Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Testament of Mary Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
Books with Buzz
Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, "Exit West" tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Tóibín is at his lyrical best in The Testament of Mary, a beautiful and daring work…it takes its power from the surprises of its language, its almost shocking characterization, its austere refusal of consolation.” (Mary Gordon The New York Times Book Review)
“[An] exquisite novella…Tóibín gives a familiar story startling intimacy.” (The New Yorker)
“A heartfelt, powerful work.” (Sam Sacks The Wall Street Journal)
“Dramatic and poetic…A powerful, devastating story.” (Ron Charles The Washington Post)
“Lovely, understated and powerfully sad, The Testament of Mary finally gives the mother of Jesus a chance to speak. And, given that chance, she throws aside the blue veil of the Madonna to become wholly, gloriously human.” (Annalisa Quinn NPR)
“Mary—silent, obedient, observant—has echoed down two millennia, cementing a potent ideal in the Western imagination. Now the masterful Irish writer Colm Tóibín puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version in The Testament of Mary.” (Karen R. Long Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“A slim, grave, exquisitely emotional book…The Testament of Mary is a spellbinding, surprisingly reverent book.” (Jeff Giles Entertainment Weekly)
“Tóibín applies a Joycean ruthlessness…Imagining himself into Mary’s interior life is his boldest jump yet.” (Hermione Lee The New York Review of Books)
“Tóibín’s intimate approach make Mary feel more credible and human…The result, The Testament of Mary, feels true.” (Claire Cameron The Millions)
“Tóibín suffuses the story with a sense of mystery and makes the reader feel (perhaps as never before) the tragedy of the crucifixion.” (Macy Halford Buzzfeed)
“A deeply, if at times painfully, human portrait of Mary, tearing asunder the robes of red and blue that envelop her in paintings and sculptures.” (Michael O’Loughlin America magazine)
“With this masterly novella, Tóibín has finally tackled the subject of Christianity—and he has done so with a vengeance…Nowhere in this beguiling and deeply intelligent, moving work is Mary’s attention to detail more instrumental (and more like a novelist’s) than in her account of her son’s death…In a single passage—and in a rendition, furthermore, of one of the most famous passages of western literature—Tóibín shows how the telling and the details are all-important.” (Robert Collins Sunday Times (UK))
“[A] monumental achievement…equally powerful and poignant whether it’s read by one who espouses or eschews the New Testament…A tender, soul-rending exploration of a mother’s mourning; a searing, stunning work.” (Leyla Sanai The Independent (UK))
“The Testament of Mary is an important and persuasive book: Tóibín's weary Mary, sceptical and grudging, reads as far more true and real than the saintly perpetual virgin of legend. And Tóibín is a wonderful writer: as ever, his lyrical and moving prose is the real miracle.” (Naomi Alderman Observer (UK))
“There is a profound ache throughout this little character study, a steely determination coupled with an unbearable loss. Although it has some insightful things to say about religion and the period—the descriptions of the Crucifixion are visceral—it has a universal message about the nature of loss. ‘I can tell you now, when you say he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it.’” (Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday)
“This novel is the Virgin's version of the life of Christ. After a lifetime listening to everyone else's versions of that life, she is angry and frustrated because they are all questionable.” (John Spain Irish Independent)
“A flawless work, touching, moving and terrifying…” (Linda Grant The New Statesman (UK))
“Reading this perfect little novella is like watching someone light a candle inside a lantern.” (The Age (Australia))
“A stunning interpretation that is as beautiful in its presentation as it is provocative in its intention.” (Booklist)
“[A] poignant reimagining of the last days of Christ.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[The Testament of Mary] builds to a provocative climax, one that is as spiritually profound as its prose is plainspoken…A work suffused with mystery and wonder.” (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, including The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The tale is told by Mary in her old age, living out her life in a house in Ephesus, where two disciples try to get her to remember Jesus life and death as they want to have it remembered. Mary, however, remembers it differently. The story focusses on Jesus' last days and on his death, and Mary does not see this as a glorious event that opens the way to redemption. Or, if Jesus' death was the way to universal redemption, she does not think that her son's agony was worth it. Moreover, her own humanity intrudes into the story that came to prevail. This Mary fled Golgotha in fear for her life, and suffers guilt for that. What she longs for is the long ago, when her son was small and safe, and her husband was with her.
Based on the spread of ratings here and on Librarything, people either like this book a lot, or dislike it intensely. For a believer, it would be hard to like. For a non-believer, it is a moving and beautifully written story of what Mary's experience -- as a mother and a woman in her time and place -- might have been like.
If anything could save the idea of this text it would be to have more of a woman's perspective--birth is not a punctual event in a woman's life, but a process of identity (among other things) that she lives through.
Less imaginative, less compelling than it should be, and truly the writing is not up to par.
This book is like a long psalm, a poem, a eulogy, an extraordinary description of love, grief, and the humanness of us all.
For those who read Saramago's The Gospel According to Jesus, it is a must read. For anyone else, try it. In a peaceful, quiet, place or a crowded market or store or anywhere where a sudden burst of light, ineffable and remarkable breaks through if even for a few moments.
Mary is old now and living out her life in the town of Ephesus where disciples of Jesus still care for her by bringing her food and making sure she is ok. However their view of the last days of her son and hers are very different and this story has her remembering the events as she saw and experienced them.
Mary doesn’t believe her son was the son of God and nor does she feel his death was worth the suffering he went through. Mostly she feels regret for not staying with her son as he died and instead fleeing for her own life and also for not speaking up for him although it wouldn’t have helped. In Meryl Streep’s emotional telling of this tale I felt I could feel Mary’s pain, sadness, and regret in her telling of her son’s crucifixion and how she felt afterwards.
The Testament of Mary is almost poetic in ways and is narrated in much the same way by Meryl Streep. I found this audiobook to be very emotional for me as it relates the crucifixion through Mary’s eyes. Ultimately it is a very good audiobook and I can see myself listening to it again as it is fairly short at a little over three hours. For those who enjoy biblical fiction I think The Testament of Mary is one you shouldn’t miss and the audio is superb with Meryl Streep narrating it. The Testament of Mary is a beautifully written book that will haunt your thoughts long after you’ve turned the last page.