The Magician's Elephant

Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,645 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her?

The fortuneteller’s mysterious answer (An elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that Peter can hardly dare to believe it.

But it is - all of it - true.

©2010 Kate DiCamillo (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Yes, the Impossible!

While I agree with another reviewer who pointed out that the characters repeated themselves often, I chalk that up to this being, primarily, aimed at a younger audience. It's not just for them, however, because adults too can listen with a childlike innocence and enjoy this tale of the impossible.
In a cold and bleak winter, an orphan seizes hope and sets out find an elephant, find his sister, find the family he's been missing. Along the way are many, many broken souls, and even a blind dog becomes important in the scheme of things. There are many stories here, expertly touching on each other. It's delightful.
DiCamillo's rich prose is topped only by the astonishing narration by Juliet Stevenson (whom you may know from her works by Jane Austen). She perfectly characterizes each person, captures desperation, hopelessness, grief, wonder, and joy. Truly a remarkable performance.
This short book is definitely worth the listen, and you'll enjoy the wondrous answer to that most magical of questions: "What If?"

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderfully magical story

Kate DiCamillo is a wonderful artist. The world she takes us into is delightful, and each character in the story plays a significant role. The story is touching, heartwarming, and simply magical.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Delightful!

This is a delightful tale of hopes and dreams and the magic moments in life. The story is not too long - I listened to it in two afternoons - and it held my interest. The narrator, Juliet Stevenson, was one of the best I've ever heard. Her range of voices for the different characters was nothing short of amazing!! I highly recommend it!

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

WONDERFUL!

What a lovely story of perseverance, and belief in the impossible. Kudos to Ms. Stevenson whose artful reading added her own bit of magic as we traveled together on this delightful journey. I can still hear the fortune teller's words in my mind week's after listening. Fabulous tale, excellent reading.

24 people found this helpful

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"She's alive"

This book was magical. The audio version brings an elevation of drama that brought me chills. Each time the reader repeated a sentence designed to drive a thought home, such as "She's alive" I felt it in my bones! Lovely!

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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This Book is Magic

I know, boring title for the review, but it does sum up what I first thought about this book. Magic. Then I looked at the title of the novel and...sigh. Then I thought, that's okay, I don't have to be clever or original, that's the job of the novelist. And Kate DiCamillo is so talented a novelist, that although I am not the intended audience, I love it nonetheless. Indeed, as I listened it made me remember why I fell in love with reading as a child, and how a book like this easily transports me to that state of mind, that accepting and eager devourer of fiction that I was as a child. So, treat yourself. If you are looking for a lovely little diversion of a story, this tale of love and family (and perhaps there is nothing more magical than that!), you are in for a treat. Also, Juliet Stevenson is a treasure of a narrator. It made me plan my trip for a time when I knew that I would be required to drive slowly because of the flow of traffic. This is a book I will return to again and again.

3 people found this helpful

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Sweet Sweet Sweet

What did you like best about this story?

Listened to this one with my 12 and 10 year old sons on a long car trip. It's adorable, a little sad but a happy ending. My boys read a lot of dystopia fiction and though I'm a fan, I'm tired of the constant dose the boys get. This was my pick,they didn't complain once, and still quote it occasionally.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I intended only Lilies!

My 8 year old daughter and I spent a very enjoyable car trip listening to this lovely and entertaining story. We are big fans of Kate DiCamillo and this one did not disappoint us. We loved the characters, we loved the dialogue, the voices and the happy ending.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Full of life lessons.

Dreams, hope, life lessons. Amazing listen. I can't wait to share it with my 3rd grade class.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A hero strong and true

Peter Augustus Duchene has entered my hero's Hall of Fame. Brave, honest and compassionate, he stops at nothing to learn the truth behind his own past and the present amazing events disrupting the peace in his city, and to set all things right. The supporting cast is by turns comical, quirky and endearing. The solution to the story is beyond heartwarming. None of the touching emotion would have been half so effective without the bravura performance by Juliet Stevenson. More stars are needed.

9 people found this helpful