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Songs of the Humpback Whale Paperback – 12 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444754386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444754384
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,971,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton University and a master's degree in education from Harvard. She is the author of seventeen novels including MY SISTER'S KEEPER(now a major film starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin), NINETEEN MINUTES, CHANGE OF HEART and HANDLE WITH CARE. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Learn more at www.jodipicoult.co.uk.

Product Description

Review

This powerful and affecting novel demonstrates that there are as many truths to a story as there are people to tell it (Publishers Weekly)

Jodi Picoult's novels often focus on lives turned upside down by some terrible event, and it's her way with the small emotional detail that makes them so rewarding (Marie Claire)

The striking thing is Picoult's confidence. She takes a controversial topic and gallops with it, leaving the reader breathless and, crucially, better informed and full of questions. (The Times)

Picoult trades on gripping, emotive plots hinged upon gnarly ethical dilemmas . . . Picoult's pitch and pace are masterly and hardly conducive to a good night's sleep. (Financial Times)

Book Description

Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult's first novel is a compelling drama of family, loss and misunderstanding, and reconciliation, reissued with an exciting new cover treatment.

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First Sentence
Hawaiian and West Indian humpbacks seem less unhappy to me that the whales off the coast of New England. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L Murphy on 17 Oct. 2008
Format: Unbound
For years, Jane Jones has lived in the shadow of her husband, renowned San Diego oceanographer Oliver Jones. But during an escalating argument, Janes turns to him with an alarming volatility. In anger and fear, Jane leaves with her teenage daughter, Rebecca, for a cross-country odyssey. Charted by letters from her borther Joley, they are guided to his Massachusetts apple farm, where surprising self-discoveries await. Now Oliver, an expert at tracking humpback whales across vast oceans, will search for his wife across a continent, and find a new way to see the world, his family, and himself: through her eyes. The story is told in five different voices which at the start i found a bit difficult to understand as this is a very unusual way of writing, especially with Rebecca telling the story backwards: ) but once you get into the novel it becomes more clear. A very good read and i will read more of Picoults books.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ms. S. McKenna on 3 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
As an avid Jodi Picoult reader, I looked forward to reading this book. I usually love her books and can't put them down. I was deeply disappointed by this one. I found the characters difficult to relate to and therefore difficult to care about. I found the hospital scene disturbing without context or relevancy. I honestly wish I hadn't read this book as a result. The ending was in keeping with the rest of the book - flat, in comparison with her other books. I would not recomend this book to anyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 14 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
I've read quite a few of Picoult's books. Didn't like this one. There must have been a reason that this didn't get published before. I can cope with reading stories out of sync and moving between characters but this was not well written. In fact I am not sure what the underlining story about her childhood really was.

I don't understand why they chose to publish it without editing it a little. Sadly it seems someone wanted to 'get on the bandwagon' and earn some money on the back of her more successful novels. Definitely passing this onto the book swap shop at work. Not a keeper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F on 22 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
I attempted to read this book after seeing it on special offer in my local supermarket, and having enjoyed the authors other book, 'My Sisters Keeper' which I enjoyed.

However, this book is so very different and is in my opinion, of a very low standard. The basic story line is boring and long winded. There are pages and pages and pages of absolutely nonsense which has no interest to the plot whatsoever. The characters are one dimensional and dull. It jumps to random characters who you have no idea who they are or where they fit in.

I completly lost interest, and tried to push on but by around half way I had to admit defeat. I had no idea what what going on, who was who and I felt no connection to the story.

I feel that this book has not been edited or proof read at all, and it would do with a big shake up.

Sorry, but a definate no no from me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
I usually really enjoy this author's work so bought it quickly expecting it to be of a similar vein and quality. The foreword says that it is her first published work and it seems that she had not really found her style at that point.
I very very rarely leave a novel unfinished but this is an exception. The story is difficult to follow and the characters are of no interest to me. I feel that it has been published in the UK on the strength of her subsequent books and would not have sold well at all otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Jerome on 29 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I have recently discovered Jodi Picoult's novels and have found her writing fast-moving, gripping and thought provoking. That is until I picked up Songs of the Humpback Whale, which I found to be plodding, confusing, and just plain boring. (It was a real struggle to get to the end, and when I got there I found I didn't really care about any of the characters). This book about a mother who runs away with her daughter across the USA after being driven to hit her husband, is Jodi Picoult's first novel and it shows. The narrative written from five different characters' points of view doesn't work nearly as well as the same technique in My Sister's Keeper, and the jumping about between timelines is just plain confusing. The book wasn't published in this country until last year - an obvious attempt by the publisher to cash in on the author's current popularity. If this is the first book you have read by Jodi Picoult, don't be put off - I would highly recommend her other novels such as Perfect Match, My Sister's Keeper and Nineteen Minutes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss L. D. Masters on 24 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I found the first third of Songs of the Humpback Whale to be so confusing, I nearly gave up on it numerous times. It wasn't so much because the story was told by different characters, it was the jumping around in time, and like some of the other reviewers have said, you do need to go back and re-read parts of it.
But I'm so glad I stuck with it, because the middle third was good, and the last third utterly compelling, as the parallel stories of Jane and her teenage daughter Rebecca finding love unfolded. All of the characters could have been a little more rounded, but in the last couple of chapters I surprised myself by warming to Oliver, who belatedly realises his all-consuming passion for the humpback whales of the title nearly cost him his family. I did find the relationship between Jane and her brother Joely a bit creepy though! It's not my favourite Picoult book but definitely worth reading.
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