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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2012: I'll admit that when I first read the title of Jan-Philipp Sendker's novel, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, I winced (just a little). Something about it gave off a whiff of well-aged Stilton, but this love story is no stinky cheese. In it, a respected New York City attorney vanishes, supposedly en route to a business trip, leaving an embittered wife and dumbfounded daughter behind. No, I'm not getting my genres mixed-up. While there's a mystery--one the daughter, Julia, travels to Burma to unravel--what she uncovers there is anything but sinister. Julia is a cynical sleuth, and your suspension of disbelief will be tested, too, but as this sweeping romance unfolds, you'll gladly fall for it. --Erin Kodicek --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Already a huge hit in Europe, Sendker’s debut is a lush tale of romance and family set in mid-twentieth-century Burma. Four years after her father mysteriously disappeared, Julia Win traces him to the small town of Kalaw after finding a love letter among his possessions addressed to a woman named Mi Mi. In Kalaw, an old man named U Ba approaches her, promising to tell her the story of her father’s life before he came to New York and met her mother. As a child, Tin Win was abandoned by his mother, who was told by an astrologer the boy was cursed. At 10, Tin Win gradually goes blind. He’s taken in by a kindly neighbor, who finds him a home at a local monastery. It is there that he meets Mi Mi, whose crippled legs make her as much of an outsider as Tin Win. Their natural camaraderie quickly turns into love, but their happiness is brief. A beautiful tale bound to enchant readers on this side of the Atlantic. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455124168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455124169
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,473 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A true love story.
Melissa J. Covaleski
Lovely sad story but could not put it down Would love to read other books by this author !
Andrea Evian
This story was so beautifully written.
Cre8ed4you

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 179 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
The first third of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is enthralling. The remainder of the novel is problematic; it sustained my interest but not my enthusiasm.

After telling her that he was leaving for an appointment in Boston, Julia Win's father boarded a flight to Thailand and disappeared. The Times described him as "an influential Wall Street lawyer" but the police suspect he had a hidden past. Burmese by birth, Tin Win became an American citizen in 1959. Julia, a recent law school graduate, viewed her father as staid, reliable, out-of-date -- not the sort of person whose life is filled with mystery or who takes an unannounced trip to Thailand. Four years after his disappearance, Julia finds a letter he wrote to a woman named Mi Mi. Julia travels to Kalaw, determined to find Mi Mi, the only clue to her father's past. There she meets U Ba, who has been waiting to tell her the story Tin Win told him, a story from which "a life emerged, revealing its power and its magic."

Just as we're settling into Julia's quest, the story shifts to the one told by U Ba. It starts with Mya Mya, a young Burmese woman who regards the birth of Tin Win as a calamity. An astrologer's prediction that he will lose his sight is soon fulfilled. After his parents die, Tin is taken to a monastery. It is there that he first meets Mi Mi -- or, more precisely, that he first hears her heartbeat. Mi Mi was born with "crippled feet"; their disabilities draw Tin and Mi Mi together.

Hearts and heartbeats are frequent images in the novel. Jan-Philipp Sendker also makes good use of the imagery of balance: Mi Mi, for instance, is emotionally well balanced even though she is incapable of balancing on her misshapen feet. Tin balances his blindness with exceptional hearing.
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232 of 256 people found the following review helpful By 319 VINE VOICE on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you are an Amy Tan fan and/or you enjoyed 'The Bridges of Madison County' or 'Memoirs of a Geisha', then you will love this book! This is a love story between a boy named Tin Win and a girl named Mi Mi that lasts over 50 years and it's so beautiful, heartbreaking, touching and haunting. This book has the right mix of romance, magic, heartache and inspiration that will make it a favorite for many people. For years 'The Art of Hearing Heartbeats' has been a bestseller in Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Serbia, Israel, Croatia and Japan. Finally it has been translated in English and I'm so in love with this story that I've added it to my list of favorite books. I don't write book reports or spoilers in my reviews in order to avoid giving everything away, but what I will say is, don't hesitate to buy this book! This brilliant author, Jan-Philipp Sendker, has gifted us with a story that is so powerful and moving, it will touch your heart and you will want to share it with everybody. It is THAT good.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By mharvi on February 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I couldn't put this book down. I read it in just a day or two and I found it to be a beautiful story lovingly told by a talented writer. It is magical and poignant; an amazing, achingly sublime love story. It is a tale of faithfulness, perseverance, hope and trust. When have you ever loved someone enough to let them go without hatred or malice? Have you ever felt that kind of deep emotion that rings true thorough out your life despite the circumstances? Funny how people live lives that they know they were not meant to live simply because it is convenient or the right thing to do. As I read this book my heart ached for the characters but it ached also for myself. There is something in this book that will touch you profoundly, spur you onto greater heights. I know this because one can not read this tale without thinking about one's own life and the trajectory it is taking them on. Are you really living how you want, with whom you want...are you really honoring your soul or are you only marking time until some later date? Perhaps we could all learn the art of hearing heartbeats, beginning with listening to our own.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Karen Dumontier on January 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book that inspired a very lively discussion in our book club. It deals with moral obligation and the dilemma of following your heart or listening to your head. What is right or wrong depends on your perspective and this book invites you to decide what you would have done given the circumstances. Average writing but thought-provoking premise.
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168 of 199 people found the following review helpful By Red Rover on February 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book based upon another review that said --- "If you like Amy Tan..." (I do), and "If you like Bridges of Madison County..." (I did)... then you should read this book. Having now read the book, I would not go quite that far. This book is not as good as Amy Tan or even Bridges of Madison County. The writing is trite and repetitive. The phrase "children singing" occurs so often you begin to wish the children would just stop singing already. Great literature it is not. On the other hand, the central love story is compelling and would make a fine movie. Indeed, variations of this same love story - two young lovers separated through circumstances beyond their control are spared the messy business of navigating life side-by-side thus leaving their perfect love intact - have already made several dozen fine movies. I did want to keep reading just to see what would happen next and that has to be worth something. In this case: three stars.
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