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Turtles All the Way Down Audiobook

Turtles All the Way Down

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Publisher's Summary

The wait is over! John Green, the number one best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, is back.

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward.

Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza's story with shattering, unflinching clarity.

©2017 John Green (P)2017 Listening Library

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (604 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.6 (553 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.6 (560 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jess Washington State, USA 10-21-17
    Jess Washington State, USA 10-21-17 Member Since 2014
    RATINGS
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    9
    9
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    Performance
    Story
    "An Empathetic World For Everyone"

    The story covers the life a high schooler, Aza, who suffers from OCD. Her and her best friend Daisy are interested in the mysterious disappearance of a local billionaire. The son of the billionaire winds up in a romantic relationship with Aza, and to not spoil anything, I will cease writing on the plot.

    The book has many topics; obsessive compulsive disorder is just one of them. It also covers love, friendship and family, meaning of life, an intimate interperspective look of the human psyche and social stigmas. Beyond anything else, this book is highly empathetic with whatever topic may be discussed within its words. I doubt there is a human being on this earth that would not be able to connect with it in some matter of fashion. It is deeply intimate in the way you spiral yourself into the mind of Aza.

    A friendship to be zealous over
    Aza and Daisy are the best of friends; although, for the majority of the book, this friendship is one-sided. Perhaps the listener can catch on, or perhaps the listener will have to be confronted with the heart breaking discovery in an important conversation. The conversation and following events were an important reality check for these two girls, as their relationship was awkwardly shuffled and they managed to rearrange the pieces into a more complete picture. Each person was eventually able to fully understand the other, which eventually made them cling tighter together as the inseparable pair of Daisy and Homsie.

    Love to be reconciled with
    I will say that Aza realizes how to navigate her love interest, recognizing her weakness and needs, but also his needs in the same instance. This is really how love is. It's about making decisions about intimacy and limits, passion and honesty. This book shows how we should all make decisions about love in a humbling manner.

    Mental Illness
    This is primary weakness of our main character. There seems to be two Azas in this story, one who is control and one who is in less control. There's the Aza that is displayed to general public and the world, then there's the Aza who lives inside her head. The worldly Aza just meticulously cleans her cut finger multiple times a day, while the inwardly Aza forces herself to ingest hand sanitizer because the thought that she might have contracted C-diff by either not cleaning her finger, kissing a boy, or spending the night in a hospital is all too consuming. I will get overwhelmed by making a mistake at work that might actually affect a patient's medical results and this thought may consume me all day long and perhaps even into the next day. These thoughts may even give me tunnel vision, to which I do not actually read or listen to my world, except through the filter of overwhelming dread of perhaps adding a drop too much acid or a gram too much preservative to the clinical laboratory test I am performing. But eventually, these thoughts fade, and I am able to slip back into the normal self. Aza's thoughts are just as consuming, prompting her to act in certain ways, except they do not escape her. They don't just dissipate with time, but they consumer her even more as time progresses. Us, as listeners, are revealed her thoughts, from her perspective, from the perspective of someone who suffers from OCD (as John Green has openly revealed to his YouTube audience in his channel called the Vlogbrothers). In this overwhelming and intimate encounter with her thoughts, empathy can be found. Empathy is not far from those words. Terrorizing feelings can be derived as we are expected to experience life with Aza. Humility can also be found as we realize the fragility of life and reality that we may all be a little like Aza. A little piece of Aza can found in all of us.

    Critiques

    The Timing
    It's incredibly intimate and thrilling to experience the feeling that you, as a listener, have spent so many moments with this character, and those moments add to a long amount of time overall. It's like this simultaneous feeling that time is slow and fast at the same time. If you think about the novel you have just listened to, you have spent many months or years with this one character. To think of all the crazy moments you have experienced with that character leaves you feeling very complete and whole. While this book does do an excellent job at creating this feeling, there was a sentence that struck me a little cold. It was the one that says that Aza went back to school in the first or second week of December. I couldn't believe that I had spent only 2 to 3 months her and was a little furious that it wasn't March or April, like it had felt like for me. I feel that I have spent so much more time with Aza than what was actually revealed and I felt a little distraught to know that I have spent less time with her.

    The Inheritance
    Spoiler alert: the billionaire is found to be dead, and according to his will (revealed early on) all of his money will be gifted to a Tuatara, some specialized and ancient version of a lizard. What seemed odd to me is that his son's weren't left with anything. Here's what I mean: Pickette had two underaged sons which was his responsibility to care for while he was still alive. Therefore his inheritance should maintain that responsibility as well, since he is no longer alive and he left behind two underaged sons. To me, it seems reasonable that the sons would be taken care, by law, under his inheritance up until a certain age..... but apparently that's not true in the story. Everything else in this story seems logical except that detail.

    The Audible version
    Kate Rudd's performance
    I personally did not enjoy the performance of Kate Rudd and almost quit listening to this book on several occasions. Primarily, Rudd often used this monotonic voice when reading the exposition and dialogue of Aza. I found this insulting as it dehumanized and stigmatized the perception of mental illness rather than making it relatable. In other words, this voice that Rudd used made Aza seem a lot more different than relatable; like she could never be reconciled with rather than a character who I relate to. I realize that this voice may have been used with a purpose, perhaps with the preference of John Green. Rudd may have purposely used this monotonic voice because it was Green's true vision of Aza. On the other hand, I did not prefer it.

    Secondly, Rudd had a poor performance with male voices. I think it's a fallacy of a narrator to think they have to project their voices in particular ways to make opposing gendered characters sound 'good' in dialogue. There are many great narrators that don't project their voices, but each voice for each character they use is unique and adds an animated quality to the listening. Rudd projected her voice so much to sound like a man that all the male characters sounded the same. Fortunately, there were only a couple of scenes that had multiple male characters. Those scenes did end up being a little confusing because you couldn't really keep up with who was talking. On a similar note, there were times when Aza and Daisy would be in a conversation and Rudd would mix-up the voices. So there was dialogue clearly from Aza that would sound like Daisy, and dialogue clearly from Daisy that would be in Aza's monotonic voice. In other words, I think that Rudd should work on her vocal characterization to make each character sound like their own person, especially with male characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 10-21-17
    10-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    1
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    "John Greens Best Yet"

    the only problem I had was that, at first. I had trouble connecting with the characters. Its fixed quickly by the 3-4 chapter though. A true look at Mental Illness struggles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Gagliani 10-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Incredible! Powerful!"

    So amazing! I found myself caught in my own thought spirals while listening to this. As a nearly 30 year old guy, who knew I'd be so enthralled with this main character. I am so glad to have listened to this and can't wait to get the book and read it word by word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alon 10-21-17
    alon 10-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
    1
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    "That was lovely. Truly beautiful."

    Painfully beautiful, this one is hard to resist falling in love with. Thank you John, DFTBA.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Talia Bradford 10-21-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "I loved it"

    wonderful,
    brilliant idea , storytelling was wonderful. I know that I identify with Aza and that's really awesome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 10-20-17
    10-20-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Absolutely wonderful"

    At first I started reading because I like John Green as an author. The first few chapters I saw him at the other side of the paper orchestrating the narrative. But soon he disappeared and it was me, the book and the story. In the end even the book disappeared and it was just the feelings and the experience. This, in itself, is an amazing accomplishment. But that he chose not to let me dvelve in the world of heroes, comedies or tragedies lifts it to another level. I was not led into the world of a cliche. Instead I got the opportunity to walk a mile in the shoes of a person struggling with a mental illness. And in the end I am not going to spend my life with heroes, struggling to understand their awesome nature. I am going to meet people like myself needing empathy and understanding which John Green excellently brings me to in this wonderful book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly 10-20-17
    Kelly 10-20-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My New Favorite!"

    Very poetic- emotional, I wanted to meet all of the characters! Every character had issues and challenges- but, they all took care of one another! Well done!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LK Larchmont, NY 10-20-17
    LK Larchmont, NY 10-20-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    12
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    "Excellent Book"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book - the narration was excellent. His books are so easy and enjoyable to read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 10-19-17
    Matthew 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Challenging, Enlightening, Relatable"

    Really great book. Aza is one of the most real characters I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Her struggles with mental health and questions of self give way to a host of realizations about life, love, and happiness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gjhorst 10-19-17
    gjhorst 10-19-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    15
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    "It makes me worry."

    This is unlike anything which I have ever read before. The frame of the narrative quickly falls away until, like Aza, you are only dwelling in the forced thoughts surrounding her. It is said only the wise can understand that they don't know something. This book makes me feel like I will never truly understand her mind, and that worries me. Please read this book, if nothing else, to also help you not understand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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