The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Zevin, Gabrielle

Audiobook CD - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

Publisher: Minneapolis, MN : Highbridge Co., p2014.
ISBN: 9781622313532
Characteristics: 6 sound discs (7 hr.) :,digital, stereo. ;,4 3/4 in.


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Jan 09, 2015
  • mvkramer rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

At first, this book seemed glib, like more of a summary than a narrative, and a bit gimmicky with its short story themed chapters. Then, it grew on me in a big way. If you like books, and you like getting to know characters, this is the book for you. Bittersweet but uplifting - and a quick read.

Oct 19, 2014
  • JCLHopeH rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This was a nice story about a cantankerous bookstore owner who finds his way into the heart of his community after hitting rock bottom. His past love and loss is shared with the reader early on, and as the story of his life continues forward, the the backstories of his loved ones gradually unfold to reveal an interwoven tale of pain, love and forgiveness. Even though I wasn't blown away by the plot, it was still a pleasant, heartwarming read.

Oct 07, 2014
  • KSerá rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I liked the characters better than the book, which was a little too predictable.

Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

There's art we find excellent because it so accurately captures the experience of life--we may not enjoy it since life isn't always enjoyable, but we know it is true and real. Then there's art we find excellent because we enjoy connecting with it and find emotional resonance in it, even if it's not always entirely accurate; real life isn't always scripted perfectly, after all, with people saying just the right things at just the right times and events happening in just the right order to make a satisfying story.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry falls into this second category. It all fits together too neatly (even the mishaps and tragedies), the characters grow and change a bit too perfectly (even their flaws and mistakes) to be fully believable as actual, but it still speaks to truths we identify with and find moving. The book conveys a story, not life, yet reading that story gives readers insight into and encourages them to reflect on their own lives. It's on the light side, not at all lacking in cynical humor and crotchety fun, yet has depth and passion as well. I enjoyed it immensely. I connected with it.

Aug 23, 2014
  • GusAndAbe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved every single part of this novel. It is filled with bookish charm and grace. The worst part about this story is that it was too short!

Apr 20, 2014
  • kesha1123 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you are literate, you will love this book about the importance of literature told through clever prose. A.J. is among my top ten favorite characters, probably two slots below Atticus Finch. The final exchange between Amy and A.J. is the most endearing scene I've ever read. Their overall love story is a truly special one. Zevin earned an instant fan with this amaze-balls novel.


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Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

How to account for its presence [on this list of favorites] when I know it is only average? The answer is this: Your dad relates to the characters. It has meaning to me. And the longer I do this (bookselling, yes, of course, but also living if that isn't too awfully sentimental), the more I believe that this is what the point of it all is. To connect, my dear little nerd. Only connect.

Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It is the secret fear that we are unlovable that isolates us, but it is only because we are isolated that we think we are unlovable. Someday, you do not know when, you will be driving down a road. And someday, you do not know when, he, or indeed she, will be there. You will be loved because for the first time in your life, you will truly not be alone. You will have chosen not to be alone.

Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's Amy's favorite. (She seems so sweet on the surface, no?) Amy and I do not always have the exact same taste in things, but this I like.

When she told me it was her favorite, it suggested to me strange and wonderful things about her character that I had not guessed, dark places that I might like to visit.

People tell boring lies about politics, God, and love. You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?

Aug 23, 2014
  • GusAndAbe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“Love you,” Maya says. “Yes, she keeps saying that,” A.J. says. “I warned her about giving love that hasn’t yet been earned, but honestly, I think it’s the influence of that insidious Elmo. He loves everyone, you know?”
― Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel


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