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Download Palimpsest Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Palimpsest (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Catherynne M. Valente
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,854 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherynne M. Valente Narrator: Aasne Vigesaa Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN:
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Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse - a voyage permitted only to those who've always believed there's another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night.

To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei. They've each lost something important -- a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Onewooga | 2/19/2014

    " I picked this book up at random at a book store, and then got it at the library on a whim. I finished it this morning. I was so distracted actually forgot to bring a new book to start with me to work today. I actually put this book down once or twice just to make it last longer. If you know me and my voracious speed reading, these are momentous things. I was impressed by the quirky, and queer, dark and erotic twists and turns. It was a tad overblown in a few places, but so forgivable. She reminds me of China Mieville in terms of the strange juxtapositions and dreamlike imagery, but the concept and thoughts behind this book are so cool I'm going to have to go buy it. I mean listen to this (describing a factory in the city Palimpsest where half the book is set): "And what do they make in this factory? Why, the vermin of Palimpsest. There is a machine for stamping cockroaches with glistening green carapaces, their maker's mark hidden cleverly under the left wing. There is a machine for shaping and pounding rats, soft gray fur stiff and shining when they are first released. There is a mold for squirrels, one for chipmunks and one for plain mice. There is a centrifuge for spiders, a lizard-pour, a delicate and ancient machine which turns out flies and mosquitoes by turn, so exquisite, so perfect that they seem to be made of nothing but copper wire, spun sugar, and light." And this is in the first two pages. I want a lizard-pour! This book is delicious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trip | 2/19/2014

    " That was quite surreal, and also full of teh secks, but much more standard in structure than the "Orphan's Tales" books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shanon | 1/30/2014

    " I don't often write reviews, but this is one of those books that I cannot help thinking about long after I've read it. The lush and fantastical setting of the city and the compelling characters made for a captivating book; I find myself weeks later reflecting on the characters and themes of the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 C.D. | 1/29/2014

    " The story was hampered by the clever prose. It's very lovely, and the story is interesting, but the fairy-tale-ishness of it grated on my nerves. "

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

    " This is a book about how people go to a new world because they have always dreamed of such a place. It is a grown-up cousin to all the books about misfit children who yearn for another world, and then one day find the door open to the place they dreamt about. As a person who lived for, and in those books as a child, I was at first a little surprised by *how* grown up this is, but it is a beautiful book about people who dream of a city, a city that dreams of people, the end of a war, the difficulty of finding the place where you belong, and the sacrifices you have to make to get there. "

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

    " I am still undecided in my overall thoughts regarding this one. So, instead of trying to formulate my own review, I shall link to Ben Babcock's review , which says pretty much everything I've though regarding this book, and says it much more articulately than I can manage. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dianna | 1/16/2014

    " It was intriguing, but not enveloping. The different stories seemed like they'd probably all come together (no pun intended), but I'm not invested enough to care. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stacey | 1/16/2014

    " I wanted to like this, and I was initially entranced by the language but I couldn't get into it and found it hard to sympathise with the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 1/4/2014

    " I'm not really sure how to review this book and I'm not sure even now that I "got" all of it. However, it kinda blew me away. That someone could be so wildly inventive just floors me. I loved pretty much all of it and really look forward to reading all of Ms. Valente's work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 11/10/2013

    " My this author has an imagination! I was hooked at page one - that wonderful description of the factory that made all the city's vermin. This book is fascinating throughout. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shiyiya | 10/28/2013

    " Five stars is insufficient. Cat Valente's prose is transcendent, so rich that even I who tear through books as though I was starving for them had to put it down and take breaks. I can say little without spoiling, and this is a story that deserves to be seen with fresh eyes. Read it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim | 8/11/2013

    " Vivid imagery, but too fragmentary. Didn't quite get it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Noelle | 7/11/2013

    " This book evidently wasn't for me. While being beautifully written the lack of/slow plot made it that I just can't bring myself to finish it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolyn | 7/7/2013

    " Some great imagery but I had to put it down. It got too flowery and impressionistic. I want a story that grabs me by the neck. This was too much of a struggle and I felt little empathy for the characters -- the voice feeling so distant for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 1/22/2013

    " A quick, pleasant read with tasty language. Was not surprised to find Calvino listed as one of Valente's influences. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gabrielle Alexandria | 10/13/2012

    " I found this book to be extremely underwhelming. Despite its short length, I struggled to care about any of the characters or their journey. I enjoy surrealism, poetry and metaphor, but this novel just rings hollow. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Deb | 7/31/2012

    " I had to force myself to finish this one, although I enjoyed the author's other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiff Proven | 6/5/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. I had it on my kindle & tried to read it many times. When my husband handed me the hard copy, I had a much easier time reading it. The hard copy is broken up in specific ways that the kindle copy isn't. I highly recommend the hard copy of this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy Preacher | 4/20/2012

    " This was good enough, complex enough, and layered enough that it's going to take me at least a night's sleep to get to the point where I can comment sensibly on it. But I did want to firmly establish that it's wonderful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 6/27/2011

    " Brilliant imagery, stylistic, but somewhat confusing plot and structure. That said I'd still recommend the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J | 6/7/2011

    " An AMAZING read by an AMAZING writer.

    You can't really describe it. You just need to read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/10/2011

    " Dense, lyrical and like nothing you've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mia | 4/25/2011

    " Gorgeous writing and an intricate plot. I almost gave this a 5 but there were points toward the end where things seemed rough or almost didactic that blurred the lens that had been so carefully crafted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 4/20/2011

    " The most richly detailed, beautifully original story I have read since....well, since Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente's most recent novel. Palimpsest is a novel to re-read; I can see this one only getting better with time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Debbie | 4/9/2011

    " I really wanted to like this book. The prose wis wonderful, but there is no discernible plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 3/20/2011

    " What a strange book. I can't tell you if I actually liked it or not, but I couldn't stop reading it and it will probably haunt me for a very long time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 2/21/2011

    " A quick, pleasant read with tasty language. Was not surprised to find Calvino listed as one of Valente's influences. "

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About the Author
Author Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is an acclaimed author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, World Fantasy Award, and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. She made her children’s book debut with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

About the Narrator

Aasne Vigesaa lives in Springfield, Illinois, with her husband, James, their daughter Willa, and two dogs. When she is not narrating, she enjoys acting and teaching yoga.