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The Lovely Bones

Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.02

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Publisher's Summary

More than 2 million copies sold by Picador, more than 8 million around the world - now a film by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, Heavenly Creatures)

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer.

This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet . . . The Lovely Bones is a luminous and astonishing novel about life and death, forgiveness and vengeance, memory and forgetting - but, above all, about finding light in the darkest of places.

©2002 Alice Sebold (P)2002 Recorded Books LLC

Critic Reviews

"Spare, beautiful and brutal prose . . . The Lovely Bones is compulsive enough to read in a single sitting, brilliantly intelligent, elegantly constructed and ultimately intriguing." ( The Times)
‘This is a wonderful book, served well by a beautiful narration. It has pathos, drama and subtlety. It comes with a warning, however, it might not be a good idea to listen to it while driving as that becomes a dangerous exercise when tears are streaming down your cheeks.’ ( Material Witness.com)
‘It’s an astonishingly real and poignant portrayal of a broken family, and Alyssa Bresnahan’s narration is remarkable for its sensitivity.’ ( The Observer.)
‘Aside from its compulsive plot, exhaustive exploration of grief and avowed rejection of the false resolution offered by most murder mysteries, Sebold’s novel is a great read because the voice of its teenage narrator is so completely convincing. And in American Alyssa Bresnahan’s soft, slightly wry reading, you get the full intimacy of that voice. The murder, too, becomes more shockingly invasive in this format.’ ( Time Out)
The Lovely Bones Audio book was also reviewed on ( Open Book Radio 4.) It was described as having ‘a lot of attitude…a wonderful concept…chilling… and simply fabulous.’
‘Impressive for its careful telling.’ ( Sunday Times Culture)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

couldn't get into it

I kept waiting for it to get good... to get interesting. But then I was half way through and nothing had happended. So I gave up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An All Time Fave

The Lovely Bones has been a favorite of mine for years and this audio book didn't disappoint. The narration was simple & easy to get lost in. Would recommend to anyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hauntingly beautiful

One of my all time favorite books. Such a beautiful haunting story, full of love, hope, joy & sadness. Engaging & loveable characters. Highly recommended to all.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Its fine

The narrators voice starts to grate on you after a while, I had to force myself to finish. I love crime and crime fiction and although this contained a crime, it kind of wasn't in either genre.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great writing

Well written, but I kept getting lost I needed mr Harvey to be caught and tried for the deaths - the description of things, people and feelings were spot on - although I needed a happily ever after cheers

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Lia
  • Lia
  • 09-10-2014

Unexpected

Resisted this book for a long time, didn't want to read about a child being murdered. That said, I was surprisingly relieved that the story really does not focus on the actual event as much as it does about a family's struggle to survive and heal in the aftermath and the girl, though deceased, is very much present in a spiritual way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carol
  • 05-02-2010

Way too long

the story was enjoyable for the first three quarters of the book, but the last third just went on and on and on. 15 minutes describing the wet washing on the line or the organization of a vegetable patch. could have been 2 hours shorter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 25-11-2018

Moving and comforting

An awful event provides insights and suspense as well as an honest view of how tragedy can change us for good

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • LINZI
  • 24-05-2017

Not what I expected but good.

A life story as narrated by a murdered girl. Well you have to expect weird but somehow this was weirder than I expected. I think the main issue was it was so ordinary. The parents were fallible, there were no perfect heros, the killer is a sad little weed - not a brilliant psychopath, and justice is somehow unfullfilling. But in the midst of all this life goes on and is beautiful. Love endures and rebuilds all observed by the murdered girl trying to come to terms with her new place in the scheme of things. Odd, grounded, thoughtful. I enjoyed this one.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Adelise
  • 22-03-2014

Disappointing

Good start but then trailed off. Such a shame. The reader was good but she could not save the story from its disappointing conclusion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • e
  • 03-09-2013

Fabulous Narration

The narrator was absolutely brilliant, I will be looking for other books that she narrates, her intonations, the ability to clearly define the character voices made this an effortless, highly enjoyable listen. The fastest I have listened to a book yet!!

  • Overall
    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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  • Chandon
  • 28-11-2012

a roller coaster ride .....

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lovely Bones to be better than the print version?

When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven and tells us about her short life story on earth. How life was for her before being abruptly murdered. She looks down to us from this peaceful place called “Heaven” and carries readers through a journey that will end her life on earth. Susie Salmon was raped and murdered by her neighborhood, Mr. Harvey who is a sexual predator /killer serial.
The event is viewed and told from a dead girl’s perspective, which makes this book unique and unusual.
The crime description is not unbearable. Susie bears a smart outlook on what has happened to her on earth. Readers are carried through the event at the same as Susie as she does the following days, months and years. Besides, Susie tells the story with a great sense of humor so we are not crying as we are experiencing how though is for her family to deal with her death.
This story is not just about the grief of those left behind, but also about Susie’s coming to terms with her loss of life. Navigating through this book has been a roller-coaster ride. I truly recommend it for those of you who are looking for a funny, gloomy and great book to read.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rasha
  • 09-04-2010

Good, but...

The Lovely Bones is a nice, painful story. The last few chapters just dragged on. I don't think heaven was done justice in the description. I found it a bit too much having heaven depicted as a boring place and the souls of the dead feel bored there! Besides, what was the reason for the final chapters if it didn't lead to anything related to the murder?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charmaine
  • 22-02-2010

Could not put down

A refreshing look at a crime novel.Ienjoyed every second of it. Excellent value for money

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Carmen
  • 05-11-2010

Boring

What a drag of a book!
I regreted buying it pretty soon but I decided to give it a go anyway... I can't say that I recommend it... to put it that way.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • robert
  • 31-12-2009

Lovely book!

I loved this book! Convincingly and sensitively read, the story haunted me for three days. I had to ration my listening - the temptation to complete the story in one session was very strong indeed. Never having \"read\" the book previously, I found the storyline startlingly emotive: charged with a childlike intensity yet delivered with a calm detachment which I found at once inspiring and unnerving. This is a story which requires very little suspension of one's disbelief. Though I found some of the final sections a little \"romantic\", I cannot, in all honesty, rate this super book at fewer than 5 stars.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirstine
  • 04-04-2010

An unusual and moving book

I first heard of this book when the recent film-version was discussed on the BBC's Front Row arts programme. The view was that the book was better and having now listened to the audio version I can see why: it's a book full of thoughts and feelings that would be difficult to depict visually. I find it hard to believe that a film could do justice to the complexity of the narrative and get over all the nuances of the writing. It's a well-written book that suits being narrated and the narrator of this version is excellent. My first impression, that this is a book aimed at teenage girls, was wrong: it has something to say to all ages as it encompasses first love, long-lasting love, marriage, loss of a loved one, the desire for revenge and the complex dynamic of family life when tragedy strikes. As it deals with rape and murder the story is harrowing at times but it is also a deeply moving and thought-provoking book that will remain in my mind for sometime.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 29-03-2011

All we have is time

There were moments when i ached with sadness and regret but then islands of hope appeared and life moved on as it must.
Maybe not a truely gripping read but it held me all the way to the end 'i hope you have a long and happy life'

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Clare
  • 05-11-2010

Really sad and moving

This audio book brought tears to my eyes. I listened to it soon after my Grandpa died and like to think of him looking down like Suzie Salmon.

Its very sad and tells the story of a young girl who is killed, and has to come to terms with being dead while watching her family trying to move on with out her there.

It is writen very well and the narrator reads it beautifuly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob
  • 12-10-2010

Nice

A sober, gentle look at the death of a girl and the aftermath. Moving, sweet and sad and written with love. Perhaps, at times a little slow, but this gently swaying novel is a pleasant listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean
  • 12-07-2010

breathtaking

The book so very different to what I expected. I expected it to be sad and full of sorrow, as it told the murder of a young girl. I was mistaken.It was truly wonderful how the author told the 'dead' years of a pre pubescant girl, who was robbed of her fruitful years of love for her family, and first boyfriend. But the joy it lead onto, to conclude and wholly complete the story. I wept, talked back, and laughed throughout the story. What a joy, thank you Alice Sebold.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CA Weir
  • 22-01-2010

I'm hooked....

One of the best audiobooks I've listened to in a long time...and i've listened to hundreds. A haunting yet beautiful story superbly narrated...

I'm a couple of hours left to go and savouring every second.

If you're reading this don't even hesitate to download.

C

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 26-01-2010

Unique, poignant and imaginative

I enjoyed this book greatly, with one minor exception. The writing is emotive and poetically descriptive and the story is a touching portrayal of how a family may suffer the consequences of the loss of a loved one to a particularly brutal murder, narrated through the eyes of the victim.

The only place I felt it let itself down a bit was during an incident towards the closing chapters, involving a seconday character, Ruth. Without wanting to give anything away, I felt the introduction of the Incident allowerd for so much more with respect to closure and hapiness for the long-suffering family. Instead the author slumps to a bit of a selfish cliche with only a failed after-thought to helping the family.

The book closes nicely and I understand why it has been so well received and adapted for Hollywood. My gripe is a minor one in the context of an excellent, well-narrated book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • katfacedkitten
  • 05-10-2018

Beautiful.

A hauntingly beautiful story. Great narration too. Easy to listen to, easy to get through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss J. Stafford
  • 12-09-2018

A story of grief

Was easy to follow, had me gripped. Although, the narrator's English accent was poor, and the notification of a new chapter seemed to be said quite abruptly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful