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 first 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 will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who 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 her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
Publisher: [Ashland, OR] :, Blackstone Audio,, [2013]
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781470879068
Branch Call Number: CD FIC OZEK
Characteristics: 12 audio discs (approximately 14.2 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
4 3/4 in.
1.4 m/s
digital recording
Additional Contributors: Blackstone Audio, Inc


From the critics

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Jun 04, 2018

Initially, I thought this book was amazing. The parts narrated by a Japanese teenager named Nao were fascinating and thought-provoking. However, it cut back and forth between Nao and the woman reading her diary, Ruth, and the parts involving Ruth dragged ... a lot. Also, Nao went through some truly horrific circumstances. While it was provocative to see how she, in turn, was at times cruel herself, there were large parts of the story I just wanted to get through to see how it ended. If it hadn't been a book on tape, I certainly would have flipped to the end and strongly considered never going back. That being said, I really enjoyed the author's reading, and her ability to speak so many languages and accurately convey different accents, added a depth to the experience that would be hard to get from a straight reading of the book.

Jun 01, 2018

I absolutely loved this audio book! The story gets better and better, and became quite surreal and far out. Ozeki narrates with personality and spunk. Let this deep and complex story and narration draw you in and take you away to alternate universes, ponder zen Buddhism, human suffering, time, and nature. The story gets quite dark at times, but is balanced with love and tenderness.

TechLibrarian May 02, 2018

One of my favourite audiobooks! A Tale for the Time Being is read by the author, who lives on Vancouver Island! It's been a while since I listened to it, but a lot of the story has stuck with me ever since. The plot line is pretty complex because it takes place in several time periods and locations, but in brief, the main character, a writer, has found a journal which tells the other main character (Nao's) inner-most thoughts and struggles. Other characters include a Buddhist nun, a kamikaze pilot, a dump manager, nosy neighbors, and a cat. If you prefer light reading then this is probably not for you, but anyone who enjoys complex and thought-provoking tales will likely enjoy this mind-bending read.

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.

Feb 23, 2017

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

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!

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.

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....

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.

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.

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Aug 25, 2017

Nicky1043359 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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