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The Invisible Circus  By  cover art

The Invisible Circus

By: Jennifer Egan
Narrated by: Madeleine Lambert
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Publisher's Summary

In Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan's highly acclaimed first novel, set in 1978, the political drama and familial tensions of the 1960s form a backdrop for the world of Phoebe O'Connor, age eighteen. Phoebe is obsessed with the memory and death of her sister Faith, a beautiful idealistic hippie who died in Italy in 1970. In order to find out the truth about Faith's life and death, Phoebe retraces her steps from San Francisco across Europe, a quest which yields both complex and disturbing revelations about family, love, and Faith's lost generation.

This spellbinding novel introduced Egan's remarkable ability to tie suspense with deeply insightful characters and the nuances of emotion.

©2012 Jennifer Egan (P)2012 AudioGO

What listeners say about The Invisible Circus

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  • Overall
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Too Many Metaphors

I love metaphors, but his was too much. Every action and object seemed to require one. This style slows down the story and keeps the reader at a distance. From such a talented writer this was disappointing. I usually enjoy reading in print more than audio books but this one would have frustrated me had I read it as a paper book.
The story is...okay. The characters are not as well developed as in other work by this author. So, just pretty good but not really good work from one of my favorite writers.

4 people found this helpful

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Too bad zero was not a choice...

I listened, or rather started to listen to this right after Nevil Shute's Trustee from the Toolroom. What a letdown. Eliptical gushing prose, frequent hyperbole concerning floating or despair, endless whining about real or imaginary childhood injustices, just hours of glop and never got better. i quit as our heroine had just figured out she had been lured, penniless and alone, into a heroin den. If you are a chickflick person you might like it. Even the mostly-half-in-tears narrator seemed bored with it. Buy Trustee from the Toolroom instead - you'll love it!!

4 people found this helpful

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Made it 3 minutes into chapter 6

Sorry, but I have 2 pet peeves. 1) Narrators that mispronounce words and, 2) Stories that take FOREVER to get started.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved the Story

I very much loved the story,, but the narrator was way too much for me. At times I felt like she was just screaming the whole storyline of the main character and I didn't knew if I was going to make it through the whole book.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrator should have visited SF before

Poor pronunciation of landmarks & neighboring towns very disruptive and took me out of an otherwise interesting & well written story.

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not my favorite

found the tone if this novel annoying on many levels. one thing that I thought she did really well was the narrative about the acid trip. Egan is a great writer but in this one the characters were shallow.

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Worth listening to

I listened to this right after I listened to The Candy House, which made me think Jennifer Egan is a genius at storytelling, so I think I was biased in favor of the story before I even started. The premise that Phoebe and Wolf were finally able to emotionally digest Faith’s death with their shared experience was interesting, as were the dynamics of Phoebe’s family. Egan’s integration of the culture of the time was well done. I was 18 years old in 1978 like Phoebe, so I got it.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the narrator’s voice overall, although she did well evoking Wolf’s character. Ironically, it was Phoebe that the narrator did the poorest job portraying. Her voice for Phoebe sounded like a breathless 12 year old. I imagine a kind of melancholy would surround Phoebe.

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Metaphor upon metaphor

This early Egan novel, set in the 70s, tells a story of growing up and family tragedy. It could have used a mighty editor who could have pared down the habit of describing every sound, sight, and atmospheric fact in clunky metaphor. The story kept me going but it was annoying. And I couldn’t quite forgive the narrator for pronouncing Chianti with a Ch like Charles….

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Narration sub-par

I’ve been spoiled with a few really good narrators and can’t listen otherwise. I could not get past the narration of this one tho I tried. Might be a good story otherwise. Got to chapter 7 by trying really hard. That was enough

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LEARN TO PRONOUNCE!

Oh my god… I really enjoy the story but it is incredibly jarring every time the narrator mispronounces names of places and people that anyone from the SF Bay Area would know. I am SO annoyed with this narrator.