• The Lovely Bones

  • By: Alice Sebold
  • Narrated by: Alice Sebold
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1,952 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Now read by the author, this edition also includes an interview with Alice Sebold and the first chapter of her new book, The Almost Moon.When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public-service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed things like that didn't happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place where she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets.

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief: her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor, and they begin the difficult process of healing.

This story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching narrative about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

©2002 Alice Sebold (P)2007 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A stunning achievement." ( The New Yorker)
"A keenly observed portrait of familial love...a deeply affecting meditation on the ways in which terrible pain...can be redeemed." ( The New York Times)
"A personal and artistic triumph." ( Time)

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What listeners say about The Lovely Bones

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent Story - Poor Narration

This is an excellent story though the author should not have been the narrator. As we all know, narrators bring the entertainment value to the books, but this author explained in the beginning she likes reading her books a loud before she publishes so apparently feels she is qualified to narrate to the masses. I have to say though that the story is excellent, the entertainment value was hurt by her desire to not pay a good narrator.

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I've just been listening to this book and I'm completely underwhelmed by the author's reading. It's a monotonous and single voice reading of a book I was very much looking forward to. I don't know who told Alice Sebold that she was a good reader - she isn't. I'll be hard pressed to buy another book that is read by the author. An experienced reader could have done ten times the justice to the story that she's doing.

88 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dreadful narration, self indulgent waffle

Unless this is a genre you know you enjoy, skip and save your credit. Even if you do enjoy this type of writing, make sure to listen to the sample first. A monotone delivery from an author who isn't an actor or narrator by any stretch of three imagination.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Lifeless Narration.

A classic example that authors don't always make good narrators.

55 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great! But authors should NOT narrate their books.

Fabulous descriptive writing but the monotone of the author took so much away from the usual amazing audible experience.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Unusual and well written.

I was disappointed when I found out that the author was reading the book because I have had bad experiences with that. Some people are good writers but not good narrators. However, this author spoke in a way that made the book seem more like it was factual and real, rather than a novel. She did not "act out" the dialog; merely read it. At first, I thought this was going to be boring, but I really enjoyed it after all.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Author as Narrator ruined

Once I got past the painful first chapter, the rest of the story was just okay although it is hard to evaluate the story due to the fact that Ms. Sebold is one of the worst narrators I have ever heard. Her affect is flat and I think it would have been much more engrossing if just about ANYONE else had read it. Very disappointing.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Monotonous & Uneventful w/Grueling Narration

Where to begin...

I will start by admitting that I saw the film adaptation of this book years ago... way before I started reading the book. I have taken a course that focused specifically on debating the quality of film adaptations, so I don't think that it made me too biased.

I tend to be a person with melancholy and morbid interests so the story of a young girls murder and the effects of it on her family is right up my alley. However, this book just dragged on and on. While I appreciate Sebold's attempt at writing a real-life situation where cases go cold and sometimes remain unanswered, it doesn't work well in book form.

Initially the story starts off with a depressing bang, but about three hours in you realize that all you're doing is listening to the tedious day to day of the family. There are little to no awe-evoking events that make the book worthwhile.

As everyone else said, the narration was very monotone and almost grueling to listen to. I do appreciate a somber tone during descriptions of morbid things, but you have to sound happy during the happy moments, not despondent.

Overall the story was uneventful and boring, regardless of how true to life it is. We don't read books about someone that went to work, came home, had dinner, and went to bed. Sometimes staying too close to reality can be detrimental.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sometimes the author should not read their own book

The story was great. The writing was great. The author's voice was monotone and emotionless. At several points I fell asleep and at others she lost my attention and interest. It's a pity---but some authors just shouldn't read their own books. Stick to writing them.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Horror Once Removed

The unspeakable act at the heart of this story is not forgotten by the heroine/protagonist, but she does not dwell on it, either. It happened; she moved on. Is there forgiveness from beyond the grave? Despite the fact that The Lovely Bones is a parent's worst nightmare, Alice Siebold tells the story in a way that makes you confront the fear behind the nightmare, and find the peace beyond the fear. You have here an excellent author reading her own work delicately and forcefully, and injecting the story with a context that another narrator may not have captured.

11 people found this helpful