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Publisher's Summary

John Nickel is a black ex-jazz musician who only wants to be a good father. But when his son is taken away from him, he's left with nothing but the Memphis bar he manages. Then he hires Fay, a young white waitress, who has a volatile brother named Carl in tow. Nickel finds himself consumed with the idea of Taft - Fay and Carl's dead father - and begins to reconstruct the life of a man he never met. But his sympathies for these lost souls soon take him down a twisting path into the lives of strangers.

©1995, 2011 Ann Patchett (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Taft

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Patchett's Novel's all Available on Audio Now

This title was released just weeks before her newest novel, The Dutch House (on Audio). It was originally published in 1994 and has been one of her lesser-read novels. For me, it was the last of her novels that I have read (minus her new one).
She successfully takes on the role of a black, male narrator, and does it smoothly. This is something she did really well in Run, too, which I think was over all a better novel.

The sub-plot which involved the Title character didn't do much for me and I honestly could have done without it. I did enjoy the main plot though. Patchett's writing is still in its early stages here and there are some cliches used but there are also hints of her later brilliance on display.

I thought the narrator did a good job. He made a less than perfect novel quite enjoyable to listen to.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent performance

The actor’s performance is one of the best I’ve heard on Audible with beautiful accents to match the characters.

I did find it challenging that there was no verbal cue between the present and past but after awhile I was more attuned to it.

A great story.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it!

Great story like everything Ann writes. I had read all her books enjoy all of them.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SS
  • 06-30-20

When is she writing the ending?

Intriguing book with a terrible ending.... make that no ending! I love Ann Patchett’s books. And at the beginning and end the narrator called her Ann Pratchett at least four times. What’s up with not correcting that?

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Where’s the second half of the book?

I just don’t get it. Feels as if the book ended in the middle. I love Ann Patchett. This was truly disappointing. I didn’t even like the characters all that much.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not my favorite

Not my favorite Ann Pachett book and I love her books generally. Reader mispronounced her name at end! Not Pratchett!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Bad decisions over and over again

The main character in this book makes bad decisions about everything. He lacks common sense and judgement right up to the end of the book when he doesn't go to the hospital. Doesn't anyone in this town use 911? This story asked us to care about the characters when they have only themselves to blame for their problems. Also, please use different narrators in different books. I couldn't get "Run" out of my head every time Fay spoke. Ann Patchett has really let us down with this book..

2 people found this helpful

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Memphis TN 101

interesting story with excellent narration. a blend of perspectives on important issues of our times.

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Not great, but ok.

Characters were a bit predictable. Dialogue excellent. Wouldn’t purchase it again.
But I do love this author.