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Download Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World Audiobook, by Tracy Kidder Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (28,835 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tracy Kidder Narrator: Paul Michael Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2003 ISBN: 9781415918012
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This powerful and inspiring new book shows how one person can make a difference, as Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who is in love with the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.

At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life’s calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer—brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti—blasts through convention to get results.

Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity”—a philosophy that is embodied in the small public charity he founded, Partners In Health. He enlists the help of the Gates Foundation, George Soros, the U.N.’s World Health Organization, and others in his quest to cure the world. At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope, and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb “Beyond mountains there are mountains”: as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Here is a genuine hero alive in our times. Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with the force of gathering revelation. Like all of Tracy Kidder’s books, it is as hard to put down as any good and true story. Annie Dillard, author of The Writing Life
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains is the only book I’ve read in years that made me feel like cheering. It left me uncomfortable, guilty, and exhausted—but it also inspired me, kept me up all night, and moved me to tears. Some readers will find their lives changed forever; everyone else will emerge, at the very least, with an unexpectedly revised set of values. Tracy Kidder has given us not only an unforgettable book but an unignorable life lesson. Hurrah! Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
  • Rarely has idealism fared so well on the planet as in Tracy Kidder’s eloquently reported Mountains Beyond Mountains. One is tempted to call Paul Farmer’s passionate sensibilities and loving ambitions otherworldly, but only in sadness that there are too few of him in the world. Kidder has provided us all, as the Farmerites say, with a road map to decency, and such an endowment is beyond measure. Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands
  • Is there anything Tracy Kidder can't do? This is a beautiful book, and a masterful one. Even better, Mountains Beyond Mountains is a page-turner that will crack your conscience open. Stacey Schiff, author of Vera
  • “An incredible story about an incredible man told by an incredible writer. Mountains Beyond Mountains is the sort of book that makes you want to buy a hundred copies and pass them out like a street corner evangelist. It's the sort of book that will affect your life in a profound way. In a good way. Thom Jones, author of The Pugilist at Rest
  • “Saints are notoriously difficult people, but who knew one could be so funny, so utterly charming, and finally so deft in accomplishing that most impossible of all job descriptions--changing the world? Tracy Kidder's spellbinding story presents us with an unlikely saint and finally, with inspiration so compelling it makes the usual cynicism about global change seem indulgent foolishness. Patricia Hampl, author of A Romantic Education
  • In this excellent work, Pulitzer Prize—winner Kidder immerses himself in and beautifully explores the rich drama that exists in the life of Dr. Paul Farmer…Throughout, Kidder captures the almost saintly effect Farmer has on those whom he treats. Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
  • [A] Skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being. Kirkus Reviews, starred review
  • A fine writer and his extraordinary subject: Tracy Kidder, in giving us Paul Farmer, lifts up an image of hope–and challenge–that the world urgently needs. Simply put, this is an important book. James Carroll, author of Constantine's Sword
  • “The central character of this marvelous book is one of the most provocative, brilliant, funny, unsettling, endlessly energetic, irksome, and charming characters ever to spring to life on the page. He has embarked on an epic struggle that will take you from the halls of Harvard Medical School to a sun-scorched plateau in Haiti, from the slums of Peru to the cold gray prisons of Moscow. He wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it. Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action
  • A profoundly inspiring and important book about one of the truly great men of our time. Ethan Canin, author of Carry Me Across the Water

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Priyanka yadav | 2/5/2014

    " It's one of the most inspiring books I have read. Based on the life of a physician and philanthropist, it shows how much one can achieve if one has the determination. The line that touched me the most was when Dr. Farmer says, "The problem is, if I don't work this hard, someone will die who doesn't have to." With his selflessness and the desire to achieve social justice and health equity, he kept conquering every "mountain" blocking his path,one after another! The author has done a great job. Being an active character in the book himself, he has made the truth more believable! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles Thompson | 2/2/2014

    " Kidder gives what seems like a reasonably even-handed portrait Paul Farmer given his clear adoration of his subject. I Felt it was longer than it needed to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jimmy Ceedee | 1/24/2014

    " A good read. Details like this make us aware of the struggles of the idealistic notions of Global Health that many people, including myself, decided to enter the fray of medicine. Recommend reading for anyone regardless of your connection to the medical field. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/23/2014

    " This is an amazing inspiring read. If I could be 5% of Paul Farmer, I would do amazing things. He is a reminder that to affect change in the world it requires tireless dedication, love, empathy and some amout of insanity. "For me, an area of moral clarity is: you're in front of someone who's suffering and you have the tools at your disposal to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it, and you act." One of my favorite of Farmer's quotes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindi Montoro | 1/19/2014

    " Fascinating man and his life work. It will inspire you to make a difference. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lydia Diaz | 1/5/2014

    " It's an incredible and moving story about life in Haiti. It helped me put my own little problems in perspective. A must-read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Anna | 12/31/2013

    " This was the selection of my Book Club this past month, and otherwise I might've never picked this one up on my own. But I'm certainly glad I read it. I'm intrigued by Paul Farmer, though he's a bit of a cavalier. His philosophies on poverty and medicine are revolutionary and radical, and while I so badly want to get fully on board with him, I'm concerned that it's not possible. The chasm between the rich and the poor is so large, I don't know that it's reasonable to think that there will be a bridge anytime soon. I am content to read this book, allow Paul's work to encourage me to give more generously, and try to inspire others to do the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenna | 12/28/2013

    " I would give this six stars if I could. Hands down- the best book I've read in years. Paul Farmer is an incredible individual and Tracy Kidder captures his complexities and beliefs perfectly, so that the reader is irrevocably altered to view the world in a different way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennie | 12/23/2013

    " I enjoy Tracy Kidder always, but this book is inspiring. Dr. Farmer is tireless, selfless, and a visionary. Not discouraged by the enormity of the problem. I want to be like him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vanessa | 12/23/2013

    " Great and scary book. You should read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dipali Vyas | 12/20/2013

    " inspirational and moving ...very written. Dr Farmer proves that you really can make SOMETHING out of NOTHING. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Mcfadden | 12/11/2013

    " Loved this book! Dr. Paul Farmer - such a fascinating man. Kidder does a great job covering a lot of distance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 12/7/2013

    " Everyone should read this and get mad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rena | 11/29/2013

    " An absolute fabulous read! Tracy Kidder has a way of describing thins so that you can understand that which you may feel confused about at any other time. He can draw you into the book so well, you feel like you are walking along with Paul Farmer into the mountains. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 11/28/2013

    " Excellent biography of an amazing man. Singer's "The Life You Can Save" convinced me that I should be giving to charities. This book convinced me that Partners in Health is who I should be supporting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki Munroe | 8/20/2013

    " I didn't finish it. I got a little bogged down. I have to been in a certain frame of mind to keep reading non-fiction that is about so much hardship and poverty. It was depressing although he certainly is someone to be admired. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer B | 7/8/2013

    " Read this in a management class, junior year of college. I loved the way Paul Farmer is willing to change the discussion and challenge the common approach to medicine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liene | 6/9/2013

    " Paul Farmer is a personal hero of mine, and I loved that this book showed both the amazing social justice side that we all know from his work as well as his flaws. I admire and respect him even more now because of the way his story is presented here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhea | 2/20/2013

    " This is a book to give to as many people as possible - one whose message deserves to be disseminated throughout our society. Not only does it have a powerful message to share, it is also lovingly crafted. Putting it down is hard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess Hartnett | 1/14/2013

    " Great book, even though it made me feel completely lazy and worthless because I'm not curing TB in the third world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abbey | 1/5/2013

    " read this.. enjoyable- got me more into Public Health... which I still love. Was the "first Year read" in 2006-- so I got a free copy for being a orientation leader. Not that memorable though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurenquartz | 6/13/2012

    " Thought provoking. A story that makes the reader re-evaluate life's priorities. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Polly Feehan | 2/22/2012

    " Pretty amazing, crazy, arrogant dr. I'm so glad there are people like this. This was written before the earthquake in Hatti so now it is even more desperate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 T.R. | 11/8/2011

    " A good book about Paul Farmer and his health work in Haiti and beyond. I wish it was written by someone who was in solidarity with, rather than sympathetic, to Farmer's politics and work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy | 8/15/2011

    " Loved the book to begin with but eventually got bogged down. Did read most of it and am glad I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 7/2/2011

    " I thought this was going to be a fawning account of an amazing man, and it is, but a very readable one. Dr. Farmer's work deserves to be publicized and praised, although his life philosophy comes across as kinda terrifying and simplistic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Van buskirk | 7/1/2011

    " Amazing story. So well written and engaging, I thought it was fiction. Half-way through I realized it's a true story. Both heartbreaking and inspirational. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fiona | 5/22/2011

    " Riveting and awe-inspiring story of Paul Farmer's life and achievements "

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

    " It was a great case study of a group of people, in particular one man, trying to practice liberation theology through God's preference for the poor. The book reminded me a lot of what I once ardently believed and should still believe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dipali | 5/9/2011

    " inspirational and moving ...very written. Dr Farmer proves that you really can make SOMETHING out of NOTHING. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joelegrand | 5/5/2011

    " Fantastic book. I hope my Goodreads friends read it to learn more about Haiti. My new hero is Dr. Paul Farmer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan | 5/3/2011

    " It's been a while since I stayed up an extra three hours to finish a book. That was partially because this was really overdue at the library, and partially because I enjoyed reading the book. I'm still trying to figure out just how I feel about this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lily | 5/3/2011

    " I started reading prepared to be inspired, but this book and the story of Paul Farmer's life blew me away. Kidder's talent + Farmer's life = a MUST read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/2/2011

    " 3-1/2 or 4 stars. I feel like I should give it 5 stars if it's a rating on Paul Farmer's dedication to the human race, though!! It was enlightening, eye-opening, and inspiring. It made me think about the world in a whole new way, and I was amazed at Paul Farmer's tireless efforts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 4/28/2011

    " This was good non-fiction. I learned a lot about Haiti and TB, and the story of Dr. Paul Farmer was interesting. This book is along the same lines as Three Cups of Tea, but I thought it was better reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karyn | 4/26/2011

    " Paul Farmer makes for an interesting central character. Eccentric, passionate, quirky. All good non-fiction reading. I learned a bit about international politics of treating infections diseases along the way, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyssa | 4/21/2011

    " I actually really enjoyed this book. I loved the way it was written and even though it had a lot of information about PIH it was so interesting to see how it all began. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosalea | 4/21/2011

    " shame inducing... American decadence, selfishness and triviality... in an inspiring way... this story augments my own desire to do something helpful for others and to become better educated in ways to do this... ... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dee | 4/16/2011

    " Great work by a good man "

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About the Author
Author Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, among other literary prizes. He is the author of The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Home Town, and others.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael is an Audie Award-winning narrator. He has acted on stage, radio, television, and in feature films in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States. He has had leading roles in series and made-for-television movies and has guest starred in such series as VIP and Alias. He has been nominated for a Canadian Emmy (or Nellie) and has recorded over 150 audiobooks, including the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, winning more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards.