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Extended Audio Sample Noahs Compass: A Novel Audiobook, by Anne Tyler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,631 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Tyler Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9780739384787
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From the incomparable Anne Tyler, a wise, gently humorous, and deeply compassionate novel about a schoolteacher, who has been forced to retire at sixty-one, coming to terms with the final phase of his life.

Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn’t bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.

His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets is—well, something quite different.

We all know a Liam. In fact, there may be a little of Liam in each of us. Which is why Anne Tyler’s lovely novel resonates so deeply. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 2/6/2014

    " What sad, depressing characters! It makes one appreciate relationships in life! I got a kick out of Liam's comment that small children "formed alliances and ad hoc committees and little vigilante groups". The book reminds me of the song "Is That All There Is". At some point in life I guess most of us ask that question. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sally Lee | 2/5/2014

    " probably my least favorite anne tyler book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonette | 2/3/2014

    " I've been reading mostly non-fiction, text book type books on health and politics, yes some might not see these as related but I do and can explain it in depth. However, while perusing the shelves at the wonderful Cuyahoga County Library I spotted this book on display, Anne Tyler's latest. I have read all of Tyler's books and love her style. Although this is not her best book, it does not fail to keep the reader engaged. I will not retell the story but I will say that I could not put it down and although not a long book I was totally engrossed and finished it in a day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonia | 1/22/2014

    " I've been reading Anne Tyler since the 80's and have to say she is my favorite author and I'm always happy when she has a new book. Although this is not my favorite of hers I still enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elisa | 1/19/2014

    " I loved this book! It's really hard to describe why. It's a quiet story, about ordinary life and its failures, and it's sad and inspiring and profound, and also gently funny. After reading Tyler's books, I feel like I have actually met her characters, she makes them so real for me. I adore the main character of this book. He's incredibly easy for me to identify with, although I hope I'm not like him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheryl | 1/18/2014

    " Kind of sad, kind of slow but pretty good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Toby | 1/17/2014

    " Boring! Can't believe I finished it. About a 60-year old man who loses his teaching job and moves into an apartment and is assaulted on his first night there. The rest of the book is about how disconnected he is from life and his family, etc. Don't bother reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Courtney Milford | 1/4/2014

    " Don't bother. I have a hardback copy and I haven't passed it on to anyone because it wasn't very good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sydney | 12/27/2013

    " It was one of the worst books I've ever read. It was slow and had virtually no point to the store. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 12/21/2013

    " I really liked this book - it was so funny yet very personal and poignant! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tammy | 12/15/2013

    " Started out with an interesting premise and protagonist - but failed to end up anywhere. I was disappointed by the lack of an ending. "

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

    " I was disappointed in this book in comparison to most of Anne Tyler's other books. It was enjoyable to read but there just wasn't much of a point to it. "

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

    " I always enjoy reading Anne Tyler, but I did not connect with these characters in the way I did for those I met in the other dozen of so of her novels I've read over the years. "

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

    " Ended a bit abruptly. Took a while to get off the ground. I guess I liked the middle part the best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 11/14/2013

    " Ok, not my favorite. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pam | 6/5/2013

    " Not the best by Anne Tyler. I never really connected with the characters or the story. It was a odd sort of story from beginning to end and didn't hold my interest. I can't recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/20/2013

    " I love Anne Tyler, but this was disappointing. I did not care for the ending at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Mangigian | 11/22/2012

    " I got engrossed in Liam's story but was very unsatisfied with the ending of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie Stafford | 6/19/2012

    " I think I have read every one of Tyler's novels and this one was below average. It wasn't a waste of time, but it didn't involve me quite as much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maeve | 2/9/2012

    " This book is suprisingly sweet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh Anne Wilkes | 1/13/2012

    " I have been an Anne Tyler fan since the beginning and have read everything she has written. Enjoyed Noah's Compass but not one of my favorites "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terrymensching | 10/23/2011

    " It was ok. Rather slow moving and ordinary just like the character. Maybe that was the point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy Kelley | 8/23/2011

    " I'd give this 3.5 stars. Understated and melancholy, this one sneaks up behind you. Missing for me was Tyler's unique sense of humor--funny and quirky but with an undercurrent of tragi-comedy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joella Tunnell | 6/21/2011

    " A lot of humor and a lot of wisdom in a story of an ordinary man, a school teacher who has just lost his job. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 3GirlsMom | 5/10/2011

    " another of Tyler's poor schlubs, though he comes to his senses in the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 2/2/2011

    " I had high hopes for this novel, and it started out with an interesting premise. Unfortunately, Liam, the protagonist was just too uninteresting to really engage with. The way the novel sort of meandered toward the ending was...fine...just not very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruthglowacki | 9/19/2010

    " Not as good as, but sort of an American version of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. A simple read... spent some time with another curmudgeon. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carla Anderson | 9/12/2010

    " This book was ok and I sailed along throught it. I kept waiting for something to happen. I was frustrated that Liam Pennywell, the main character, let everyone in his life treat him badly, including his daughters. I have trouble with spineless people. Not Tyler's best for sure. "

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About the Author
Author Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler is an American novelist, short-story writer, and literary critic and considered a major figure in American literature. Her novels have earned a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Amabassador Book Award, London Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, among other awards, and several have been New York Times bestsellers. Her novel The Accidental Tourist was made into an Academy Award-winning motion picture in 1988. She was was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and now lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where many of her books are set. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards: in 2011 for Biography and History, in for History and Historical Fiction, and in 2009 for Nonfiction and Culture. His work has also garnered twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he has been nominated for an Audie Award. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. As a narrator, he has received nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.