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Download I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPRs National Story Project Audiobook, by Paul Auster Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,557 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Auster Narrator: Paul Auster Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2004 ISBN: 9780060784423
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When Paul Auster was asked to join NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered, he invited listeners to submit brief, true-life anecdotes about events that touched their lives.

And so the National Story Project was born. With more than 4,000 stories submitted so far, it is one of NPR’s most popular features—so popular that Auster decided to choose the top submissions and make them available in this book. His selections—hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies—come from people of all ages and walks of life.

This one-of-a-kind collection is a testament to the power of storytelling that offers a glimpse into the American soul. By turns poignant, nostalgic, funny, and strange, it is a work to be treasured and shared for years to come.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Finally, a bathroom book worthy of Pulitzer consideration: the one-to-three-page stories gathered in this astonishing, addictive collection are absolute gems.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A wonderful story collection...and something that would make a great gift for the holidays.” Sunday Oklahoman
  • “Auster has done a storyteller’s job himself of grouping these pieces effectively. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “It is difficult to think of another book published this year, and probably any book to be published next year, that is so simple and so obvious, so excellent in intention and so elegant in its execution, and which displays such wisdom and such knowledge of human life in all its varieties. It is also difficult to think of a book that is so stark a reminder that human experience can be horrid and utterly unbelievable, and which therefore answers so precisely to our current needs and circumstances.”

    Gaurdian

  • “A powerful book, one in which strangers share with you their darkest secrets, their happiest memories, their fears, their regrets. To read these essays is to look into hearts, to see life from other viewpoints, to live vicariously.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Unforgettable testimonials of human resilience. Moving and amusing dispatches from across America.”

    US Weekly

  • “Human foibles and frailties, laughter and tears...We are all hearing—and telling—stories all the time, especially now, in these days when life itself seems so fragile and precious. But Paul Auster’s wonderful efforts, choosing these fine stories, have given us a timely and invaluable reminder of what it means to listen—to really listen—to America talking.”

     Times-Picayune

Listener Opinions

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

    " This was a little repetative in that a lot of the stories featured amazing coincidences. However, I was interested int he NPR StOry Project so am glad I read it. easy to pick up and put down as none of the stories are longer than 4 pagtes and some are less than one. There are a few that have stuck with me and I wonder what happed tot eh writers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 2/18/2014

    " A collection of stories by the everyman. Yes, truth, sometimes is stranger than fiction with real life experiences being more magical than Doug Henning. But not everyman is ruled by the Grammar Gods. So yes - some wonderful stories here but keep in mind they are not professional writers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 2/15/2014

    " As the title suggests, this is a collection of true stories collated by the author and the hosts of a National Public Radio programme after they had requested listeners to send in any to be read out on air. Here Auster presents the most memorable, from people of all ages and all walks of life, from farce to tragedy, and including tales of remarkable coincidences and great philanthropy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andy | 2/5/2014

    " Thank God for that chicken story. "

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

    " I really enjoyed that these were all true and that it ran a broad spectrum from funny to bizarre to thought-provoking. I found that reading so many short stories all at once was a little difficult as the mind would have to adjust to each new tone and writer and took some time to go through. But, overall there were some stories that really touched me and were worth reading the entire book for those alone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/24/2014

    " This was a great book. I loved reading all the different stories, each unique in their own way. All of the stories were short but enjoyable. What a great project! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eva | 1/20/2014

    " One of my favourite books ever. Heartwarming, true or not true stories, taken from life. Better than all "chicken-soups..." combined! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/18/2014

    " LOVED it. I listened to it after first moving to southern Utah while driving to/from the Las Vegas airport and it made me want to just keep going until I was finished. Reinforces that old saying "truth is stranger than fiction." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Priti Taneja | 1/16/2014

    " Some great anecdotes of everyday life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 1/2/2014

    " I love short stories, and these are all supposed to be true. Some are extremely short. Some are a little crude. Most are just unbelievably fun or touching. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Summer | 12/27/2013

    " This is a good book to take to the doctor's office and read while you're waiting. Lots of very short bits from NPR's National Story Project. Pleasant light read, but didn't change my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raphael Paulian | 12/20/2013

    " There are some entertaining stories there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hayley | 11/16/2013

    " A interesting dip-in read. The very nature of the book meant thatI enjoyed some of the writings but not others. What I enjoyed most was experiencing the different ways in which people experience and describe everyday occurances. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 L. | 6/22/2013

    " I believe absolutely everyone has at least one interesting story to tell, and this book proves it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbi | 4/13/2013

    " great stories of a piece of life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracyj | 2/9/2013

    " I loved this book. A great collection a real life stories. some sad, some funny, some just plain amazing. Broken into small stories, it's a great "by the bedside" book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 12/31/2012

    " Good anthology. All the stories are short and true. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nate | 12/2/2012

    " A decent read, easy and fast. Good for a bus ride, since you could read one story at a time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve Nojek | 11/30/2012

    " I love the true-life stories enclosed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 11/10/2012

    " As with any collection, some of the stories were good others not so much. I read this based on Auster, because I generally like his work and that the book was an NPR National Story Project. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 10/12/2012

    " Very cool compilation of true short stories sent in from listners of a radio show. The stories were supposed to "defy our expectations about the world, reveal the mysterious and unknowable forces at work in our lives, family histories, minds and bodies, and souls ..." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marah | 9/30/2012

    " I will never forget some of these short stories--all well written an very powerful. I'll probably read it again in 10 years. I've read it twice now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Hali | 5/8/2012

    " The NPR Story Project is brilliant. And look at the editor of this collection! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Allan | 3/6/2012

    " Bought this because of Auster, and was extremely surprised at the quality of both the stories and the writing. A pleasure to dip into. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 2/14/2012

    " sections on family and lost treasures brought me to tears a time or two "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sunny | 2/2/2012

    " Great editing. This is the best WC ever published. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 1/22/2012

    " The very first story, which is about two sentences long, is a joy. Only a handful of the stories really moved me much, and I think that leaving them largely unedited was a mistake. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Green | 5/17/2011

    " Beautiful book full of non-fiction short stories written by everyday people. Synchronicity, happen-stance, and seemingly magical events form a theme from cover to cover. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/8/2011

    " Compelling characters, beautifully written. I like Donna Seaman's review from the book jacket: "Every element is saturated with implication as each wounded, questing character's story illuminates our tragic flaws and profound need for connection, coherence, and beauty." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gerben | 4/14/2011

    " I still feel the story of Miles Heller was cut short. I would have liked it more if it had taken me a little bit further. Nevertheless, another fascinating Auster novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 4/12/2011

    " My intellectual friend says that Paul Auster is one of the only great writers of our day. Hmmmm...he won't even read Harry Potter, that snob!
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 4/9/2011

    " well written but the ending was flat "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/6/2011

    " Wonderful characters and a setting I could relate to. This is more about people than plot but it is an interesting and compelling family and friends drama. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 4/2/2011

    " Man, you think you got problems! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cheryl S. | 3/20/2011

    " Would not have finished this book except it was for my book club. I didn't warm to any of the characters or the yukky sex scenes that did nothing to move the story forward. I'm really not sure what the author was trying to say, but whatever it was I missed it. "

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About the Author
Author Paul Auster

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of The New York Trilogy and many other critically acclaimed novels. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in 2006. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.