The Storyteller
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
read excerpt

The Storyteller

by
4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  63,306 ratings  ·  9,463 reviews
Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses... and then he confesses his darkest secret—he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS gua...more
Hardcover, 460 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Atria (first published January 1st 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Storyteller, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Storyteller

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultNineteen Minutes by Jodi PicoultThe Pact by Jodi PicoultPlain Truth by Jodi PicoultHandle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Best Jodi Picoult Books
13th out of 23 books — 1,358 voters
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuireReal by Katy EvansClockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareReckless by S.C. StephensEntwined with You by Sylvia Day
Best Books Published in 2013
99th out of 3,012 books — 6,663 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Malvina Yock

Jodi Picoult has tackled yet another ‘big issue’ (forgiveness) in The Storyteller, but as in all her books things are a little more complicated than usual, and there’s her wow-didn’t-see-that-coming twist as well. Sage Singer is a loner. She works as a baker through the night, only befriending a few people, hardly ever talking to the customers, always staying behind the scenes in the store where she works. She has terrible scars on her face from a frightful accident, something she’s struggling t...more
Scarlet
Jun 27, 2013 Scarlet rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: die-hard Jodi Picoult fans and people who like to bake
---Some spoilers but nothing major---

The first few chapters of The Storyteller introduce us to Sage Singer - a twenty-something baker who is struggling with scars both emotional and physical. Following an accident that maimed half her face, Sage suffers from very low self-esteem, lives and works like a recluse and settles for being some guy's mistress.

Had I not read the blurb, I would have assumed that I was reading one of those chick-lit stories where an insecure girl with too much emotional ba...more
Colleen
So, to be honest I have been so inundated with research articles, that my free time reading choices have been, well, light. I have been taking on really easy reads due to the fact that my brain hurts.
I thought, being Jodi Piccoult and all, that this book would fit into that category, however I was pleasantly surprised. This book was not only extremely well written, but thought provoking and moving. I never considered a book that took various perspectives of the Holocaust, well because I only bel...more
Carol
Jodi Picoult is one of my adopted authors. This means I enjoy her books and want to share them with others so I donate the cost of each to our library. I get to read the book first, allowing the library, the community and myself to reap the benefits. It's definitely a win-win deal.

I have not loved all of Picoult's books but have always respected the determination and marketing savvy she has shown since she began her career. So what did I think of her latest?

The Storyteller is told in much the s...more
Danya
Characters:

Sage: I actually really disliked Sage in the first part of this book. I'm not sure if this is intentional on the author's part, or if we were supposed to find her character sympathetic, but whatever the case, the result was that I just could not make myself like her. She seemed to me to be very self-effacing, in an artificial 'woe is me' kind of way, from how she felt about her scarred face (which she was really hung up on) to the reasons behind her sleeping with a married man. This l...more
Beatnik  Mary
http://www.cozylittlebookjournal.com/...
In response to Goodreads' new user policy, I have decided to no longer post reviews on this site. Instead you can read my review on my blog, Cozy Little Book Journal, or follow the link above.
Jools
I do not read many of Jodi Picoult's books, mainly because a lot of them do not really appeal to me. I bought this book mainly because of the high ratings it was recieving on here. All i have to say is wow!!! I loved this book, at times i had to put it down to clear my head of the horrors i was reading. No matter how many books i have read, True or fiction based. The story of what happened to the Jews during the holocaust never fails to bring me to tears.Also reading the story from a young Germa...more
Pamela R Winnick
In a search for compelling books, I chose Jodi Picoult's latest book because I'd admired one of her earlier books. What a disappointment! It's was so deadly that I could hardly finish it. Though I do admire her prose, this work is not one I can recommend to serious readers.


Purportedly, the book simultaneously tells a number of stories: about the protagonist and her mysterious facial scar, her "friend" Joe's past as a Nazi officer and her feelings about it, her grandmother's experience in a conce...more
Penelope
I loved the book. As a Jew myself, living in today's world I felt it was important for me to be reminded of this terrible atrocity. I wonder if I could have had the courage to survive and cope with the losses of all my loved ones. This book has given me a renewed sense of the importance of reaching out to those less fortunate and help elevate their suffering, rather than spend time worrying about petty bs. Thank you Jodi Picoult for this empowering shot of reality
Kelly
Spoiler alert:
If you read my reviews, then you know I'm a Jodi fan because I like her characters, controversial plots, and varied narrative techniques. At first, I was frustrated that Jodi chose to write a story on a topic that has been told so many times before (and with so many fiction and nonfiction books on the Holocaust, people will invariably compare this book to these others). I taught Wiesel's Night for 15 years and have read so many Holocaust books, that I fretted about this book when I...more
Caitlin
This book was ok. I have read pretty much everything Picoult has written, and I'm also a massive history buff, so I looked to this book with very high hopes.

Don't get me wrong, I liked this book - for reasons outlined by many of the other reviewers on this site. So for something a little different, I thought I would provide a few suggestions I would have made if I was Picoult's editor.

This is because I've started to notice in the last few books there are gaping continuity errors that reveal bigg...more
Thomas
Damn.

I don't curse. When I finished The Storyteller, I couldn't craft a coherent sentence. I just sat and thought to myself: damn.

Sage Singer bakes bread. It's therapy for her, in addition to the grief support group she attends after losing her mother in a car crash. One day she befriends Josef Weber, a fellow support group goer and an elderly man who is a cherished member of their small town community. Sage soon realizes that Josef doesn't just want her bread: he wants her to kill him. She lear...more
Brittany B.
10 STARS!!!!!!! This book wildly exceeded my expectations.

This is one of the best book of the year, and easily the finest novel of Jodi Picoult's career.


Just an extraordinary book. Words are inadequate.

Sonja Arlow
The last Jodi Picoult I read was House Rules, many years ago, and it has been my favourite until now. I LOVED this book – it evoked so many emotions in me. It was such an amazing and daring subject matter, an old Natzi SS officer at Auschwitz seeking out a young Jewish woman for assisted suicide and forgiveness.

Another thing I forgot about Picoult books is the astounding amount of research that goes into her books – specifically in this case the “other” side of the story – how a seemingly normal...more
Reca
Wow. For me, a sign of a really great book is one you can remember the characters days, months and even years later. This book was riveting while going from the present and spending a good part of the book back in the 1940s from the point of view of a Holocaust survivor. No matter how horrifying this was, I couldn't stop reading. It may be one of the big reasons I can't get this book out of my mind or it may be the O M G twist at the end. I admit I was as blindsides as I was with My Sister's Kee...more
✿Sandra
I would give this 4 1/2 stars. This book had me thinking on so many different levels that it's hard for me to sum up my thoughts in a review. This quote sums up a lot of what this book had me thinking about - "not all Jews were victims and not all Germans were murderers." Reading Minka's story of the Holocaust really dives into that statement.

A quote from the book, "I do believe in people. In their strength to help each other, and to thrive in spite of the odds." Reading this book made me wonder...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
Jodi Picoult has a talent for talking about harrowing experiences – from child abuse to suicide pacts, murder to school shootings – and forcing the reader into the minds of everybody involved. But how is it possible to do this with the Holocaust? As it turns out, very well indeed.

The Storyteller begins with Sage Singer, a young woman dealing – badly – with the loss of her mother in a car crash a few years prior. Sage attends a group created for people dealing with grief and it is there she meets...more
Dem
The Storyteller is a very compelling Novel from Jodi Picoult and it’s a story about redemption and forgiveness.

I had been giving Picoult Novels a wide breath over the past few years as I had felt her books were beginning to take on a pattern which I grew tired of quite quickly.
When I discovered that Jodie Picoult was going to take on a difficult and sensitive subject like the Holocaust I really wanted to read this novel. I appreciate how difficult it must be for a writer to write a fictional ac...more
Donna Antaramian
How do you forgive someone who has committed a horrendous crime? A war crime against a family member and a war crime against a race? Can you really forgive someone if you are not the actual party who was wronged? Is forgiveness yours to give?

The Storyteller is a riveting tale of Sage Singer; a baker that works nights to avoid contact with the outside world, a young woman that has been attending a grief counseling group since the death of her mother 3 years prior. Here she meets an elder man, Jo...more
Oana
If a 95-years old model citizen, who’s also an ex-Nazi war criminal, seeks and begs for forgiveness, could he be genuinely forgiven?

Through the voices of different people, in different stages of involvement in the Holocaust (the Auschwitz survivor, the ex SS member, the survivor’s grand-daughter and the FBI official Nazi-hunter), The Storyteller dwells with the moral questions of forgiveness and remorse, and has you asking yourself questions about what you would do in the unimaginable given sit...more
Amy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin McDonnell-Jones
Recently, I thought Piccoult's novel were become cliche. The endings were predictable, and the real-life situations were also a bit dull. However, after "Lone Wolf" and now, "The Storyteller," I'm back on the Piccoult bandwagon. This book was addictingly wonderful. The plot automatically engaged me as I love to study WW2. The characters were frighteningly real and the history in the story was heartbreakingly real. Although some liberties were taken, who can blame her as this is a work of fiction...more
Noeleen
The Story Teller is a really excellent historical fiction offering by Jodi Picoult. Josef Weber, a former Nazi officer befriends a young girl, Sage. Sage’s grandmother, Minka, is a survivor of the holocaust. Josef has one request for Sage...that she kill him.

Minka’s story which makes up the majority of the book is set in the work camps and concentration camps of World War II. These were really horrific, heartbreaking, sickening and realistic accounts of this period, which were extremely well to...more
Anna Graham
I disliked Jodi Picoults last few books but this one was different . I couldn't put it down . It's hard to believe that Jodi Picoult is too young to have witnessed the events first hand as the characters and their lives seem so real . I would highly recommend this book but be warned , it's a highly emotional read .
Jeanne Beckmann
I have enjoyed all of Jodi Picoult's books and this was no exception. In act, I think it's the best book I've read this year.
Alex
Mar 14, 2013 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kindle
I know. I KNOW, GUYS, I KNOW. I just gave 4 stars to a Jodi Picoult book, I KNOW. Totally unforgivable. Literary snobs, just unfriend me now (but you've put up with all my ramblings of YA novels, so you probably won't).

Okay, so the thing is that I've read all of Picoult's books. Except, I think, House Rules? Which I own, but I never got through because UGH, I got so bored and it was so tedious. They are all formulaic and emotionally manipulative in that Lifetime movie sort of way and totally wha...more
Britany
WOW! I had a hard time putting this book down. Jodi Picoult really stepped it up with this book. First, let me start off by saying that I love reading any and all books about the Holocaust. For some reason, they touch me emotionally and they usually hit me right in my core, the power of survival and living through something like that is unbelievable.

Sage Singer, a baker, that has been scarred from a bad accident that left her mother dead. She meets Josef Weber in a grief group. Josef is a ninety...more
Nancy
4.5 Stars

There are so many stories going on in this book, I don't know how Picoult kept the thread going but she did. It is only confusing if the reader is reading an ARC on an electronic device as the differentiation is difficult to ascertain.

The central part of the story is about Sage, a 25 year old recluse with a few (probable) minor scars on her face but deep scars on her emotional being. She carries the guilt and weight of her mistakes and, unknowingly, the weight of her ancestry. In a grie...more
Meg
Dec 04, 2013 Meg rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Something always brings me back to Jodi Picoult's books. While most of her recent books tend to follow the same formula (thought-provoking ethical issues, multiple perspectives, twist ending) and her past few novels have been rather mediocre, I always end up wanting to read them. I put this book on hold at the library before it even came out, and despite some flaws, it's easily her best novel in a long time.

Quick plot summary: Sage, a young woman with both emotional and physical scars, befriends...more
Connie
Several days after finishing this I am still thinking about it. The sign of a truely good read in my opinion! I am not a Picoult fan, having only read a few of her books but I found this the best of what I have read. Where does a reader even begin to review a book that is about good vs evil, redemption, forgiveness,religion, moral ethics, guilt, family and on and on, all rolled into one book? How does a writer manage to get all of these topics into a story? Ms Picoult manages quite well! 4.5 st...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Should this be adapted into a film? 15 102 Aug 12, 2014 08:42PM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 11: The Storyteller 43 211 Jul 15, 2014 10:29AM  
Palmerton Area Li...: Book for June 4 2 Jun 23, 2014 11:11AM  
Sage Singer 3 34 Jun 18, 2014 08:09PM  
Literary Adventure : The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult 1 3 Jun 13, 2014 06:30PM  
readers from the ...: April/May 2013: The Storyteller 3 15 Jun 04, 2014 05:53PM  
  • Necessary Lies
  • Orphan Train
  • Don't Go
  • Fly Away (Firefly Lane, #2)
  • Family Pictures
  • One Breath Away
  • After the Fall
  • Unseen (Will Trent, #7)
  • Sweet Salt Air
  • Swimming at Night
  • A Hundred Summers
  • Always Watching
  • The Comfort of Lies
  • The House Girl
  • Palisades Park
  • Outside the Lines
  • The Secret Keeper
  • The Apple Orchard (Bella Vista Chronicles, #1)
7128
Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her upcoming novel, LEAVING TIME, will be released on October 14, 2014.

Website: http://www.j...more
More about Jodi Picoult...
My Sister's Keeper Nineteen Minutes The Pact Plain Truth House Rules

Share This Book

“Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, 'You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.” 177 likes
“History isn't about dates and places and wars. It's about the people who fill the spaces between them.” 135 likes
More quotes…