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The Storyteller  By  cover art

The Storyteller

By: Jodi Picoult
Narrated by: Mozhan Marno,Jennifer Ikeda,Edoardo Ballerini,Suzanne Toren,Fred Berman
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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

Featured Article: The Absolute Best of Jodi Picoult in Audio


You’ve probably heard of Jodi Picoult and her stellar reputation in the world of contemporary fiction. Picoult’s novels explore topical issues through compelling stories that are often known for inspiring listeners to shed a tear. But Picoult is such a prolific writer that it can be difficult to know which audiobook to listen to first. Here are our suggestions for the best Jodi Picoult audiobooks—the ones that should go on your listening list straight away.

What listeners say about The Storyteller

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

197 people found this helpful

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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...."

135 people found this helpful

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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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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.

86 people found this helpful

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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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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.

44 people found this helpful

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Always worth the wait

NO ONE can tell a story like Jodi Picoult. The narration is unbelievable. Perfectly fits the image she wants to portray I imagine. I do not know how a person can read when the narrators bring a story to life. I was a little nervous about this one...not being a fan of history or period pieces but as I said....Jodi just brings it to life.

38 people found this helpful

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Mediocre Picoult effort about the Holocaust

Most of this story kept my interest, with some parts dragging on a bit. It's a Holocaust tale with a twist. The main character at first seems to be Sage, a scarred and sad young women still grieving over the death of her mother. She befriends an old man (Josef), who tells her that he was an SS officer in Nazi Germany, and he want forgiveness and help in killing himself. I was drawn into these characters and their stories over the first third of the novel. Sage contacts the FBI. The second third of the novel is mostly told through the voices of Minke and Anna. Minke is Sage's grandmother and a Holocaust survivor. Minke's tale seems pretty generic, if you have read a lot about the Holocaust, which I have. Eventually, Minke's story did draw me in, but Anna's never did. It really dragged on. The final third of the novel connected all these different characters and stories, and picked up again. The ending of the novel seemed much too far fetched to me, and I did not believe Sage would act the way she did. I think it was just Judy Picoult trying to be clever and surprise the reader. She did surprise me but lost me in the process. I give this three stars because I was engaged by about 70% of this novel.

30 people found this helpful

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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.

27 people found this helpful

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Best Novel from Picoult in Years

What made the experience of listening to The Storyteller the most enjoyable?

Overall, I felt that the perplexity and the fantastic chrarters are definitely the best part of 'The Story Teller. I was very hard to put down. I got lost in the points of view of the Holocaust, and then I found the point of view from a guard at Auschwitz. Picoult devles into th social history of the Holocaust, and tells the story from an officer who was there, and a woman who was there to take him abuses. She adds a certain 'human' element to each character, and displays their weaknesses, flaws, and strong points.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Storyteller?

There are so many wonderful moments in The Story Teller, however the most memorable moment was when the grandmother is speaking, and tells of her best friend being murdered in front of her eyes even though she's not done anything wrong. The entire story was really very memorable and well done. It will stick with me forever.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I really loved the German accents, and the way the few lines in German sounded. I loved the different voices for each character.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was especially moved when Sage, the granddaughter of the Holocaust survivor, learned of everything that had happened to her grandmother. The comparing of 'What if that would happen now?' is simply terrifying. Also, I cried a one point where a lady had to suffocate her baby to keep it quiet. (Won't say who)

Any additional comments?

I think this is the most intimate book Picoult has ever written and I could not put it down. It was a fantastic read.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 07-19-13

Ambitiously promises a lot which it can’t quite de

Any additional comments?

This is a moving account of the holocaust with excruciating attention to the horror- the subject matter is dealt with better then might be expected. However, I was desperate for the book to do more that it managed to achieve- it promises in its subplots and undertones to explore the monstrous nature of humanity and unpack the complexity of forgiveness and death. However, these themes never seem to quite get out of the box. I failed to understand the ending and the decisions made by the central characters left me back tracking through the story to see whether it was my mistake to find it baffling. This book promises much that it can’t quite deliver, tackling an incredibly difficult subject it falls short of its own very high ambitions and, a victim of its own ambition, left me a little bewildered and disappointed.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 04-12-13

A real page turner

Enjoyed this book but wasn't too impressed/satisfied with ending.

Gripping in many places but couldn;t really connect with character Sage.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • loulabellauk
  • 04-14-13

A Page Turner

Whilst its definately a page turner that will have you listening way into the night its not my favourite Picoult book because I failed to relate to the main characters. I found Sage quite whiney but then she was in a difficult position.



You think you know it all but you will be led up different paths before finally it all becomes clear. Well worth listening to but somewhat different to what we have come to expect from Jodi Picoult. The subject matter is difficult and an horrendous period in time which she deals with very well.



The ending had to be a difficult one but I felt it to be the best we could expect.



I loved listening to this book as the narrators really bought it to life, totally first class reading.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jasmin Matharu
  • 12-13-16

fantastic book - gripping, a must listen!

the voices of the characters really draw you in. the story is well written! love

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lynne
  • 02-16-17

Amazing

Hooked from start to finish
I hate coming to the end of a great book and would've preferred a bit of insight to what happened after

5 people found this helpful

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  • H. Nestler
  • 11-18-16

A mesmerising, gripping story told from the heart

Even there's a lot of German language used in the book and pronounced well. I congratulate the narrators, they did an amazing job bringing this well-written novel to life.

5 people found this helpful

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  • W
  • 10-19-14

Moving, but predictable

The writing and narration were beautiful. Minka's retelling of her experiences of the Holocaust was heartbreaking and moving. Much of the rest was entirely predictable and cliched.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Greet
  • 02-03-14

Good, but...

Being a great fan of Jodi Picoult, again, this book is excellent if somewhat terrifying, and like all others I have read by her, extremely well researched.
However, I found the voice of Leo (Fred Berman) hugely distracting and irritating because of the sharp intake of breath before each sentence. The other narrators were good.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-16

Always enjoyable dilemmas

Picault describes people and their thinking so that you really understand their struggle with dilemmas

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer Taylor
  • 08-29-16

Simply The Best Book I have read!

From the beginning it hooks you. The characters are fascinating and I honestly felt I was missing them when I had to stop listening to the book inbetween opportunities to listen. I don't want it to end. Harrowing at times, addictive yes, beautiful throughout. Thank you JP!

4 people found this helpful

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  • jasno5000
  • 01-06-16

Brilliantly crafted story

An amazing story revolving around the holocaust of world war 2. The narration was excellent

2 people found this helpful

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  • Georgie
  • 10-28-14

Excellent!

By far one of the best books I've read (listened to) this year! The extensive research by the author is shown throughout the novel! The narrators were excellent and I will definitely listen to this book again and again. I highly recommend this book!
The holocaust was a horrible time in history, however Jodi Picoult has repectfully portraits the events.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joy
  • 05-12-19

Exceptional book!

My favourite Jodi Picoult book so far! The narration was impeccable and so full of emotion. Loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-09-17

Gripping. Heart wrenching. Horrific.

Really got into the wartime narrative and enjoyed the diverse characters. A terribly sad tale but a fabulous story in itself.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deborah
  • 10-24-16

First time in ages when I didn't want the book to end!

Very detailed and gripping, good narrative and absorbing story. How much is based on truth?

1 person found this helpful

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  • mardy
  • 02-01-16

Could not put it down

A very different take on History. well researched and very interesting. highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

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  • olwyn
  • 01-14-16

loved this book. I found it very hard to put down

The story line kept me so interested that I couldn't wait to listen to it each day. loved the parallel stories

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-26-22

Great captivating story

Great captivating story. Easy to listen to and totally enjoyable. Highly recommend for any one

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  • Erica Warner
  • 04-07-22

Best Picoult Novel ever!

This was a beautifully elegant story, the narrators were fantastic, the story line was wonderfully intertwined with the various characters. Highly recommend.

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  • K. R. Laidlaw
  • 03-20-22

What a story

This is an amazing book, right from the start I was consumed by the characters and story. Incredible juxtaposition of two very different lives during WWII, delicately and beautiful done. Another brilliant novel by Jodi Picoult.