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Publisher's Summary

Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

©2013 Jodi Picoult (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • B.J.
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 09-01-13

Can't do another one of these.

Perhaps if this is your first book about the Holocaust, this might be the right book for you. For me, I've read too much about it and am so bothered by it that I nearly had to stop listening. I was expecting a different kind of book and with a different angle. Not so. There's an added dimension with the brothers but it all comes down to the same evil. I simply can't bear it. I wish I'd never listened to it.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Taryn
  • Suffern, NY, United States
  • 03-20-13

Worth listening to

I have been a big fan of Jodi Picoult, despite the fact that in the past few years she seems to be sacrificing quality for quantity. In this book she has gotten her groove back on a horrific subject and handles it with amazing realism! The holocaust story was very well constructed and at some points literally had me in tears. The writing was Jodi at her best! The rest of the book was a disappointment. Perhaps she needed a more honest editor. First of all there were too many unnecessary storylines which just distracted from the important story. Second, her allegorical story/fable was unnecessary and did nothing for the book. Third, it seemed that she borrowed from, The Reader, in that a prisoner survives because of a story/reading. I also think the names she gave her characters are a bit silly-sisters named Sage, Saffron & Pepper - are you kidding me? The readers were all great except for the voice of Misha, I found her intonation annoying.
All in all, I enjoyed listening to this book and I would still recommend it even with the negatives that I have described.

12 of 18 people found this review helpful

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1001 Nights in Nazi Germany

Sage is a young woman who befriends an elderly man in her grief support group, and he asks her to kill him as a kind of twisted form of justice for his previous crimes 60+ years before when he was an SS officer..........but that's not really what the book is about. Too bad, because that would have made a more interesting book about justice, forgiveness, sacrifice, self-loathing, and self-doubt.

Instead we get a retrospective story about how Sage's grandmother lived and survived though World War II and internment in Nazi concentration camps, in great part because of her unfinished and ongoing story that she'd written.....the story had captivated an SS officer who helped her survive Auschwitz because he kept wanting to know what happened next in her story. That forms the biggest chunk of the book, and it's mixed with that telling of the story that she (the grandmother) wrote - which bears an unfortunate resemblance to a teen vampire love story. 'I killed for him, isn't that a sign that we were meant to be together?' -- Ugh!

There's a definite undertone of Christian mythology in the book, in spite of the fact that Sage is an atheist and her grandmother was a Jew who survived the holocaust: Mary, Joseph, Adam, and Eve (well, it's actually Eva), all appear and bread is a central thread as the staff of life and livelihood, and the manifestation of the baker's emotions. Overall, I thought it was rather heavy handed in it's symbolism and language.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Five stories perfectly entwined

STORY - Audible has categorized this as a mystery/thriller/modern detective. I would call it historical fiction, though there are mystery and detective components. The main characters are richly developed, and each tells his own story. There is Josef, who is an old man haunted by the crimes he commited against Jews during the Holocaust. Sage is a young woman who works as a baker at night so she can hide her disfigured face from the world. Leo is a government attorney who finds and prosecutes war criminals. Minke, Sage's grandmother, was a prisoner at Auschwitz and is "The Storyteller." Minke writes a story about Anya and two vampire brothers, which captivates those who hear it.

The book jumps between these five stories, sometimes for hours at a time and sometimes just for minutes. They are easy to keep straight because they are each read by a different narrator. Minke's story about her life at Auschwitz is very long and details numerous atrocities, but it didn't bother me to listen to it. Josef seeks forgiveness for his crimes and surprisingly asks Sage to kill him, which causes Sage to meet Leo and investigate who Josef really was and what crimes he might have committed.

The book is deep and emotional, but I found it enjoyable and not gut-wrenching. Many of the characters are emotionally damaged. Some heal and some do not. The ending is very good, and I must say it came as a complete surprise to me.

PERFORMANCE - How can you go wrong with five different narrators? They all did great jobs.

OVERALL - I highly recommend this book to anyone, as long as you don't mind probing around in this dark period of our history.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Eugenia
  • Chatsworth, CA, US
  • 05-25-17

Wonderful Jodi Picoult

With the thousands of reviews for this book, I'm not sure I can add any different comments. But I really loved this book, both for its history and for the drama.
The Holocaust is an extraordinary subject anyway and it is treated here with the reverence it deserves, but also entwined with a deeply intimate point of view.
That perspective is detailed by the character of Minka in her harrowing experience in the concentration camps. This part as she tells it was truly mesmerizing. I feel that the narration lent a vivid reality to the story.
The only thing I wished to hear was a more in depth exploration of Josef. I'm not sure it would be possible for anyone to plumb the depths of the Nazi mind and discover the true intentions and beliefs, but because Ms. Picoult wrote so up close and personal, I hoped for more insight.
I loved the relationship between Sage and Leo.
And all the descriptions of baked goods made me hungry for some brioche or doughnuts.
Very good narrations by all, especially Suzanne Toren as Minka.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Surprising story and fabulous narration

Would you listen to The Storyteller again? Why?

I listened to the audio first then went out and bought the book.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Every moment was filled with suspense.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I have NEVER read anything about the Holocaust. Well written in story form. Loved it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

In the barn with the farmers wife...

Any additional comments?

Very long but an excellent story! Bravo

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I love surprises!

Having read a boat-load of murder mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels, I am always pleased when an author surprises me with an ending that I had not anticipated. The topic of this book is an extremely sensitive one and it was a tad too long...chapters could have been removed without distroying the message. But I still very much enjoyed it . I particularly enjoyed Sage's breadmaking description. Delightful. The narrator is excellent...not too over-the-top!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not my favorite Picoult book

I'm a big Picoult fan, but this book represents a significant departure from her usual character-driven, "moral dilemma" tale.

The book is well-written and reasonably well-narrated (I didn't care for the female reader's attempt at male dialogue, but it wasn't terrible), but I found the story to be lacking in Picoult's usual intensity.

The moral dilemma, while present, isn't a driving force. Much time is spent on a fantasy story told by one of the characters. The protagonist strikes me as too weak, unrealistically lacking in confidence.

On the bright side, the fictionalized retelling of one character's experience with Nazi occupation in WWII is excellent. Picoult covers not just the death camps, but also the long constriction of freedoms that led up to that extreme. Definitely my favorite aspect of that book.

That said, I listened to most of the story while on a long road trip. I'm now just 30 minutes from the end, and I can't say that I feel terribly compelled to finish. Nope, not even to hear the resolution of the moral dilemma. The history part is over and I've lost interest.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The Storyteller

Any additional comments?

A Jodi Picoult novel, narrated by Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, Suzanne Toren, and Fred Berman. The Storyteller is just over 18 hours of listening in the audiobook format.

There are near 10,000 reviews, you need not go far for a synopsis of plot.

No issues with narration, it’s fine.

These comments are directed to the overall impression of mixing a diabolical historical event still an open sore to survivors/descendants, and a mythical SciFi character. The Storyteller very typically Picoult, well written, a page turning mystery with considerable research, a vivid imagination, or a combination of both.

The story within the story is a part of the book I didn’t particularly like - it was extraneous to the heart of the tale - one of the darkest eras of humanity, the holocaust. That segment of the story devoted to modern day Nazi hunting and the memories of Minka through a ghetto, box cars, multiple concentration camps, multiple losses of family and friends, Nazi visceral brutality and genocide, etc., is a gripping tale. These segments are interrupted with another story however, the fictional tale of a vampire - Minka’s writings and link to sanity during her ordeal.

The overall story had me completely lost, initially, until I figured out that the vampire story was Minka’s writings. I had trouble grasping this; it was so bizarre and unrelated to the holocaust. Even Picoult’s effort to weave the vampire tale into a Nazi siblings relationship at the end of the book is a bit silly.

I’m torn with liking/recommending this book. I guess if you like the work of Picoult, you’ll like the book. The Storyteller isn’t the best holocaust book, nor is it the best vampire book - but it is a Picoult novel. Not her best, though.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Her best so far

I have read other Jodi Picoult books and have enjoyed them a lot, but I loved this one. My favorite part by far was the Grandmother's Story. So powerful. I thought Picoult did a masterful job of pulling so many personalities together in a complicated yet totally believable way. My heart was in this story from the beginning. I am not at all sure I liked or agreed with the way it ended, but it has given me a lot to think about, and that is one of the marks of a good book.

The narrators were wonderful! Especially the grandmother. :)

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • yvonne corlett
  • 08-05-17

Very good gripping story

Gives a good prospective to this very difficult subject highly recommend sad in places very good narrated

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-17

Wonderful

Great story, with a heart wrenching account of a holocaust survivor . Believable characters and lots of plot twists make for a gripping read.

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  • metfer
  • 07-28-17

An absolutely enthralling story.

Listening to this book bought to the fore many emotions, it is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to to date. The narration is superb, I don't want to give the story away, just listen & never forget their history.

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  • Rex
  • 07-05-17

Exciting in Parts

Didn't really enjoy the love story between Leo and Sage, but really enjoyed Minka's story, and loved the twist at the end

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  • Derra Kew
  • 06-30-17

Great narration

Fantastic story with a sometimes difficult to hear subject matter.

The narrators were Fantastic, especially the man who I'm about to Google to find out what else he's read. The all really made the characters come to life.

Can't recommend this book enough.

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  • J
  • 06-25-17

Not sure at first but so pleased I kept listening

It is seldom that I listen to a book and really dont want it to end. This is such an interesting book that I have recommended it to several friends and I am very grateful to the Daily Deal for this excellent story.

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  • Ads
  • 05-18-17

really loved this book

really enjoyed it, good characters, good pace , found myself wanting to listen for longer and longer

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  • Nicky
  • 05-14-17

great listen loved it from start to finish

Great listen the narrator's did an excellent job with the accents and dialogue in German. It kept me hooked until the end.

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  • Michelle
  • 05-13-17

Wow

Amazing a journey through so many emotions. Beautifully written and read. Been a little late for work a few times as I had to hear the next part.

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  • Sarah
  • 05-08-17

Wow.... highly recommend this book!

took me a little while to get into it, but when I did couldn't stop listening! thought provoking in everyway....

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  • PATRICIA R ANTULOV
  • 01-12-16

A wonderfully woven masterpiece

Jodi Picoult has truly excelled herself iwhen writing this intricately interwoven, intriguing novel. As the stories, set in differing timeframes, unfold, the mysteries heighten. This is one that you cannot put down!

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  • Liz
  • 01-06-16

Amazing! Great twists and turns!

I am so glad I listened to this! Another great Jodi Pilcoult story. Always thought provoking and engaging! Well worth listening to.

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  • Jules
  • 11-01-15

Brilliant

One of the most brilliant story's I've ever heard, very detailed, true and heart breaking, will leave an inpact in your mind, defiantly a favourite book of mine.

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  • Victor Borghero
  • 04-13-15

Another Look at the Holocaust

An interesting story of Nazi Germany through the eyes of a Jewish family caught up in the horror of WWII.