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Publisher's Summary

Heavy snow falls on San Piedro and impedes the progress of Kabuo Miyomoto's trial. Hatsue, Kabuo's wife and Ishmael, a journalist on the case, find themselves reckoning with the past and their lost love.
©1996 David Guterson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Snow Falling on Cedars

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

Great book, poor mastering

The story is terrific, the performance excellent, unfortunately the mastering of the audio lets both down. Varying volumes, run on chapters, overlong pauses - not for dramatic effect - combine to diminish the enjoyment of this audio book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Conita
  • 12-04-2018

Several pages missing from narration

The narrator jumps, skipping pages here and there, as he goes. Towards the end, chapter 31 and 32 of the original book, are swallowed up in Chapter 30 in the audible version.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deb
  • 08-03-2017

Excellent story, great narration

Wonderful description that creates word pictures in my mind while listening. However there was so much repetition of thoughts and words in the book the result is just too long.

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  • Robert J Frith
  • 23-09-2015

Astonishing

Guterson is everything a writer should be. This story is deep and wide. Characters are revealed bit by bit as he delves into their past. He draws in the influence of WW2, ten years past in this story, as well as the cultural tensions of a Pacific NW island in a narrative centred around the murder trial of a fisherman. On top of an incredible tapestry of personalities and history he layers a freak storm that takes the town to it's limits.

It's beautifully read by Peter Marinker who does a great job of bringing each character their own voice without getting too special. For a guy with a relatively gruff voice his treatment of female characters is particularly noteworthy for it's seamless integration.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • 13-10-2011

Good book, strange pronunciation

Would you consider the audio edition of Snow Falling on Cedars to be better than the print version?

I think the print version was better, but I usually do for any book.

What three words best describe Peter Marinker’s performance?

A bit distracting

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

not really

Any additional comments?

The reader's frequent mispronunciation of words was distracting, and was his speaking as young men and girls was a bit annoying. I don't think I would get another book narrated by him.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aninke
  • 22-03-2010

Great

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The author has a gift and the reader had the perfect voice for the job!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 09-04-2013

Compelling if unusual book

This is an unusual mxiture of a books - part detective mystery/courtroom drama, part love story, part social commmentary on racism towards Japanese immigrants to America during WWII and beyond. Rather bleak and you know that anything close to a happy ending is going to be hard to resolve - perhaps a homage to the Oriental approach to narrative where the 'happy ending' is not so much the boy and girl riding off into the sunset together but the knowledge that they have endured suffering with honour and not disgraced themselves or their families. But a very moving and very compelling book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • hfffoman
  • 03-12-2013

An excellent read and an excellent novel

Would you consider the audio edition of Snow Falling on Cedars to be better than the print version?

I recommend the audio version. The reading is first rate, sensitive, gentle and a decent rendition of the different dialogue voices.

What did you like best about this story?

I rarely read courtroom dramas or watch courtroom films. They are nearly always too simplistic and one-sided. This one is the even-handed so you can understand and appreciate the position of all the different people involved.

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly recommend this. It portrays the community beautifully and gives a very satisfying feeling of being in touch with the universal humanity of the many different interconnected lives it traces.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chris D.
  • 06-10-2018

There is a bit in chapter 30 Missing. Aahh!

This is a 32 chapter book. But the recording Only shows 30. It’s missing the CRUCIAL bits of the Mystery. Aaaaaahhhhh.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lipo
  • 28-02-2015

A wonderful novel

This is a profoundly human and moral book, which made a compelling listen as narrated by Peter Marinker. At all levels - love story, thriller, courtroom drama, it is an intensely involving and deeply textured narrative. Beyond all this, the portrait of a community and the tensions of identity and prejudice within it are explored with sensitivity and a real knowledge of a particular time and place. San Pedro Island, further isolated by a long snow storm, accentuates the isolation of the characters, variously trapped by accident, fate and their experience of war. Only their capacity to grow as human beings can redeem their lives. The individual stories are unfolded and entwined in the overall story with great tact and inspired plotting. The suspense of the final chapters I found almost unbearable, and couldn't imagine how the author would bring off an ending that could satisfy artistically and emotionally - until he does achieve just that.
The writing is beautiful and poetic, descriptions of snow and setting mesmeric at times, and, if anything, even enhanced by Marinker's sensitive reading.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Takora
  • 19-09-2021

Fascinating and brilliant story with the last 3 chapters inexplicably butchered by Audible

This would have had a higher rating from me if chapters 30, 31 and 32 hadn’t been unforgivably abridged. I can’t understand why this was done and without the missing parts, the listener will be left with question marks about how everything came together. For this reason, I would encourage everyone to ensure to read at least from chapter 30 onwards so as not to skip anything.

Aside from this, the narration was generally very good. I would have given it 5 stars if the Japanese accents had sounded Japanese rather an indistinguishable blend of European accents. Also, if he had taken the time to check how to say the very few words and short phrases in Japanese.

The story itself is a fascinating insight into the greater or lesser extent to which humans can let prejudice affect their judgement, their impressions and their lives. I am very glad to have read it and, although I would love to have seen a more tidied up ending and for those who cast the heaviest stones to show their remorse, I was happy enough for the ending to be left to the imagination. Enough clarity and direction was given for me to feel satisfied.

This book left me thinking about human nature and to what extent our prejudices can be controlled or removed. In terms of a whodunnit, I loved it - it wasn’t overly frustrating with too many twists and turns. Just a very believable, human account.

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  • Abusam
  • 11-08-2021

Not unabridged, despite the claims

The narrator of this book deserves full marks for his reading. He captures Scandinavian, Japanese and other accents with great accomplishment and his voice is beautifully modulated.

However, the volume level between chapters is inconsistent, which is annoying.

Furthermore, the ending is highly truncated, forcing the listener to go online to understand what really happened.

The story is very enjoyable, although the author is very verbose.

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  • Miriam
  • 13-04-2021

The persistence of prejudice - overcome?

I read this when it was 1st published and loved it for the good story it is. So the idea to hear it a 2nd time felt like a gamble. I could lose a pleasant memory. But the opposite is the case. I have a greater appreciation for the ambivalent struggle of Ismael to reconcile himself to the experience of love, loss, prejudice and war. But I'm not sure the writer isn't also a victim of the persistent prejudice he writes about.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil Wallington
  • 08-01-2020

Mutilated masterpiece

Brilliant reading, but the last three chapters are abridged into one - very frustrating!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr David McLindon
  • 17-04-2018

One of the best books to read and listen to

Where does Snow Falling on Cedars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

4th after the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo original series

What other book might you compare Snow Falling on Cedars to, and why?

Any great love story with a detective angle.

What does Peter Marinker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

the vision of the place and how it moulds the characters

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

The real life issue that race should not matter where love is concerned.

Any additional comments?

Just a great listen, make sure it's on your wish list.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Lorna
  • Lorna
  • 31-05-2015

The dullest book I've read in years.


Like a meticulously painted portrait with elegant brush strokes and refined accuracy but not a hint of passion, humanity, excitement or soul. Entirely unable to capture the personality or motivation of the subject.
It doesn't help that the reader drones on as if weary of telling his tale but in the end the lengthy and gratuitous descriptions sucked the life out of the story. Everything was written, the whole story told but not one of the characters inspired any conviction in me.
I got so I didn't care if he was guilty or not and the ending felt as if the author didn't really care either.

1 person found this helpful

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