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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,458 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Salzman Narrator: Linda Stephens Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781436142151
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Mark Salzman received critical acclaim for Iron & Silk, his personal account of two years spent in China. In Lying Awake, he creates a fascinating spiritual landscape that lies behind the walls of a monastery. Readers around the world praise the beauty and originality of this novel. Sister John has devoted her life to serving God. For almost 30 years she has lived in a Carmelite monastery near Los Angeles. There, she experiences religious visions of such intensity that she is revered by the other nuns. But these visions also bring on excruciating headaches. When she is offered an operation that may stop the pain, she realizes that it may also stop the visions. Now Sister John wonders how this change will affect her faith. Lying Awake is an eloquent examination of religious experience that transcends the boundaries of church and doctrine. Narrator Linda Stephens perfectly conveys Sister John’s thoughts, feelings, and visions.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melody Rudenko | 2/11/2014

    " A little dull and frustrating. I found the lifestyle of cloistered nuns self centered rather than philanthropic, and than was frustrating. Maybe that was the intention of the author, too portray a cloistered religious lifestyle as hypocritical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lynn | 1/28/2014

    " A beautifully written novel about a Carmelite nun in present-day Los Angeles with temporal lobe epilepsy. Salzman's prose is lyrical and rich. I enjoyed the book very much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea Hecklinger | 1/24/2014

    " Interesting look into a society--cloistered nuns--that I had no idea about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Bernard | 1/18/2014

    " Salzman is oblique, contemporarily so. His writing is brilliant, but not the style I enjoy most. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nadine | 1/16/2014

    " Mark Salzman describes life in a convent as if he is a nun himself. He's a magician of a writer. Very exact. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca Carroll | 1/15/2014

    " Umm it was Well written, but I just couldn't get into it I got half way thru:( "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Willow | 1/14/2014

    " A thought provoking novel that questions the authenticity of faith and belief. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 12/13/2013

    " If my memory serves me right, this is a quiet, beautiful book. I just bought it for my shelves the other day and plan to read it again shortly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yeti | 12/13/2013

    " A gripping story of a nun experiencing visions of God. Or is she? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 12/9/2013

    " A beautiful story about keeping faith even in times of darkness and loneliness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shelly | 12/8/2013

    " Interesting but not great. The fact that a man wrote about a nun's life in a cloistered convent was intriguing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 sisterimapoet | 12/4/2013

    " Quite a simple premise but told with a delicate touch throughout. Interesting to see someone coming to terms with an illness within the framework of profound religion. Told by a character willing to admit she doesn't have all the answers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bobby | 11/15/2013

    " A nearly perfect meditation on faith and holy doubt in fiction form. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 6/3/2013

    " A beautiful novel about faith and doubt, selfishness and community...it is a really quick read, but rich. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 5/7/2013

    " I found the description of this book so fascinating that I was slightly disappointed by the book itself. That said, it was thought-provoking and short enough to avoid getting bogged down. I would recommend it just for the questions it raises. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mckinley | 1/29/2013

    " Was hoping it would go more into the psychology of the main character. Very interesting premise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn | 12/17/2012

    " This book was recommended to me by a new friend that was a monk for 30 years, and is now retired. It is about the inner life and thoughts of nuns in a LA convent. I found this book fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 12/6/2012

    " The book was about a guy name salzman that explores neurological illness and micastic life,which means that he wants to mostly get respect and experience his self and he is trying to reach beyond experience to heart to religious.Also I think that he wants to respect the religious too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cherylck | 12/2/2012

    " A celebrated novelist must face her faithfulness midway through her vocation as a nun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbie57 | 10/28/2012

    " A thoughtful book. Perhaps better the more you know about the Catholic church, but I found it calm and peaceful. And it discussed many issues about the religous experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gary Smith | 9/28/2012

    " A really superb, humane book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meg | 5/29/2012

    " I'm always fascinated by cloistered nuns, so this was up my alley. It's a well-written and thoughtful book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 7/14/2011

    " A really fascinating crisis of faith. it's a taut narrative, but lacks some of the power it could have had. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 4/7/2011

    " This short novel is a small, perfect piece of marvelous incandescent amazingness. That's all I want to say except that everyone should read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbie57 | 3/30/2011

    " A thoughtful book. Perhaps better the more you know about the Catholic church, but I found it calm and peaceful. And it discussed many issues about the religous experience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 3/28/2011

    " I found this one confused me sometimes...I never knew when the main character was having a hallucination or having a real experience or writing poetry. Yet, I read it in 2 days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 3/24/2011

    " If my memory serves me right, this is a quiet, beautiful book. I just bought it for my shelves the other day and plan to read it again shortly.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 12/31/2010

    " Interesting book about a nun who has visions because of a brain tumor. I didn't like her choice at the end, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackson | 12/26/2010

    " I read this a few years ago, though not remembering until part-way into the book. There are some interesting things to think of, including what is done with a cheerful heart vs. doing ones duty regardless of wanting to or not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 11/29/2010

    " This is an outstanding book. It's a very quick read as it's only 181 pages, but it is written brilliantly and with such tenderness that once you're into it it's hard to think that you are not a nun too (and I'm not religious at all). I highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 11/27/2010

    " Nun who has seizures is afraid of a remedying surgery which may take away her connection to God. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Suzanne | 11/21/2010

    " This isn't a bad book or poorly written, just not one that I was interested in. Read it as part of my book group. It has too much prayer and not enough story for me. A much better book on cloistered nuns is Karen Armstrong's Through the Narrow Gate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 11/9/2010

    " The book was about a guy name salzman that explores neurological illness and micastic life,which means that he wants to mostly get respect and experience his self and he is trying to reach beyond experience to heart to religious.Also I think that he wants to respect the religious too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 10/29/2010

    " A beautiful story about keeping faith even in times of darkness and loneliness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 10/28/2010

    " A very interesting slice of life book about nuns living in a monastery outside of Carmel, California. It's a little slow starting, but once I got into it, I was caught up in the monastic life of thes fascinating characters. It gave me plenty to thinnk about! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mckinley | 10/8/2010

    " Was hoping it would go more into the psychology of the main character. Very interesting premise. "

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About the Author
Author Mark Salzman

Mark Salzman is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. The son of a social worker and a music teacher, he grew up in Connecticut and studied Chinese language and philosophy at Yale. After college he spent two years in China, learning martial arts from some of China’s most renowned teachers, an experience he documented in his bestselling memoir Iron & Silk. His other books include The Laughing Sutra, Lost in Place, The Soloist, and Lying Awake. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, director Jessica Yu, and their two daughters.

About the Narrator

Linda Stephens is a seasoned audiobook narrator whose readings include Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, which won an AudioFile Earphones Award and was a finalist for the Audie Award for Best Narration.