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Publisher's Summary

With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. Hana, the exhausted nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: Each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burned man who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal, and rescue illuminate this book like flashes of heat lightening.

©2011 Michael Ondaatje (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A rare and spellbinding web of dreams." (Time)

"Sensuous, mysterious, rhapsodic, it transports the reader to another world.... Ondaatje's most probing examination yet of the nature of identity." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Mr. Ondaatje [is] one of North America's finest novelists.... The spell of his haunted villa remains with us, inviting us to reread passages for the pure pleasure of being there." (Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about The English Patient

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Narrator ruins it

I was looking so forward to this audiobook, but it is ruined by a terrible narration. Every sentence follows the same cadence with little to no inflection. There’s a slight variation in the voice for the patient, but it’s odd and unrealistic.

Conversations are impossible to follow as there are no changes in tone for any other characters.

This is a timeless story of war, love, pain and loss, delivered like she’s reading the phone book.

What a waste of a credit.

1 person found this helpful

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A literary masterpiece

A literary masterpiece, and well-researched historical fiction. You’d think Ondaatje was once a sapper himself. The author’s poetic talents are on full display and the prose is beautiful and haunting as the mystery of the “English patient” is revealed. All the characters have lost something very dear to them, their lives rendered apart by a great war and their own foibles. It’s a tragic yet poignant story of loves that could not endure. Excellent narration and cadence by Jennifer Ehle.

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beautifully written

great. except for how the name "Laszlo" was pernounced. I highly recommend this book

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