Overall Rating and Opinion of "The Storyteller"

Discuss the August 2014 book of the month The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.

How do you rate The Storyteller?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
2 stars - fair, okay
3 stars - good, recommend it
4 stars - excellent, amazing
Total votes: 57

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Overall Rating and Opinion of "The Storyteller"

Post by Scott »

Please do not read this topic until you have finished the book because this topic may contain spoilers.

What was your overall opinion of the August 2014 book of the month, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult? Why?

Would you recommend the book to others? Why or why not?

Overall, I like the book and recommend it. It seems well-researched to me, and the author's talent and experience shows in the quality and style of the writing and dramatic delivery. It felt to me like it dragged in the middle part of the book.

Parts of it were hard to read, hard to stomach. Graphic and just plain disturbing. But I do not hold that against the book, namely since I think it was intended.

I give the book a strong 3 out of 4.

What about you? What do you think?
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Post by S dot Lennon »

I gave this novel 4 out of 4 stars. I am a very big fan of Jodi Picoult mostly because she always has a story tell. I consider her to be a great writer and I love that she always chooses powerful and challenging topics. The Storyteller is no different. I recommend this book to people all the time but I definitely tell them in advance that this isnt a light read, it will definitely affect many emotionally and the imagery can be graphic at times. All of the characters were well developed and I was emotionally invested in everyone's story. I couldn't put this book down.
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Post by stoppoppingtheP »

Wow, I really enjoy books like these because they question really important topics of humanity, and how people make such evil decisions. It is in the dehumanisation of the "other" that allows a person to perpetuate these crimes.

Really hollowing and emotional.

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Post by kellyann1214 »

I was actually disappointed in this book. I am a fan of Picoult and have been for years. I had to force myself to read the book and was just not able to get through it. I felt as if the style of this book was different than most of hers. I was anticipating something much different than what it was. I still haven't returned to the book to finish it. I felt it dragged a bit and I was uninterested.
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Post by Norma_Rudolph »

Just finished reading "The Storyteller" and I can't really say I liked it but the writing is very strong and it certainly made an impression on my mind. Jodi Picoult did a lot of research for this book, looking into a very hard and gruesome era. I think it come at a good time for the world to look back and learn from the past that we should not turn a blind eye to persecution, be it religious or otherwise. However, as I read to escape reality, I found this book a hard read. I really didn't want to review the horrors of the holocaust and was hoping she could tell the story without so much graphic detail. I'm also not sure I like the decision Sage makes at the end, especially after the big reveal.
I still gave it 3 out of 4 stars because it is very powerfully written and I can't fault the authors talent. I just didn't like it very much . . .
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Post by Sveta »

Few years ago I tried to read a book by Jodi Picoult called The Pact and didn't like it. If the book takes place in a court I don't think I'll read it, sorry to say.
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Post by gali »

Sveta wrote:Few years ago I tried to read a book by Jodi Picoult called The Pact and didn't like it. If the book takes place in a court I don't think I'll read it, sorry to say.
I am also not a fan of Jodi Picoult and don't like her writing. While the subject (the Holocaust) is important, I prefer to read it by other authors. I will skip this book of the month this time.
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Post by Zannie »

This book took me the twice as long as it would normally take me to read a book of that length. I had to put it down repeatedly as it provoked strong emotions. There is no doubt that the author is a powerful writer. I thought that her characters became very real to me and although I questioned some of their actions, found the book to be historically accurate. Because of this I have given it 3/4 stars.
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Post by words-worth-reading »

I have to say that I have read a number of Jody Picoult books and was tired of what I thought was becoming too much a formula. Every book would revolve around a controversial topic currently in the news that would pull at your heart strings. I wasn't going to read any more of her books. I could resist The Storyteller, and I am glad I read it. It was a great story well told. But people who like her book should read The SunFlower by Simon Wiesenthal. She did take his plot idea and rework it. So her idea is not totally original. That said she did write a page turner that many people will read and that is good. The points represented in the book are important for people to think about.
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Post by chrystal_vaughan »

I think this is one of my favorite books from her. It was well-researched, and had a great little twist. I saw it coming, but enjoyed its delivery nonetheless. I recommend it to people who are looking for a new book to read.
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Post by NYpeaches »

I rate The Storyteller 4 out of 4 stars.

This is really 4 stories rolled into one! Jodi Picoult does an excellent job overall. I really appreciated how well researched the novel was, Picoult even directs us to her primary references at the end of the book.

Without any major spoilers, this book is about a young baker named Sage who is afraid to see herself as others do. Through her grief group she meets an elderly man, Josef, whom she develops a bond with. As their friendship grows Josef decides to reveal a secret that he has been keeping for over 70 years. Through the relationships Sage has with Josef, her paternal grandmother Minka and a DOJ agent named Leo, the reader gets to experience a retelling of the Holocaust from very eclectic points of view. The book culminates with a thought provoking plot twist.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone; however, I think that those who enjoy historical fiction will be particularly fond of The Storyteller.
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Post by yenner93 »

I enjoyed the book and would and have recommended it to others. I could see the plot twist at the end coming, but it was still well done. I literally couldn't put it down until I was finished!
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Post by ktfrank04 »

Jodi Picoult's, "The Storyteller"

Would I recommend?: Yes! I have already recommended to a handful of people.

Before this book, I had not read anything by Picoult for years. I enjoyed the few books of hers that I had read although in my young teen years I was not a fan of her endings. This is mostly due to the fact that I was still very romantic and fantastical when it came to books, I thought they should all have happy endings. I mean there is enough pain and unhappy endings in real life, and books were supposed to be my solace from that. However, as i grow older and more cynical/realistic, I have realized that the authors that are able to write these harsh, but true, endings are the ones to be praised. Anybody can write a good happy-ending and be loved for it, but can many write a good heartbreaking ending and still be loved for it? I think that is a lot harder to accomplish.

With "The Storyteller", Picoult has definitely accomplished this. There are many events in this book that are hard to swallow, but that is why I think it needs to be read. This book may be fiction but it is based on history that has happened and should be recognized. The characters have real flaws, real strengths, and a really big grey area in between that makes you question your own morals and feelings.

One of my favorite historical events to read about is the nazi-era, especially in fictionalized form. It is a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching time to read about and takes a gifted writer to really capture the emotions and turmoil that went on inside of the individuals involved. Jodi Picoult did an amazing job with this, highly due to the fact that she was able to create multiple view points. That of two polar opposite brothers who end up as Nazi officers at the same camp where the main character's grandma was held, tortured, and finally escaped. She did such a great job with the narrative and characters that at some points you may feel sympathy for the categorized "bad guy" of the story.

Overall wonderful and educational read, Highly recommendable, just make sure you have some tissues or a bottle of wine to accompany this intensely emotional book! :)
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Post by booklovingolfer »

I really enjoyed this book. I would give it a rating of 4 out of 4. The book was well written and I felt had a lot of history in it. I have never read a book by Jodi Picoult, but I plan on reading more of her books.
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Post by lnygaard »

So I have a few problems with Holocaust books. A lot of times they feel disingenuous to what actually happened and the main goal is to wring out tears and sorrow. That's not true for all holocaust books, but that seems like the majority of what I have read.

Reading The Storyteller was fantastic and not not at all the typical tragedy book. I found myself grappeling with moral issues of forgiveness and who is entitled to forgive. Something you would expect, but Picoult has a new spin to it that I loved. She not only paints the story of an Auschwitz survivor perfectly, but also the point of view of a monster SS officer.

This is the first Picoult I have read so the suggestion that her books are a little formulaic didn't give me pause.

But what really gets me is the end! Oh, the finishing pages!

I have already recommended it to friends. I would give it a 4 out if 4.

If you have a dark, stormy evening to read this, go for it.
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