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Extended Audio Sample Memory Wall: Stories Audiobook, by Anthony Doerr Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (898 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Doerr Narrator: Christina Moore, Jennifer Ikeda, Lisette Lecat, Louis Changchien, Suzanne Toren, Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2010 ISBN: 9781461804123
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Set on four continents, Anthony Doerr’s new stories are about memory, the source of meaning and coherence in our lives, the fragile thread that connects us to ourselves and to others. Every hour, says Doerr, all over the globe, an infinite number of memories disappear. Yet at the same time children, surveying territory that is entirely new to them, push back the darkness, form fresh memories, and remake the world.

In the luminous and beautiful title story, a young boy in South Africa comes to possess an old woman’s secret, a piece of the past with the power to redeem a life. In “The River Nemunas,” a teenage orphan moves from Kansas to Lithuania to live with her grandfather, and discovers a world in which myth becomes real. “Village 113,” winner of an O’Henry Prize, is about the building of the Three Gorges Dam and the seed keeper who guards the history of a village soon to be submerged. And in “Afterworld,” the radiant, cathartic final story, a woman who escaped the Holocaust is haunted by visions of her childhood friends in Germany, yet finds solace in the tender ministrations of her grandson.

Every story in Memory Wall is a reminder of the grandeur of life—of the mysterious beauty of seeds, of fossils, of sturgeon, of clouds, of radios, of leaves, of the breathtaking fortune of living in this universe. Doerr’s language, his witness, his imagination, and his humanity are unparalleled in fiction today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Doerr has set a new standard for what a story can do.” Dave Eggers
  • “Rhythm is everything in the six stories Anthony Doerr has to tell in his strange and beautiful new collection, Memory Wall. His tales, long or short, all seem somehow to undulate, to surge and recede like the tides. They move gracefully back and forth between different places and different—often impossibly distant—times. If their tempo were any less sure, they might feel tricky, overdetermined, forcibly literary. But Doerr maintains a steady pulse that feels oddly familiar: whether from bedtime stories or something yet older is hard to tell.”

    New York Times

  • “Doerr has an incredible sense of language and a skill for crafting beautiful phrases and apt metaphors.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Doerr moves the reader gracefully from place to place (the stories span four continents), from incident to incident, and from memorable character to memorable character by focusing on small acts that have larger resonances.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book
  • Winner of the 2010 Story Prize for Short Fiction
  • An Indie Next Notable Title, August 2010
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 2/13/2014

    " A collection of poignant short stories, skillfully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 2/6/2014

    " Richly imagined and told. I'll re-read these. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andie Olson | 2/4/2014

    " This book is beautiful and touching. I usually read a lot of classic fiction and feel like a lot of modern literature just doesn't compare. This does. This is up there in the top 10 books I've read that beyond being technically good, with a powerful story line, and well developed characters; really touched me on a deep level. My version has a story added to the end of the collection entitled "the deep". If you love doerr's work, get your hands on this gem. It will break your heart. What a great author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebeca | 2/4/2014

    " Doerr masters the seamless continuum of consciousness, the sub-conscious, memories, dreams and the afterlife. My favorite story from this collection is Village 113 and my favorite quote is "Memory is a house with ten thousand rooms; it is a village slated to be inundated." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Rowland | 1/25/2014

    " This is an unparalleled book of short stories, strong from start to finish. Every story a gem. "

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

    " A fantastic collection of short stories. The first and the last stories of this collection will live inside on my consciousness for some time, a sure sign that the author did his job, and did it well. Recommended to read the whole thing; but if you are short on time, you must read at least the first story. It will blow you away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sidra | 1/17/2014

    " What an incredible collection of short stories. Reading things like this make me excited for the possibility of what a writer can do. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne Sumner | 1/13/2014

    " an amazing, lyrical, thought provoking writer. one of my favorite authors. ever. both of his short story collections rock. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Norma | 1/13/2014

    " These unusual, unforgetable stories are explore many aspects of memory. The characters are authentic & unpredictable and at least a few of the storylines are borderline-bizarre. The reader gains a new perspective on how one lives in the present and who else is here with us. Memory Wall and The River Nemunas are nothing short of great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 12/31/2013

    " Incredible stories. All of them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rich Brown | 12/18/2013

    " Wasn't sure how to rate it... Uneven, I thought, but the more I read others' reactions, the more these stories made sense. On a scale of five, the final page is a twelve. Read just that one, if you're standing in the bookstore aisle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Athena | 12/11/2013

    " Anthony Doerr is without a doubt one of my favorite short story writers. The title story is a tour de force that will haunt you for weeks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily Boerner | 12/3/2013

    " Not my fav Doerr. A couple of good stories but didn't overwhelm me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne Streff | 7/29/2013

    " A bit difficult to read at first as the first short story is about an unwell and mostly very sad older woman. Amazing story telling thus far and I'm curious to read the rest of the stories in this collection of stories on memory! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 7/17/2013

    " Stories that evoke the tenderness and fragility of hope and loss and memory. The writing is beautiful, breathtaking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isadora Wagner | 6/7/2013

    " Doerr just keeps getting better and better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 5/20/2013

    " The stories in this book are so incredible...powerful, ethereal, and sensitive. Anthony Doerr is one of my new favorite authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Costello | 1/22/2013

    " I loved these stories, so many layers, such great writing. So much to think about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 11/18/2012

    " Unquestionably the best book I've read all year, a breathtaking collection of short stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristie | 11/9/2012

    " As with "The Shell Collector" the stories and characters of "Memory Wall" will remain with me for some time. Beautifully written! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya | 9/12/2012

    " This is a great collection of stories. Each story having its own characters and theme yet they all seemed to fit together well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 1/30/2012

    " These stories were either depressing or ended with no resolution but the writing was amazing. Great book of short stories with characters I cared about. This was my first book by Anthony Doerr and I cannot wait to read more by him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 10/23/2011

    " Another book I barely scratched the surface of for class. "Village 113" is almost definitely one of the greatest short stories of all time. I really need to read the rest of the stories in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sumi | 9/29/2011

    " Memory Wall was one of the best short stories I have read in a long time. A few other gems in the book as well. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 9/22/2011

    " Memory Wall wasn't my favorite of these short stories, although Doerr's writing and imagination are intriguing. The other stories in the book are WELL worth your time. He's a very talented, very clever author... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 9/16/2011

    " The most reliable (i.e. to be good) contemporary fiction writer, and I hate contemporary fiction! A second collection as good as his first ('The Shell Collector'). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Foxtrot | 8/10/2011

    " Although the stories were interesting, I felt the deceptive language was not of the same quality in Four Seasons in Rome... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya | 8/7/2011

    " This is a great collection of stories. Each story having its own characters and theme yet they all seemed to fit together well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pmoore66 | 8/3/2011

    " Amazing. Second set of shorts by Doerr that I have read. The final story in this collection, Afterworld, is spectacular. Memories evoked by seizures to tell the back story of a Jewish WWII survivor; such beautiful, descriptive language. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hartshope | 7/31/2011

    " Amazing, hypnotizing collection of short stories. More details to follow. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timothy | 7/31/2011

    " Incredible mastery of language, swinging on a hinge of our natural world - and the unnatural ways we live within it. My favorite stories within were "Afterworld" and "Procreate, Generate." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charity | 7/26/2011

    " If I had known this was the same author as state of grace I would not have checked it out and I'm so glad I read this. I especially loved village 113 and the afterworld. "

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About the Author
Author Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr’s books have received numerous honors and awards, including being a New York Times Notable Book, an American Library Association Book of the Year, a Book of the Year in the Washington Post, and a winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the Story Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Ohioana Book Award—three times. His stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories.

About the Narrators

Lisette Lecat began her career in her native South Africa, where she had stage roles and did extensive radio and voice-over work both commercially and for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Living in Spain, England, and the United States, she did a wide range of voice-over work in three languages. She has won thirteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best female solo narration.

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.

Jennifer Ikeda has been narrating audiobooks since 2002. Among her readings are When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park; Just Listen by Sarah Dessen; and After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates. She has won six AudioFile Earphones Awards.

Christina Moore is an actress and award-winning audiobook narrator who has garnered eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she is best known for her roles in the television series That ’70s Show, Hawthorne, and 90210. She is a founding member of Bitches Funny, an all-female sketch group that has performed in New York City and Los Angeles for the past five years.

Suzanne Toren has recorded hundreds of audiobooks and has earned twenty-nine Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She has received the Narrator of the Year Award for her audiobook recordings for the Library of Congress. She has performed on Broadway and in regional theaters in works penned by Shakespeare, Molière, and Arthur Miller. She has also appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.