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Publisher's Summary

Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

©2013 Jodi Picoult (P)2013 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Storyteller

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

awesome book, very well narrated!

couldn't stop listening. Looking for excuses to clean my house so I can listen to this book. Narrators are awesome, story is amazing

8 people found this helpful

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A definite reality check

This book is very well written. The story from both sides is heartbreaking. I would highly recommend it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jan
  • 2019-06-23

I couldn't stop listening

This is one of the most riveting and hesrtrending book I have ever read. Listening to the daily abject cruelty and humiliation heaped on prisoners made me almost tremble but the simple kindness to Minka by the farmers wife made me sob. It takes so little effort to extend kindness yet the Nazis could not inflict enough pain, starvation and cruelty on their prisoners. This book graphically paints a frightening portrait through the experiences of a young woman yet she saw, despite all of this, hope and refused to hate. Wonderfully written book and my first by this author. Can't wait to read more.

3 people found this helpful

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Awesome Book!

I literally could not stop listening - every time I got in the car or I was waiting in line or at an appointment, I would listen to see what was going to happen next! I loved this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • B
  • 2021-10-14

a holocaust story

I've listened to several holocaust stories, and that's what this is. The current days setting is just a context (and excuse) to tie the grandmother's story to current reality and help the reader relate. This is one of the best, most detailed accounts of the holocaust in question. It's painful. As it should be.

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Fascinating

I have read so many Holocaust stories that wrench my heart every time. This one was new as I d never read anything from a Nazi soldier’s point of view. Incredible research. A definite must read for those who enjoy historical fiction

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Excellent book.

Very good book. Narrators are great. I have recommended this to my friends and family.

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Could not wait to get back to listening

I loved this book, as a child of a survivor of the Holocaust, this book gave me a deep insight into what my father may have experienced. He never would speak of what happened or tell us his story, so I could definitely connect with the character Minka. So many of the names in the story are the same names of the relatives I never really got to connect with or know.

I loved this story and could not wait to get back to listening to it every day. The narrators were great, and I loved the way it took us from one character to another, and one time period in the past, to the current time period.

I love Jodi Picoult and feel this is one of her best.

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Some strong parts with some dissatisfaction

The main story the narrative of the Holocaust was graphic and pulling, holding attention. Then it was interspersed with a vampire monster fantasy story. I did not find the fantasy added, it was draining and I wanted to speed past it, I actually found I could zone out. I have liked some of the authors books but find the need to add to many characters creates frustration and confusion...this is one of those...

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A Difficult Read

I don’t think I have ever read a more detailed account of the holocaust. It was really hard to get through at times but well worth the read to say the least. The overriding theme of forgiveness and the question of what human beings can be capable of was examined in intricate and almost painful detail. Bravo.

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  • HDJ
  • 2013-04-25

I miss the old Jodi Picoult!

Jodi Picoult fans will be familiar with her usual formula of court-room drama and moral dilemmas. Her endings are never quite spelled out and the ultimate decision about what happens is left for the reader to decide. While still dealing with moral issues, the court-room drama is missing this time. The Storyteller is an historical novel that uses the Holocaust to explore guilt, responsibility and family. Like all Picoult's novels, The Storyteller is exceptionally well researched and the narration is outstanding. However,I did not find the story at all compelling. Vampires? Really? It just did not work for me and yes I did get the analogy Picoult tried to make but it was so unnecessary. All the characters, except the grandmother, felt shallow and contrived. I simply couldn't engage with a disfigured reclusive (not to mention self centered) baker, a 90 year old Nazi who is suddenly overtaken with remorse and a barista who speaks only in haiku (I got distracted counting syllables). Meanwhile, Jesus appears in a loaf of bread, a vampire wrecks havoc in a small village and three sisters are called Sage, Pepper and Saffron. Honestly, it could have been a comedy if it weren't for the grandmother's story. When I was listening to the chapters about Minka growing up in Poland and her time in the concentration camps, I was totally engrossed. It was disturbing and devastating and so unlike the rest of the book. I wanted much more of Minka and much less of everything else.

I used to be Jodi Picoult fan. I have read almost all of her novels but with each new book recently, she tries the same old formula and fails miserably. I miss the days when Picoult wrote novels that I could get lost in and that didn't bore me to death or make me roll my eyes in disbelief.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Abby R.
  • 2013-03-05

Perfect title especially for the audio format!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Storyteller to be better than the print version?

Absolutely. I haven't read the print version, but this book lends itself to being the perfect book for the audio format. The story is told by many points of view, including different voices of narration, and you can't help but being sucked into the story. I couldn't wait to be able to listen more and found myself annoyed when life got in the way. A theme throughout the book is "How does it (the story) end?" I found myself wanting to know the same and what happens next the whole way through the book including right up to the very end. Overall, a great book and a moving story!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sage - her internal struggles with grief and loss and the uncanny friendship she finds in Joseph only add to her struggles with his admission of his past secrets. Listening (and imagining) Sage evolve, transform and struggle with the task presented to her was fascinating and thought provoking.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Minka - when she opens up and tells of her past, you are drawn in. Her story is captivating and the narration makes you feel like you are sitting in the room as she shares her past in the ghetto and concentration camps.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, my reaction to this book would be better described as captivated or spell bound. I was sucked in. While I did laugh out loud a few times (thanks to Leo's wittiness), I actually didn't cry. More times I was disgusted by the conditions and life described so many Jews were subject to.

Any additional comments?

There were some great quotes included in this book that I caught myself jotting down.

"Good people are good people. Religion has nothing to do with it."

"It's amazing what you convince yourself of if you buy into the lie. You can believe, for example, that a dead-end job is a career. You can blame your ugliness for keeping people at bay when in reality, you're crippled by the thought of letting another person scar you more deeply. You can tell yourself it's safer to love someone who will never really love you back because you can't lose someone you never had...."

132 people found this helpful

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  • Alex MacDougall
  • 2019-10-06

Reader BEWARE!

I'm used to being sucker-punched by Jodi Picoult. That's what makes her books so good. However, the ending in this book was predictable but the worst part was that nowhere in the description of the book are you warned that this book has extremely detailed and disturbing retellings of the Holocost. If I had known that I would have saved the book for another day.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Suzn F
  • 2013-03-05

The Baker, The Nun, The Virgin and The Monster

This books begins with Sage Singer's life. She chooses to be a baker working alone at night she says, to hide her scar(s). She tells us "I leave the dough alone. It's silly to anthropomorphize bread......it needs to sit quietly, to retreat from touch and noise and drama in order to evolve and so do I". Sage is evolving; she rejects her religious heritage; she is an atheist.
She finds herself befriending a very old German man with a past that is perhaps entwined with her family somehow. She is faced with her Jewish roots. Sage must make choices that cause her to question her most basic beliefs.
I usually stay way from detailed stories about the Holocaust, I just find it too horrific. This author does go there. So just know to expect a detailed first person account of many atrocities.
I liked that the author is very serious and addresses these issues head on. And then at times Ms. Picoult made me giggle, she writes,“....tutoring a four year old to get into an exclusive preschool made as much sense as hiring a swim coach for a guppy......”
I liked this book because it held my interest throughout. Although at times, for me, Ms. Picoult's writing lacks something, it was easy for me to overlook because I was really hooked in the plot.
Overall this is a solid good book.

195 people found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 2013-03-23

Beyond hopes, let alone expectations

I will admit that I am a longtime fan of Jodi Picoult but this book ranks very high, possibly the best. I was able to foresee most of the twists but actually "living" the story rendered that irrelevant. I was truly riveted.

The performance was OUTSTANDING. Each of the 4 narrators were spectacular as well as each reader's performance exemplary. When a male character lapses into a quite decent Katherine Hepburn, I was blown away. The voices, accents and inflections were spot on!

I very highly recommend this book. I think it is well worth a peek regardless of personal views of the subject matter or the author.

85 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 2013-03-06

Wanted to Really like it...but didn't

I must start by saying I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult and have read most of her books. (I did not like her last one, Lone Wolf.) I know she uses a formula but it usually works for me. This one didn't use her typical formula - sans courtroom scene. This was not one of my favorite Jodi books. I can't give you a good reason why though. It wasn't the Holocaust story line that bothered me. It was well done and obviously well researched. I felt like there were too many story lines and just too many parts that were not plausible.

I did not like the fable/ vampire part of the story at all. That is what may have ruined the book for me. It just kept getting in the way of the real story. I think the book would have been better without it. Also, I so wanted to get to know both brothers.

The ending was very predictable, so why wasn't it predictable to the main character?

I'd still recommend the book. The theme of forgiveness is one I will ponder for a long time. I am anxious to have my 25 year old daughter read it and see what she thinks.

119 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue
  • 2013-03-03

Interesting...different than I thought it would be

Based on the summary, I thought most of the story would be centered on Josef, however, it was more about Sage's grandmother, , a victim and survivor of the Holocaust. I think I was looking forward to a more in depth exploration of a SS officer during and after the war, and that is the reason why I haven't given this a 5. Having said this, it is a very good story with good narration. I really liked "My Sister's Keeper" and did not like at all "Lone Wolf", so Jodi Picoult books for me can be hit or miss. I guessed most of the ending, however, the book has made me think about the characters and what I liked and did not like about some of them, well after finishing the book. I would recommend this book to others.

72 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 2013-06-18

Multiple Voices

It's always a treat when you get to listen to more than one narrator to perform different characters in a book. It always helps the listener to identify their favorite characters in the story.

I'm not too familiar with Jodi Picoult's work. "The Storyteller" is only my second book from this author, but from what I've read so far, I really enjoy Picoult's writing, even though I belong to the male species. Her story telling is very engaging, but not gear to a specific gender unlike other romance authors.

I really enjoyed the fictional history with the grandma and her tale about the Holocaust. Part 2 in The Storyteller was excellent and I wanted to hear more, even though it was fiction.

Once I latch to an author, I have to read most of their novels. I will be purchasing more of Jodi Picoult's novels to expand my library.

The narration is one of the best that I've listened to this year because of the cast of readers.

20 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lacy
  • 2017-06-26

Love Jodi Picoult, but this audio book confused me

The substance of the story was deep and extremely descriptive, but in the throws of everything, I lost track of who was who, and found myself confused and trying to figure out what exactly was happening to who, and when, etc.
Maybe it was the fact that the voices of the characters were too similar and hard to tell apart.
Either way, I was a bit lost as to what was happening to who throughout the majority of the story, though it was incredibly intriguing, descriptive and captivating.
Towards the end of it all, I figured it all out, but I just feel that I'd enjoyed it more had I been clearer on the different characters.

Jodi Picoult is an INCREDIBLE writer, and I have loved everything I've read by her; it's just that this particular book gave me a bit of confusion.

Bottom line, the story is enlightening and I actually ended up loving it; I just think I'd have had a more emotional connection throughout had I been able to decipher what voice was which character.
It was an incredibly descriptive and captivating novel, nonetheless.

25 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Koren
  • 2013-03-11

One of Picoult's best

Moral dilemnas, the most difficult of ethical considerations are embraced in this tale of a Nazi who wants to die at the hands of the granddaughter of one of his victims. Fascinating characters, incredible story within a story, this is a journey for the listener into the past most have forgotten. Visceral and heart wrenching this amazingly well told story is one of Picoult''s most interesting and absorbing books.

43 people found this helpful