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The Storyteller Hardcover – February 26, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 5,315 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Best-seller Picoult takes on a heavy subject in her latest outing: the Holocaust. At 25, Sage Singer is scarred, both physically and mentally, by the car accident that took her mother’s life. A baker who works at night in a New Hampshire shop run by a former nun, Sage shuns almost all human contact, save for her coworkers and her funeral-director boyfriend, Adam, who is married to another woman. Sage ventures out of her comfort zone to befriend Josef Weber, an elderly retired teacher, who throws her world into chaos when he tells her that he’s a former SS officer and asks her to help him end his life. Sage, whose grandmother Minka survived the Holocaust, reaches out to the Department of Justice and is connected with Leo Stein, a charismatic attorney and Nazi hunter. Leo travels to New Hampshire to investigate Sage’s claims, which leads them to Minka, who shares a surprising connection to Josef. Based on extensive research, this is a powerful and riveting, sometimes gut-wrenching, read, in which the always compelling Picoult brings a fresh perspective to an oft-explored topic. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Picoult will tour widely with this bold moral inquiry, connecting with book clubs and making television, radio, and online appearances. --Kristine Huntley


Never has a work of fiction seemed so realistic to me, all of the different stories magnificently intertwined to create a book which is truly on a new level. There are certain books that leave you bereft knowing that there is no more story to tell and this is one of them. Amy, Waterstones, UK Beautifully written, compelling fiction. I couldn't put it down. I'm now bereft! Ros, Burway Books, UK Hard to put down. This book lingers with you after you've finished ... It has compassion, anger, and a small touch of happily ever after that doesn't destroy the realism of the main events. If you can stomach a story based in the horrors of Nazi concentration camps then read THE STORYTELLER. It's worth the time you'll spend lost in its pages. Sarah Talbot, UK bookseller 'Picoult fans will love it' Sunday Express Another great read Cosmopolitan The first person accounts about what happened in the Holocaust are absolutely harrowing ... there are descriptive passages that make you catch your breath Sunday Express A beautifully woven story ... the humour and characters wrap themselves around you, daring you to stop reading My Weekly Simply stunning Image magazine I will start by saying that it is very difficult for me to review this book - I often find it difficult to review my favourite books as I find it hard to truly express how much I enjoyed them. From the first page, I knew that THE STORYTELLER would become one of my all time favourites. Jodi Picoult is definitely a favourite author of mine, yet she still manages to blow me away every single time I pick up one of her books. This one was no different Steppingoutofthepage Impossible to put down ... This is a story that not only pulls at your heart strings but thrusts you into a world of fantasy and monsters, in the most real sense Katy, Waterstones Chatham I've read most of Jodi Picoult's novels and this has to be one of the best. Emma, Bedford Waterstones The three strands of the story were cleverly interwoven to create a gripping, often harrowing read ... the richness of the language evoked all of the senses Wimbledon Library reading group Jodi Picoult's new book will leave you thinking about its story for a long time ... it is an emotional and compelling tale Sun Wow! What a fantastic read! From the very first page this book is gripping, absorbing and draws the reader in ... Loved it, loved it, loved it! Methil Library reading group Themes of guilt, forgiveness and justice predominate and are sharpened by the belief that forgiveness can only be asked for, and given, by those who have been harmed WI Life --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books; 1st Printing edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102767
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102763
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,315 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers "The Storyteller," "Lone Wolf," "Between the Lines," "Sing You Home," "House Rules," "Handle with Care," "Change of Heart," "Nineteen Minutes," and "My Sister's Keeper." She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Picoult, once again, tackles difficult subject matter--the Holocaust, as seen from the perspective of a Holocaust survivor, her granddaughter and a former German SS guard. Those familiar with Picoult's work will find what they've come to expect in terms of the novel's structure: a narrative told from several points of view and a legal perspective. As always, Picoult did her research, and her historical accuracy is thorough. In "the Storyteller" Picoult examines the impact of the holocaust in present day society, as survivors left to tell their stories are now scarce and their relevance is lost on some. In an early scene, an unworldly blind date scoffs at the thought of "a war that happened 70 years ago" in a dismissive tone.

Sage Singer, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, spends her nights baking and her days quietly living out her life in a small New England town. Her grandmother never speaks of her time in Poland during WWII, and Sage herself is a non practicing Jew. She does not give much thought to her grandmother's past or her own heritage until she befriends an elderly gentleman from her grief group. As Sage and Josef become closer and his long buried past as a German SS guard is discussed with Sage, forgiveness, retribution and ultimately redemption surface.

To say more about how "the Storyteller" unfolds and whether forgiveness can be granted in such a situation, would be to reveal too much of the plot. Instead, I'd advise you to grab a copy of this book and settle in for few days of reading. You will walk away with a heavy heart, and some questions of your own.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
How does one possibly rate this book? This is so much more than fiction. You exit this book a different person than you entered it. After reading it, I have such profound appreciation of the simplest things in life: a piece of bread, a grape, shoes, a coat. And I feel gratitude for the big things we often take for granted: security, family bonding, and a home.

This well-researched book sinks deep into the reader's heart. It is hard to read at times. Picoult has a way of allowing us to experience a story from all sides. I've read dozens of books on the Holocaust. All leave a scar...none quite as profound as this one. I had to put it down at times and take some deep gulps of air...knowing that the stories are not fully fictional make it hard to swallow, but oh-so-important to experience. Experiencing the Holocaust from the perspective of a Nazi officer was almost more than I could bear.

The story exists partly in the present and partly in the early 1940's at the time of the Holocaust. We are put into the shoes of a woman who survived Auschwitz (whose soul you will share -- I promise); an SS Officer who patrolled the concentration camp, a modern woman with a disfiguring scar who is the grand daughter of a Holocaust survivor....and more. This story is so beautifully and complexly woven, yet easy to follow and absolutely impossible to forget.

If it were not for the few light sex scenes (which I felt added to the book), this would make exceptional required reading for High School literature classes, as the discussions it would bring forth would be profound. It should become a college text....truly, this is a book from which we can learn many things.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was the first book I read by this author, and I am amazed by the quality of her writing skills! She is a wonderful Author, and is not afraid to write about what she feels like writing. She approaches these questionable and controversial subjects with caution and correctly, and Picoult does it so well. I read this book surprisingly quickly which I feel that I need to go back and re-read it to get more detail from the book.

The story is all about the deepest of secrets that were never told to anyone. This story goes deep into issues, and it gets in deep very fast. The plot really gets you into the book. The main topic of the book is can people be forgiven for extremely dark acts. The plot of the story has twists and turns, choices made, and a twist that will really get you further into the book. When reading the book i suggest putting yourself in Sage's place and think what you would have done differently or if you could have done it.

Truly a great book, and I will be looking back at some of the other stories Jodi Picoult has written. I really enjoyed her writing, and look forward to anymore books she comes out with.

Great job Author and yes I would recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Picoult has never flinched back from the most difficult of topics. Her books heads directly into controversy which are backed with meticulous scholarship. In "The Story Teller", Sage has been asked to forgive a recent friend for his past as a Nazi. And he wants her to kill him. Sage is Jewish, descended from victims of the camps. She lives quietly with her own secrets and with her scar which she considers disfiguring. She rarely lets people inside her mental walls.

The story is narrated by Sage, by the secret Nazi, and by a mysterious girl living in the forest afraid of great evil. Sage's granmother finally consents to add her own narrative.As you would expect, the writing is accessible and flows evenly. The plot draws us in immediately. The conundrums are complex and insistent. As Picoult notes, "this could be you , too. You think, not I. But at any given moment, we are capable of doing what we least expect." Is this true? I wish I could swear that it is not. But as the survivors and victims of the Holocaust approach death and disappear, the question is a vital one that must be asked. Added to the Holocaust deniers who claim the camps were never true, this is a topic that is imperative. Bearing witness is part of this book, how to mend the world is another.

It is easy to dismiss Picoult with her repetitive plot of a family and a narrator pressed heavily with moral decisions. She is a popular writer, the death knell for many critics. But I find her work compelling and I don't mind the repetitive structure. These characters are complex and beautifully drawn. We could pick Sage from a crowd, and not due to her scar. Rather her hiding of her scar makes her distinctive.
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