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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
  • 5 Stars
    5,945
  • 4 Stars
    2,332
  • 3 Stars
    613
  • 2 Stars
    184
  • 1 Stars
    127

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    6,050
  • 4 Stars
    1,739
  • 3 Stars
    343
  • 2 Stars
    70
  • 1 Stars
    57

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    5,411
  • 4 Stars
    2,005
  • 3 Stars
    575
  • 2 Stars
    162
  • 1 Stars
    112
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  • Story
  • KP
  • Oakland, CA
  • 02-03-15

All the Right Elements

This book had all the right elements for a great read: it was a good story that had many levels, the writing was good, there were lessons about history, as well as philosophical or ethical questions to ponder.

I loved the way there were 3 different stories going on at once. First there is the story of Sage and her struggle with how to interact with Joseph Weber and her meeting Leo. Then there is Minka’s story of the Upior, based on an old Polish fairy tale. This was interesting as a parallel and a metaphor for many of the actions and horrors that occurred in the book. The third and, to me, the most dramatic story was that of Minka herself and her path into and finally out of two different German concentration camps. The author very skillfully weaves these 3 story lines together in such a way that each story line adds to and helps to develop the other.

Spoiler alert here: I had trouble putting the book down! If I have any criticism, it’s with the ending. I’m not sure that the big switch in the character of Joseph Weber at the end was necessary or very well explained. Also, the idea that Sage pulls off her final act but seems to have no intention of sharing it or talking about it with Leo seems unrealistic. OR perhaps I’m unconvinced that she really could or would pull off this final decision. I feel like this final section was, perhaps, rushed or underdeveloped in relation to all that had come before. However, this didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book overall.

I highly recommend it.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Poor transitions, smarmy story

What would have made The Storyteller better?

This is not a kind review I guess. I was trying out Picoult because had heard she is admired. Will not be writing any more poor reviews For this author I promIse; because I will never try another book of hers. She is 'not for me'.

I might have finished the book as a time filler but the audio transitioned poorly. When multiple characters tell a story it would not kill the audiobook editors to insert a spoken caption between characters. Especially when a female narrator does multiple characters, but a male narrator is used for the one male character. Weird. On top of which, as the story unfolds you realize one thread is a story inside the story, while the rest are just the story. If you think my description was inelegant imagine experiencing it as a listener who does not suspect how the book is laid out.

The second reason I couldn't get through the book was that it was that icky chick lit bunkum that I can't tolerate. Heroine who is horribly disfigured but actually strikingly beautiful, plus an orphan; noble Harvard lawyer who although sticking with the program, realizes after he graduates that the culture is not a good fit, ditches it all for a low paid position as Nazi tracker (with is frankly winding down from attrition these days and is difficult to picture as a calling for a young, sharp, and motivated man who wants to make a difference); Nazi SS guard hiding in plain sight, in the same small town as a holocaust survivor; Jewish mother; vampires; generations of amazing bakers (who are related but who are also each self taught because baking is a genetic gift not a skill); a nun who spurned her vows but has regular epiphanies. And a little dog too.

I should have known that I would be intolerant of such a mix of characters unless the book was a genre- bending meta sendup. I am deeply sorry to Picoult lovers and the author for a nasty review, but for my fellow eye-rollers who feel like they have heard it all and are looking for a new author: Picoult's probably not for you either.

Has The Storyteller turned you off from other books in this genre?

Didn't need to. Never liked them in the first place.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrators were good but transitions between characters perspectives was absent and confusing.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Storyteller?

Didn't get through book. Would have added audio captions when switching between characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Gather some tissue....

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

You will know when you get there, but there are parts of this book that will make you cry. In addition to feeling sorrow, you will get angry at some of the characters and angry that such atrocities actually occurred in the past. This story is a good reminder to be greatful for the little things in life and for the most obvious.

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  • Story
  • Eunique
  • Sagamore Hills, Oh United States
  • 12-12-14

Amazing book

What did you love best about The Storyteller?

I love that this is a story in a story in a story. There are so many layers to this book. It just makes you think on so many levels.

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

Yes and no. It's not an edge of the seat type of thriller. But I was so captured by the characters and their stories that I definitely had to keep listening.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Minka is a character I won't soon forget. She is written so well, and the performance really does her justice. .

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me want to discuss it with everyone. I have most of my friends listening or reading just so we can do that. Just the questions of right and wrong, coupled with forgiveness for those acts keep me thinking about this story long after I finished it.

Any additional comments?

I think this book should be required reading - especially in ethics classes.

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  • Story
  • Sandy
  • Orlando, FL
  • 11-19-14

Narration was the best and made the story!!

This was a hard one to get into. I almost returned it as this story and how it jumped around so much from stories almost lost me. It grabbed me when the Grandmother started telling her story and then I was hooked. Fantastic narration and just grabbed you with her heart breaking saga of being in a concentration camp as a young girl and how she survived. The ending just kept getting better as it all came together. I'm still not thrilled with how this author threw in a few chapters of who is this and how does this connect with the story, but at the end you find out. It's a great 4 star book with a 5 star narration from this group. WOW!!

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  • Story

Outstanding

This was an amazing book. Makes you cry and think. Possibly Picoult's best ever. Narration was simply great.

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  • Story

Gripping & Thought Provoking

Would you listen to The Storyteller again? Why?

This is another gripping read by Jodi Picoult. The story is heart-wrenching, yet warm & touching. I really enjoyed reading this book and I know it is fiction, but I always find it difficult to read about war, suffering, and the hurt that was endured.

What other book might you compare The Storyteller to and why?

This book reminded me of Sarah's Key.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Phenomenal narration!

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

Great storyline, characters, and very detailed descriptions of the era. The twists and turns were numerous, but the ending is what pushed me over the edge. It really left me thinking, wondering, and then thinking again--- isn't that what a GREAT book does??

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Book

Would you listen to The Storyteller again? Why?

Yes. Everytime I listen, I hear a small wonderfull detail i missed the first time.

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  • Story
  • Steve
  • PROSPECT, Cayman Islands
  • 09-09-14

One of the best books I have ever listened to.

Where does The Storyteller rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have over 600 books on audible. This is in the top 3!


What did you like best about this story?

the humanization of the jews.they were not statistics they were people.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good But Not Great

If this story had been billed as a drama it would have gotten a five star rating but as a mystery, although well written, it drags on and too much time is spent in the past.