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Extended Audio Sample Great House Audiobook, by Nicole Krauss Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8,798 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nicole Krauss Narrator: George Guidall, Celeste Ciulla, Robert Ian MacKenzie, Alma Cuervo, Paul Hecht, various narrators Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781449839765
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From the internationally bestselling author of The History of Love comes this stunning novel. Great House follows the multiple owners of one writing desk and how the desk shapes their lives. A young novelist inherited the desk from a poet taken by Pinochet’s police. Then the desk is stolen from her by the poet’s supposed daughter. In its drawers, another man discovers a long-kept secret about his wife. And a Jerusalem antiques dealer uses the desk in his family’s study, which was devastated by the Nazis in 1944. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Krauss is able, despite the formidable remove of the central characters and the mournfulness of their telling, to ground Great House in the shock of immediacy…It is a high-wire performance, only the wire has been replaced by an exposed nerve, and you hold your breath, and she does not fall.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Great House is an eloquent dramatization of the need to find that missing piece that will give life its meaning.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Flowing, musical…Krauss’ pross brings gifts on every page…And this gifted writer understands the powerful way that certain things—a desk, a book, a red suit with black buttons—can give us comfort, and brings us home.”

    Seattle Times

  • “An ambitious, disturbing, brave, provocative work…Every page vibrates with the tension of something unsolvable insisting on being solved. The novel’s world is dense, dreamlike, with a dream’s half-seductive, half-horrifying internal logic—made sensuous and textured by paintings, music, furniture.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Powerful…Great House is a smart, serious, sharply written novel of great care and yearning.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Stunning…The sharply etched characters seem at first arbitrarily linked across time and space, but Krauss pulls together the disparate elements, settings, characters, and fragile connective tissue to form a formidable and haunting mosaic of loss and profound sorrow.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Robert Ian McKenzie…demonstrates that he can do wonders with material he can sink his teeth into. His performance as a British professor married to a reclusive writer is a marvel, and Alma Cuervo’s evocation of a lonely author haunted by her relationship to a previous owner of the desk is affecting and nuanced. Listeners who enjoy lingering over a top-notch novel will be intellectually nourished by this audio.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • “Beautifully read and artfully written, Krauss’ every sentence wraps itself around the heart. Prepare to be mesmerized.”

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2010 Indie Next List
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2010
  • Winner of the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2011 Indies Choice Book Award
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • Shortlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize
  • A 2010 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 2010 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 2/20/2014

    " I liked this book but I didn't entirely understand it. I may read it again at some point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 1/29/2014

    " If I hadn't read The History of Love, I would have rated this book higher but she follows the same pattern with a different twist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dayna | 1/26/2014

    " I picked this up because of the author. I thought it was okay. I love her writing style, but The History of Love was much better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheela Word | 1/22/2014

    " Upon finishing "Great House", I immediately picked up a piece of paper and began diagramming the relationships among the various characters. Then I reread the first section of the book. If I had more time, I would reread the whole novel again right away (but other books beckon). The story is recursive, dense with meaning, and ultimately mysterious. But it's not just an intellectual exercise. It's much too beautiful for that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kishwar | 1/21/2014

    " I was really surprised by how much I liked this, in the end. The first story did not draw me in at all, I found the main character whiny and generally unsympathetic. But as the stories progressed, it was interesting how they were linked together, or sometimes were not. I would have loved to know more about the kid in the mansion in Brussels and was sad when we didn't get to follow his story any further. Then I realized that often this is how it is in life, some people are just ships passing in the night .... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Atty | 1/8/2014

    " Maybe 2 1/2 stars. Krauss is an interesting, introspective writer, but this book never came around and connected. Two parts, 4 chapters each focusing on one character, but the plot never tied up. She went too far afield with each one, making it a bit incoherent. Great premise about legacy, possessions and relationships, but too obtuse. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maxtourtelot | 1/7/2014

    " I would just echo Nicola's review. Not a well developed cohesive story and the ending was not satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alanna | 1/3/2014

    " It's incredible how Krauss is able to connect every character through a a simple, wooden desk "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jane | 12/9/2013

    " I really liked the History of Love by Krauss and figured that by the end of Great House everything would fall into place like it did in History of Love. Well, it didn't this time. There were multiple stories about characters who had some involvement with a desk. It was a tedious read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 12/3/2013

    " I really enjoyed it! But it was not as good as History of Love. I think if I would've read this first it wouldve been 4 stars. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chelsea Heath | 11/20/2013

    " Very strange. I kept waiting for all the disjointed stories to come together and they never really did. Disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kallie | 11/20/2013

    " A red-thread type tale with 4 separate narrations. I got attached to one of the narrations and wished it to continue and was disappointed to not have a better finish. The ending left a lot of loose ends that I would have liked to have wrapped up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette | 11/10/2013

    " I thought this book was really great until very close to the end, when I realized that the author was not going to tie together everything for me into a neat little package. Because the book jumps around a lot, I sort of expected that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth Haswell | 11/3/2013

    " It was interesting but difficult to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol Chapman | 8/25/2013

    " This didn't work so well as an audiobook...too confusing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christian | 7/27/2013

    " The author's style is amazing: I felt like there were a number of "perfect" sentences, the ones that make you go back and read them over just for the pleasure of it. Her insight into the dark and swirly side of human nature impressed as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angélica Vis | 7/13/2013

    " Ik moest er even in komen en vond het verschrikkelijk saai, maar uiteindelijk toch boeiend! :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne James | 3/24/2013

    " Intriguing book, beautifully written. It makes you work a bit but is well worth the effort. Moving and mysterious it interweaves many strands. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betsey | 2/21/2013

    " Maybe it's because it took me five months to read it - first book I tried on my iPad, then gave up and waited until it was available at the library- but I was disappointed. I did enjoy the author's turn of phrase. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Ward | 1/30/2013

    " Its been a while since I read this, and I just remember being disappointed at the end, thinking, how could it end this way? Parts of the book were very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amenah | 11/23/2012

    " Nicole Krauss' way of writing about inevitable loss never fails to hold me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Valerie | 5/8/2012

    " I must have been absent the day they passed out appreciation for patched together, over-written, blah, blah, blah, blah, held together by a barely discernable thread. Ugh! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Peggy | 1/24/2012

    " If found this book difficult to follow as I did her other book, The History of Love. I was still confused when I had finished the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline David | 1/4/2012

    " Good read. A little hard to keep track of all the story lines but overall a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwen | 5/27/2011

    " This was a difficult book...I need to think about it.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise | 5/25/2011

    " Not nearly as engrossing as her 'The History of Love.' The writing is superb, but I kept feeling like
    it was trying too hard to be too complicatd. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 5/23/2011

    " Exquisite writing, powerful stuff. A couple of strands were hard to follow, but even that added to the effect. Excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cerelle | 5/22/2011

    " This is a well-written but ultimately sad story. Also, as a friend in book club pointed out, why do all the characters narrate in the same tone? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Holly | 5/21/2011

    " Had high hopes for this book based on reviews, but I just didn't understand what point the author was trying to make. I kept waiting for a resolution to all the interlocking stories, but was not satisfied with the ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 5/13/2011

    " Very challenging. Took a week after finishing to feel any real understanding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 5/8/2011

    " If I hadn't read The History of Love, I would have rated this book higher but she follows the same pattern with a different twist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tmlcoaching | 5/8/2011

    " Good. Liked some of it - she is such a gifted writer. But the plot was a little forced, I thought. "

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About the Author
Author Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of America’s most important novelists.” She is the author of the international bestseller Great House, a finalist for the National Book Award, The History of Love, and Man Walks into a Room, among others.

About the Narrators

George Guidall, winner of eighty-eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. Among Guidall’s narration achievements are Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, and John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, which earned him an Audie Award for best unabridged narration of a novel, an honor he captured again for his rendition of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Guidall’s forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.

Celeste Ciulla is an accomplished actress and voice-over artist based in New York City. For her stage performances, she has received the 2010 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship and the Callaway Award. As an audiobook narrator, she earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for her reading of Great House by Nicole Krauss.

Robert Ian Mackenzie became an actor after holding a wide variety of other jobs, including everything from London policeman to water ski instructor in Greece. Since then, his acting career has encompassed straight theater, musicals, opera, films, television, voice-overs, commercials, and recorded books.

Alma Cuervo is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a stage actress and singer who has also performed in film and television. She holds an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, from which she graduated in 1976 alongside Meryl Streep. She starred in the role of Madame Morrible in the first national tour of Wicked.

Paul Hecht’s long career in audiobooks spans dozens of titles and authors as varied as Ray Bradbury and Gore Vidal, Jack Finney and Thomas Mann. He has recorded such books as Bob Dole’s One Soldier’s Story and Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verbs and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances. Hecht’s theater career in New York includes many Broadway and television credits. He has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations.