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The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1
Written by: Rick Riordan
Narrated by: Jesse Bernstein
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (430 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp.

Suddenly, mythical creatures seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he's coming to realize, are very much alive in the 21st-century. And worse, he's angered a few of them: Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy has just 10 days to find and return Zeus's stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. On a daring road trip from their summer camp in New York to the gates of the Underworld in Los Angeles, Percy and his friends, one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena, will face a host of enemies determined to stop them. To succeed in his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of failure and betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

©2005 Rick Riordan (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Lightning Thief

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

Love it!

I really like the voice and performance. I love the book. This is my very first Audible! I am very happy with it!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Pronunciation

Jesse doesn’t pronounce magic correctly or cyclops, I suggest having someone with more literary skills

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing Books

The Percy Jackson books were what made me start reading at 13, and as im re-reading the saga at 20, its no less amazing.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Read

So this was my first audible book and I have to say it was amazing. The story and narration had me so interested. If you are new to audible I highly recommend trying this one out forsure.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but can be tough to listen to reader

This is a good story and I have enjoyed it quite a lot. My issue is with the reader. He is ok but pronounces several words different than the normal pronunciation. He also says ‘both’ with an L in it like ‘bolth’. It’s been a pet peeve of mine and most probably won’t have any issue at all. It’s a good story and helps to give a basic knowledge of the gods and who they are and their basic history.

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible story

This story is terrible, stupid story. just joking ! Best story ever must listen to it again

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Rekindled my love for greek mythology

My job allows me to wear earphones in my ears for 10 hours straight, so all i do is listen to podcasts music and audio books. When i joined audible my first thoughts were listen to the percy jackson series, since i loved reading them in middle school. Once listening to the first book over a few days at work, ive fallen in love with greek mythology again.

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Great read great narration

A fun read all around well done. Narrator has some good voices. Ares was my favourite voice.

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great way tonget into a new serise

my daughter was having issues getting into this series and after listing to the first book she is hooked!

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Lol

Good book still good book still need five more words still a really good book lol

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • 2010-01-27

Fun, even for adults.

I enjoyed this book because it was fun, light "reading." I even learned or remembered a few things from Greek mythology. My 9 year old lost interest quickly, so I recommend it for maybe 13-14 yr olds. I do think the narrator used some strange interpretations of voices. Some of the characters sounded absolutely the same, which left me wondering if they are the same person(but I won't find that out until later), or he has a limited number of voices period. I will definitely download the next book in the series. I think if you like the Harry Potter series, you will probably enjoy these.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • 2005-08-17

The Lightning Theif

This book is a fabulous tale of a 12 year old boy Percy Jackson who is trying to discover who he is and how he fits into the world around him. He is not like other kids because he was fathered by one of the greek gods and a mortal mom. The book introduces the reader to several of the greek gods and goddesses which allows the reader to remember who they were and what they did. Once you start listening you just can't stop. My 9 year old couldnt put it down for 2 days. he would have never read the actual book because of the length but was mezmorized once he started listening. Believe me you won't be disappointed.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julia
  • 2010-02-28

Loved the story - but.....

I've always had a love of mythology so I was intrigued by the series after I saw the movie trailer. I loved the story - but I will purchase the paperback books and read them instead of downloading the next in the series because I could not abide the narrator. I'm usually fairly non-judgmental about the narrator if the story is good - and I totally get that he is suppose to be just a kid and "clueless" but I felt the narrator's inability to bring the characters to life did not do the story justice. My own mind can do a better job while I read the printed page and I won't be as annoyed as I got with this audiobook.

117 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ariel
  • 2014-02-05

Great story, terrible narration.

Jesse Bernstein's voice has a condescending tone, like he is talking down to children, in every moment of the story. It makes him unbelievable as the main character, though he does a fine and consistent job as other character voices. It doesn't make the book unlistenable, but it certainly detracts from the enjoyment of a good tale.

75 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Muffy S.
  • 2005-07-24

Decent story - distracting narration.

The story itself was good - if predictable at several points. Not great literature, but a diverting read for a few summer afternoons. I enjoy young adult literatire, and while this doesn't compare to classics like Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy, or recent greats like Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, the story was entertaining enough.

However, I had a hard time not being completely irritated by the narrator. Generally I give myself over to the story, but I found myself thinking over and over that I wished someone else - anyone else - were narrating instead. Everything he reads is delivered in an over-earnest voice, like a child actor trying too hard to be super cute and precocious. His female voices are grating. And the worst offense was that in an attempt to give the male characters different voices, one of them - who could have been an interesting, complex character, instead sounds just like Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure; like a dim-witted surfer with a script in front of him.

To be fair, the reader's delivery may appeal more to children than adults. I mean, there must be some reason kids like Barney but adults can't stand him, right? And if it is appealing enough to children that it encourages them to love literature, then I suppose that's what really matters.

72 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann W.
  • 2017-12-07

Great first in series

Would you listen to The Lightning Thief again? Why?

I really love these stories. I've read them myself and have read this book with my students. A lot of people mention disliking the narrator. But, I felt the narrator did a good job in voicing the character of Percy Jackson. As it's a first-person narrator telling the story, it's important that the actual performing artist embrace the character of Percy Jackson. I felt the narrator did a great job interpreting the character of Percy into is performance.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Squigy
  • 2010-04-24

Great Read

I purchased this book for my son who is learning about greek mythology in school and he thought the book was awesome!

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Theodore
  • 2013-06-02

Fun KIDS Book

The quintessential truth about this book is that this is a book for kids. That is no to say that as am adult you can't or won't enjoy it but the long and short is this book was designed for kids. The author takes some obvious liberties taking this into consideration and if I have to base my review solely on it being a kids book... This book was actually great... Pity though I am not a kid nor do I have any at this time.

I liked the concept of the book, the thought process that went into creating this mythical world intertwined with our current time was rather impressive to say the least. If turned into a more young-adult/adult genre book I would thoroughly have enjoyed it because I would think the characters would have a lot more depth and certain concepts about this world would have been thought out much better. From my personal vantage point the book would have probably gotten 2 or 3 stars but thinking of it as a kids book it would get 5 stars..... so a clear medium was found here in giving it 4 stars.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jared M
  • 2006-12-08

good book, bad narrator

I liked the story, although it is a little sophomoric. The narrator almost ruined the book for me. I couldn't get past his bad acting and horrible sound effects. I'll get the next one if someone else reads it.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Martha
  • 2005-09-27

Great Story!

This was a great story. I loved it! I can't wait for the next installment to come out. I can only wish that my brother could have heard this when he was 12 and suffering from the same problems as the main character. I hate to say though that I agree with the first reviewer. The narrator was a little bit distracting. I can only say that he sounded like a California surfer dude. The only time his voice really irritated me was when he was supposed to have a British accent he held it for about a minute then he switched to a southern accent. This still doesn't distract from how great this story is written and put together. Bravo!

25 people found this helpful