A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being

Audiobook CD - 2013
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In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace--and it will touch lives in ways she can't imagine. Across the Pacific, Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island, discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox--possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama, and forward into her own future.
Publisher: [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audio, p2013.
ISBN: 9781470879082
1470879085
Characteristics: 1 sound disc (ca. 14.5 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.

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l
LindNor11
Sep 04, 2017

A complex story with multiple characters and plot lines intersect in this tale featuring a modern Japanese schoolgirl and her parents, a Buddhist nun, a WW2 fighter pilot and inhabitants of rural Vancouver Island. Toss in the 2011 Japan tsunami, a cat, a lost diary, and a crow or two. Mix in a dose of history, philosophy and meta-physics. Engrossing "read" to the very end. Exceptionally-well narrated by the author.

c
clairecarder
Feb 23, 2017

Ruth Ozeki narrates the audio book and she is excellent! This is a great listen as well as a great read.

o
Octobaby
Jul 08, 2015

This audio book is great to listen to. I don't like the ending; I think it's weak. But the rest of the story and the delivery were excellent!

b
BWilsoned
Jun 26, 2015

I kept trying, thinking I should read this one--it's so popular at the library. Just couldn't care enough about the characters to continue, but it's not about the writer.
The audiobook, with Ruth Ozeki reading it, is wonderful. Not only does the author give an actual voice to Nao and Ruth (and all the other characters), but also listening somehow made it easier for me to take it all in--and I'm still thinking about a lot of the concepts. My favorite character is old Jiko--she embraced new technology even as she lives a minimalist life at the temple, and I certainly enjoyed Nao's interpretation of Jiko's prayers. I've found myself chanting a prayer when brushing my teeth or braiding my hair and it does slow time down, or maybe it just slows me down so I can pay attention to my now. Oops, there goes another moment:) This is a richly voiced story that is well worth your time to either read or listen to it.

2
2juliet2
Feb 18, 2015

This fascinating story interweaving the life of a modern Japanese-American writer living on a B.C. coast island with the narrative of an Americanized Japanese teenager recently returned to life in Tokyo is even better because Ruth Ozeki reads it herself with authentic Japanese dialog interspersed. So many interesting topics - Fukushima, jungle crows, kamikazes, climate change, zazen, Proust....

m
mungywhite
Nov 04, 2013

I would highly recommend listening to this book read by the author. Ruth Ozeki has a lovely tone of voice and it really enhanced the experience listening to the Japanese words being pronounced correctly.

m
mzch
Jul 18, 2013

The intertwined storylines of Nao and Ruth can get a bit convoluted, but like Ruth, I hung in there till the end, looking for answers. The author is incredibly smart and insightful and unafraid to let her characters look bad.

I am especially impressed that the audiobook is narrated by the author herself and apparently features music she composed and performed.

Because I liked her book "All Over Creation," which included quite a bit of revelatory information about genetic engineering of food plants, I was willing to listen to her theories on time and trust that she knew what she was talking about.

s
SuzeParker
Jun 01, 2013

Numerous contemporary themes -- bullying, suicide, unemployment -- underscore the author's primary theme, the exploration of time in all its iterations. The main character, Ruth Jones, discovers a Japanese schoolgirl's diary washed ashore on her Canadian island. The diary was written several years earlier and, as she reads about the girl's plan to commit suicide, Ruth becomes increasingly desperate to discover whether the girl, Nao, is still alive. The wide-ranging book is beautifully written, but in parts becomes so broad and philosophical that it loses the thread of the wonderful main story. I don't want to contemplate quantum physics and Schrödinger’s cat when I'm reading a novel. Other parts of the book were just odd -- a possibly magical crow and words that disappear and reappear in the diary? At that point, I wondered if the book was simply going to reveal that Ruth had gone mad. Anyway, the strength of the book is the link between "time beings" Ruth and Nao and the surprising ways their lives have entertwined across time and distance.

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Nicky1043359
Aug 25, 2017

Nicky1043359 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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