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Publisher's Summary

Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda's life is enviable (she's a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married,) and Yolandi's a mess (she's divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely close - raised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf's desire to end her life. After Elf's latest attempt, Yoli must quickly determine how to keep her family from falling apart, how to keep her own heart from breaking, and what it means to love someone who wants to die.

©2014 Miriam Toews (P)2014 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about All My Puny Sorrows

Average Customer Ratings
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Snoozer

Painfully boring, depressing and has absolutely no plot. I couldn't make it past chapter 5.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Inconsistencies and unbelievable plot progressions

My title line explains most of my disillusion with this novel. Being more specific will qualify this report as a spoiler.

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  • Mira
  • 2016-03-17

Brilliant and beautiful

This is one of the best books I have ever read/listened to. Magnificent writing. Wonderful reading.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Eric
  • 2016-02-24

Exquisite book

Would you consider the audio edition of All My Puny Sorrows to be better than the print version?

Typically I prefer the one I engage with first. It's sometimes shocking to hear how a narrator handles a book I've read. I hadn't imagined it his or her way. In this case, the narrator enhanced what was already a great book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was the mother but her sister and both of her daughters were also beautifully drawn.

What about Erin Moon’s performance did you like?

Everything. Even the hospital staff was well and sometimes sympathetically voiced.

Who was the most memorable character of All My Puny Sorrows and why?

I can't think of anyone who isn't memorable.

Any additional comments?

Unless solicited for advice, I usually don't recommend books. But I sent a few emails after finishing this one.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-04-04

Not my usual cup of tea.

But I really liked it. I think the performance didn't quite hit the level of sarcasm present in the narrator's hyperbole, but that's maybe a subjective nitpick. The ending felt drawn out and it was a chore to finish. Totally worth it though. I'm a male with no siblings and this story punched me in the heart. The narration was incredibly sincere. Pretty great through and through.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jamie Grant
  • 2015-09-04

Would you assist your siblings suicide?

A sad, serious, humourous family's struggle with life, depression and suicide. thank you 4.5 stars

1 person found this helpful

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  • leckybang
  • 2015-04-23

Sad Story, Unforgettable Writing Voice

If you could sum up All My Puny Sorrows in three words, what would they be?

A story you'll need to take a breather from every once and awhile as it confronts death and loss head on, but the writing voice will bring you back.

What did you like best about this story?

Miriam Toews is funny and honest about what it's like to be a woman, and she brings a sense of dry whimsy to her memories of her oppressive Mennonite upbringing.

Any additional comments?

I love how Audible tries to use readers from the same area the writer is from. Erin Moon's voice acting was great. I would listen to another book featuring her as the reader.

1 person found this helpful

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  • flounderguts
  • 2015-02-11

Really depressing story

Don't listen to this if you are prone to depression. It's super dark.

However, it is masterfully written and very well performed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • nancy london
  • 2021-10-16

brilliant story and perfect narration

I've listened to this book twice now and each time I've been swept into its heartbreak, black humor, grief and the healing power of love. Each sentence is packed with so much emotion it's almost unbearable while the narrator captures all the characters perfectly. Don't miss this one if you're tired of trite stories.

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  • nancy
  • 2020-02-16

heavy, funny, authentic. wonderful reader.

the story is one that happens all the time. but we never get used to it. it made me think.

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  • Helen A. Morrow
  • 2018-01-26

wonderful

I loves this novel. Beautiful writing. I will read more by this author. The narrator is wonderful.

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  • TM
  • 2017-06-15

A complete downer

This book is so much of a downer! It's hard to remember anything bright or happy! Not the best story.

1 person found this helpful