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The Eighth Life  By  cover art

The Eighth Life

By: Nino Haratischvili
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
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Publisher's Summary

At the start of the 20th century, on the edge of the Russian empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste....

Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the center of the Russian Revolution in St. Petersburg. Stasia’s is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century. 

Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections. A ballet dancer never makes it to Paris and a singer pines for Vienna. Great characters and greater relationships come and go and come again; the world shakes, and shakes some more, and the listener rejoices to have found at last one of those glorious old books in which you can live and learn, be lost and found, and make indelible new friends.

©2019 Nino Haratischvili (P)2021 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about The Eighth Life

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Historical Fiction about Georgia and the Soviet Union

I am about a third of the way through this book.
It is extremely well written.
I am familiar with the history and this historical fiction is very accurate.
There is an amazing scene of the NKVD investigating Georgian nationalists.
This book is so all encompassing.
It has Georgian history.
It has the 1917 revolution.
It has World War 2.
All in the first 1/3 of the book.
And the characters are well developed and you quickly come to care about them.
One of the best books I have purchased on Audible in a long time.

9 people found this helpful

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Amazing novel, ok narration, and mispronounced names and places

An amazing, very engaging “war and peace” type of a novel, written from the perspective of Soviet periphery. Living in Georgia, i loved imagining the story unfold in different corners of this charismatic country. On the other hand, i was shocked and very annoyed that the producers did not bother verifying the pronunciation of so many key names used repeatedly in the text - very disturbing. Giorgi, Cheburashka, Vake,.. all these terms are butchered over and over again in a way that would anger the author i imagine, and very much annoys the aware listener. Still very highly recommended, but if you know Georgia or Georgian language, be prepared!

3 people found this helpful

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Eight Generations, History, and Chocolate

Laced throughout this book is a description of a remarkable substance—a special blend of chocolate—rationed out in baked goods it provides the taster with a state of bliss like none they have ever had. But as with most things in life that are this potent, there is a limit, different for each person, that will bring a bitter taste of despair, tragedy, and fear.

Therefore, the original “chocolatier” cautioned a person in each generation never to use it full strength but, as a most precious spice, only to flavor a dish. It is handed down to each generation. This family saga covers eight generations who learn the balance of good and evil. Over the next 107 years, you follow their journey while the history of some of the bloodiest events in history play out.

To write a summary of this becomes a saga in itself. I will leave this to the other reviewers and here talk about how I was affected by the book. I fell into this book and it swept past before I knew it—all 944 pages of it. There is a strong sense of place and time with fully developed characters that you care about from the very beginning and a history of a very specific country. The end of the book was perfect. So I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys family drama, historical fiction, and chocolate…

2 people found this helpful

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S Very good read

It’s taken me months to get thru this book the story line is very good but too detailed

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Great story, good performance

Absolute loved the story and really enjoyed most aspects of the audiobook performance. The dramatic interpretation was spot on for me (despite some inconsistencies in rendering character’s accents), but I really wished the performer/director would have learned how to pronounce the many famous names and foreign loan words that appeared throughout the text. The names—especially those of famous Russian authors and musicians—were really butchered, but this will only bother the listener if they know the correct pronunciation and /or care about how you say Alla Pugachëva, kolkhoz, etc.

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Exhausting

This is not a book to enjoy.Great Great Grandfather? no Great grandfather? Grandfather? Father is out of the picture… but she satepmother🤨 I have gone over the first 3 chapter so many times I got dizzy. 1900 -1999 only so many years the last I heard?

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wow!!

Makes me wish I knew more about Eastern European history. I realize how American-centric my schooling was. A beautiful story.

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a worthy investment in listening time

Loved it but very long. Great voice actor. Do think it could be edited down.

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Amazing book

I loved this book. The narrator she was amazing. The story is incredible. I definitely recommend this book

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Very, Very Long. Worth not listening to.

I typically love a long audiobook. How wonderful to have hours of imaginative entertainment. But at about the halfway point, I realized I couldn’t take it anymore, mostly because I didn’t like one single character. Likely, Kitty was my favorite, but even then, listening for hours about people with few redeeming qualities—some had none—was too painful, given the hardship and horrors of the setting. So I did something I rarely do with an audiobook—I stopped listening.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-16-22

This is an amazing book, but not for everyone.

This book is quite a commitment in both length and graphic content so won't be for everyone, but if you feel able to commit then it will give you a really good story whilst also teaching you something of the history of the USSR. In particular through the eyes of thè female line of a fictitious Georgian family.

However it really does not shy away from the brutality of life behind the iron curtain and tells a tragic tale in many particularly given the geopolitical situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

Please proceed with exstreame caution if you are struggling with your mental health. I don't know whether I would have started the journey had I been fully armed with the facts before doing so but I was too gripped to stop once I had started. A masterpiece.

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  • fiona
  • 07-14-22

A beautiful intricately woven carpet

The most beautiful intricately woven carpet I have ever read. The words drew me into the worlds of every character as they unfolded.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-21

Great Storytelling

A great read. The story of revolution, family, love, betrayal as experienced by a Georgian family throughout the 20th century and beyond. Larger than life characters and great storytelling kept me enthralled.

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  • Robert Smith
  • 08-13-21

A great big rollicking read

There is a point when purchasing a book when you consider its length. Can I really commit to something this long, but soon you are wrapped up in a tumble of stories, history and heartbreak. Ending the book is quite emotional as you have to leave this remarkable family behind. A set of beautifully drawn and realised characters who have been with you through a turbulent century. Wonderful.

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  • Irma Alpenidze
  • 07-12-21

A pity that local names/places are mispronounced

Although I can appreciate that it is not easy to work with a lengthy story like this one, I wonder how difficult it would have been to check and pronounce correctly georgian names, surnames, and places. it really got on my nerves and decreased the quality of listening. somehow felt wrong like this was not important to anyone...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-23-22

It’s a historic tome. Generations of history.

Such a long and involved story. Well written. A bit too long and involved and a little bit boring for my preference.