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The Nobodies Album

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  3,009 ratings  ·  600 reviews
From the bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel comes a dazzling literary mystery about the lengths to which some people will go to rewrite their past.

Bestselling novelist Octavia Frost has just completed her latest book—a revolutionary novel in which she has rewritten the last chapters of all her previous books, removing clues about her personal life concealed within, e
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2010)
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May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carolyn Parkhurst makes me want to write novels. "The Dogs of Babel," one of my favorite books, reads like it was written effortlessly.

The skill involved in crafting "The Nobodies Album" is a little more apparent. The premise is that best-selling author Octavia Frost has decided to rewrite the endings of each of her books. The original and revised endings are woven throughout the book, as Octavia reconnects with her estranged son, a rock star, who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: f words
I loved Parkhurst writing, how she so precisely describes human emotion where I can connect with the moment and say "yes, I know what you're talking about; I've felt that too." I love it when a book captures my own epiphanies and experiences in life and feeds them back to me.

It is because of this that I connected with Octavia Frost. Battling regrets in her personal life, she writes a novel compiled of the endings of her previous works with new endings. On the day she is submitting the project to
I'm not sure what to do with this book. There were aspects I really liked but didn't like in the context of this story. I was bored throughout a good portion of the tale. Author Mommy playing detective pissed me off and the resolution to whodunnit would have made me throw this book across the room had it been a physical object. Ok, that's not quite true, I just sighed and rolled my eyes when the case was solved and was all, "Really?" (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received an advance copy of this book free through a giveaway here on GoodReads. Doubleday took an interesting marketing tact here; I was told when I won that, although I'm not required to write a review of the book, that that was kind of the idea and they hoped I'd review it. Sadly, I'm not sure they'll like the review I have to write about this one.

First, though, I want to say that I really like Parkhurst's work. I thought The Dogs of Babel was a wonderful book, and Lost and Found was a fun
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Two mysteries are intertwined in this third novel by Carolyn Parkhurst. The first occurred 18 years ago and both launched Octavia Frost's success as an author and ultimately, led to her estrangement four years ago from her son Milo. The event was an accident that took the lives of her husband and four year old daughter when Milo was only nine. However, the details of that event, and the uncoiling of Octavia and Milo's relationship is told in fragments as the novel proceeds.

The second mystery is
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been craving a proper literary novel, but this one far exceeding any expectations. Or, technically, met every expectation I’ve come to have of such a reading experience…immersion, entertainment, beauty. Ok, that’s reductive, but those are the basic elements a book ought to have. Nobodies Album was an absolutely random find while browsing through the available library ebooks under psychological fiction. The premise and the title intrigued me and then the novel drew me in completely from the ...more
Lynne Perednia
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When we first meet Octavia Frost, Dear Reader, she could come across as a smug, knowledgeable woman more proud of her novels than her estranged rock star son. But, as with other things going on in The Nobodies Album, don't come to a hasty conclusion. There's a reason why Octavia and Milo haven't spoken in years.

Octavia is in Times Square, going to her publishers to drop off her latest project. It's called The Nobodies Album, a name that came from her son, and is new endings of her earlier works.
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw Richard III, a play when I was 21 years old. I was in London at the time with my sister. With all the Shakespeare talk along with the British accents, I understood very little of it. In fact, I only remember the scattering of the white and red rose petals at the end. Something about the war of the roses. I was bored throughout. I left the theater yawning. Another girl from our group was deeply affected and and kept talking about the beautiful symbolism.

Phht! Symbolism. Boring.

I saw Richard
Octavia Frost, the protagonist in Parkhurst's latest novel, is a bestselling novelist, whose career took off after a family tragedy. With several novels under her belt, Frost thinks she has come up with a revolutionary idea to create an anthology of the last chapters of all her novels, but with different endings. Is it really her novels she wants to rewrite or her own history?

Frost's rock-star son, Milo, has been estranged from his mother; but a murder accusation forces them to confront their is
Mar 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This book has a gimmick in it and I should have stopped as soon as I discovered it. I hate gimmicks. The main character - a self-absorbed mid-level author - has just finished a strange collection of "stories." She's gone back and rewritten the endings to all of her previous novels. Yep, the original endings and the rewrites are interspersed throughout the story. Gimmick. The main "frame" of the story is actually pretty good. The author is trying to reconnect with her son and help him beat a murd ...more
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can we re-write endings? Octavia Frost is delivering a manuscript to her publisher that has rewritten the endings of all her books when she discovers that her estranged son has been accused of murder. Through the old and new endings, as well as in the telling of her story, we learn of her own personal tragedy and how it affected her and her son.

An exploration of love, loss, regret, relationships, and a mother's love for her child. I really liked this book!
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this book is averaging out to a three, but it is better than that (a lot). Unfortunately, it is also worse. Parkhurst has good insight and there are great moments in here.

She is especially good at the emotional analysis between family members. In a family of four, alliances change frequently and over the course of a childhood, children change. Sometimes (as a parent) you fit best with the child most like you, and sometimes you don't; similar personalities find comfort and recognition in each
Melinda Worfolk
I enjoyed the mystery and the characters, particularly the not-always-likeable narrator, bestselling author Octavia Frost. My one complaint is that the insertion of excepts from Octavia’s fictional novels disrupts the flow of the real novel. I get what Parkhurst was going for, but it didn’t quite work for me. Overall, however, I liked it. Special note about the audiobook: it’s fine if you speed it up to 1.25 times regular speed, otherwise it’s too slow to listen to. But at 1.25 times faster, it ...more
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I thoroughly enjoyed Carolyn Parkhurst's first 2 books, Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, which were both fast paced, light, and intriguing reads, so I was excited when I heard she had a new book coming out. The idea was certainly unique; the different nature took a bit to get used to but was engaging after that.

Octavia Frost is the best-selling author of 7 novels who has just traveled to New York City to personally hand in the manuscript for what she hopes will be her next novel. In an unpreced
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Octavia Frost is fighting a whole host of personal demons. She's estranged from her rock star son. Her daughter and husband died many years ago in a tragic accident. Since so many of her novels carry an element of personal truth contained within her fictional words, she decides to rewrite the endings of her novels in a supplemental volume titled The Nobodies Album. She'll erase any truth out of the endings and by doing so, may help to erase the pain of her past.

After completing The Nobodi
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Octavia Frost is on her way to drop off her latest manuscript to her editor in NYC, when she sees a news blurb that her son is accused of murdering his girlfriend. This is only big news because her son is Milo Frost, lead singer of the very popular band Pareidolia. Though it's been more than four years since she's seen her Milo, she flies out to be with him immediately. When she gets there, she meets the colorful cast of characters Milo has surrounded himself with, begins to salvage her relation ...more
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I have been waiting eagerly for something new from Caroyln Parkhurst, and with The Nobodies Album, she does not disappoint. This novel weaves a story about overcoming family tragedy and conflict, with an author’s attempt to rewrite her own history.

While Octavia Frost, a best-selling author, is in the process of publishing a revolutionary tome in which she rewrites the endings to all of her published novels, she discovers that her estranged rock star son has been arrested for murder. Though she
Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women w/ adult children; parents of young children; ages late 20s-early 30s; other authors
This was a really innovative book. It drew me in, and the story was so layered I felt like I was reading in 3-D as opposed to 2-D.

The theme of this book is death, so it's kind of melancholic, thoughtful, and philosophical. Believing the genre to be a straight-up murder mystery, I was surprised that "death" was not an exciting fast-paced type of feel, but rather the thoughtful, slow-paced feel I just mentioned. I was surprised to find that the present-day mystery wasn't nearly as important as th
Megan Crusante
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn't read this after I discovered that the author also did Lost and Found, which is by far one of the worst books I have ever read. So glad I gave her another chance because this was wonderful. I love books where you have to figure out the back story on your own even though the narrator speaks as though the reader already knows everything. In this book, the narrator is an author whose son has been accused of murder. The story unfolds in present time, but the real story is in the excer ...more
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading some of the other reviews of this book on goodreads, I am in the minority on thinking this book was just "okay." I'm not even really sure I thought that it was just okay. It is, at best, in my mind, mediocre. The words agonizingly boring come to mind. To me, that's as good as it gets.

Octavia Frost is dropping off a manuscript for her most recent book in NYC when she reads a ticker saying her estranged son, Milo, has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. This book is books
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally got around to reading this, even though I won it as an ARC ages ago... It's a story within a story, that has more stories within. Confused yet? The main character is an author who is rewriting the endings of her novels, which are excerpted throughout this novel. The problem is, they read more like short stories to me; I don't quite see how they succeeded as actual novels. There's also a huge detail conveniently left out and revealed at an opportune time, affecting the murder investiga ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this author. Very unique. And I think it’s brilliant how she basically weaved short stories into a novel. Very clever.
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst is a book unlike any other that I've yet read. The title is taken from a concept the protagonist's son creates - The Nobodies Album contains every song never song, never recorded. Ever heard The Beatles cover of "The Wheels on the Bus"? Well, that's on The Nobodies Album. The concept is extended to the various endings of books that weren't used, weren't written. The different outcomes that could have happened had things gone differently - everything left ...more
Lilyana Bone
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book about beginnings and endings. But mostly endings. I read the books last few words, full of moments that show beginnings, while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco and saw what the characters witnessed. The ocean spreading out below the bridge and beyond, full of ever changing and infinite conclusions.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stories within stories within stories!
I don't remember what it was that first called this book to my attention, but I suspect that it was my previous experiences with the author in The Dogs of Babel (enthralling, well written and sad) and Lost and Found (a bit jumpy for me in the telling of the tale, with switches between POV, but still compelling.) The basic story here, in The Nobodies Album really captured me. Maybe because I am the mother to a son, maybe because I've often played the "what if" game when looking back, to wonder ho ...more
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carolyn Parkhurst is an amazing novelist; if you've never read The Dogs of Babel (2003) then you definitely need to add it to your wish list right away. Her ability to shock readers and to write characters so intimately is truly a gift.

Octavia Frost is a bestselling novelist whose latest publication features re-writes of all the last chapters of all the books she's ever written and is entitled "The Nobodies Album". While en route to delivering the finished manuscript to her editor, Octavia catch
I've resisted the desire to read this novel since it was published ... primarily because I had such a horrible, ugly reaction to her novel The Dogs of Babel. A throw the book across the room, refuse to continue reading kind of reaction. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to read this one. However, I heard Ann from Books on the Nightstand say that she'd read it and that it was really good. Since I trust Ann's taste in all things bookish, I decided to go ahead and give it a rea ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Carolyn Parkhurst's Nobody's Album is about second chances - an author writes a book of alternative endings for past novels, a musician contemplates an updated version of a past album (think "unplugged") and a mother and son get the ultimate Mulligan to reconnect have several years of estrangement. Parkhurst centers her book around Octavia Frost, a novelist whose son, Milo, cut off communication after reading one of her novels that touches on their personal story of the death of the family's fat ...more
Aug 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-books-2010
I enjoyed this book more than Parkhurst's "Dogs of Babel," but less than "Lost and Found." I keep reading her, I think, because she is such an ambitious writer. She really throws herself into new ideas and seeems unafraid to write books that are unique and literary and sometimes beautiful in their humanity.

I liked the story of this book, the semi-famous mother and son so estranged that they keep up with one another mainly through gossip magazines. I liked the buried tragedy in their shared past
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Carolyn Parkhurst is an American author who has published two books. Her first, the 2003 best-seller The Dogs of Babel, was a New York Times Notable Book. She followed that effort with Lost and Found in June 2006.

Parkhurst received her B.A. degree from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University.

She currently resides in Washington, D.C.

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