen to. Instead I forced myself to listen to this in its entirety. . I kept thinking that the story would all come together before the ending, it didn’t. I have no idea what people listened to that though this book was ok, and those that thought it was good are just lying and want you to waste your time like they did. This story never comes together, it is just a bunch of random thoughts put to words. A norm in this book is that there are story lines that are started and then left hanging. An example is when a Nun falls off a bridge and is saved by a man who gets hurt and you learn all about him and then the story changes and you never hear about them again… Bottom line do not waste your time, even if you get the book free. Any time wasted listening to this book is time that not only will you not get back you will be tormented with frustration the entire time you are listening.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don’t do it if you hated freshman english

This book is like the longest poem you had to read in school, no sentence is without a metaphor or simile yet no cohesive story line. The narrator sounds as excited as I was to be reading it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible

I kept thinking it would improve over time. Finally I just couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t want to waste any more of my time on this planet reading this horrid book.
I’m raising the white flag! UNCLE!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

All around boring

Hated it. The story was boring. The narrator was putting me to sleep. I quit about 1/3 in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perhaps my new favorite book & Narrator

I think that I have just found my new favorite book. I could be bias, the book is set in Toronto, Canada & the Muskoka region (a very beloved area of mine) & I do love Toronto. I spent ten formative College years there & hearing all of the street names and areas was very fun, while learning of the cities infrastructure history quite fascinating, but no, it’s Mr. Ondaaje’s writing: he is a genius with the vernacular. The Narrator absolutely top notch. I think I’ve read every work of Ondaatje’s now, so this Narrator will be my new obsession. 😉

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • NK
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • 08-13-18

No dialog he and I don't care

Despite the undoubtedly pretty language on offer here this novel is almost 95% narrative and provides no avenue for the reader to care about the characters. Not caring, I often tuned out the book, which made it impossible to follow what was going on. I'm afraid this is another case where being told a book is Art means reading it is going to be unpleasant. Give me dialogue so I can see your characters myself instead of the narrator droning on and telling, telling, telling.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • TnJim
  • Tennessee, USA
  • 08-10-18

Not for me

Very hard for me to follow. It might have been better in print. I believe your reaction to The English Patient pretty well locks your reaction to this one!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A rare gem of a book

Beautiful, intelligent, mesmerizing
I pity the person who cannot appreciate such a masterpiece
The different threads form a rope that twists and turns, doubles back and then returns to wrap around you
Perfectly performed by Tom McCamus
There are scenes that will never leave me

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Even better than I remembered...

I read this book way back, soon after reading The English Patient. I could not and cannot get enough of Ondaatje's writing. It is magical, the series of visual images as haunting as a dream, the characters intriguing, complicated.

What struck me as I listened was how well such images and the characters had stayed vivid in my memory, after decades. The narration is also excellent. I have listened twice now, and will probably do so again, because inhabiting Ondaatje's world for a few hours is the best antidote to ....listening to the news.

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  • Earnest
  • 08-02-18

Insights, magic, history embroidery in webs..

What a listen!
Being the third Ondaatje novel in a row, I now feel I have learnt so much more about the world..yet I am one of its elders.
It does not matter when they were written. They speak of such now events ( its quite, quite unnerving-even for a historian) yet they are seemingly unanchored.
Gifts I had somehow missed until now.

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  • Kurt Meliska
  • 02-15-18

Beautiful

Every sentence that Ondaatje writes is exquisitely constructed and makes the love and passion leap out of the book. The narration is very sexy indeed