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Extended Audio Sample Signs and Wonders Audiobook, by Alix Ohlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (204 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alix Ohlin Narrator: Tandy Cronyn, Graham Rowat, Morgan Hallett Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781470327903
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In this brilliant collection, one of Canada’s brightest young talents skillfully displays the full range of human emotions through the subtly powerful dramas of everyday life.  In “You Are What You Like” a young couple finds their life derailed by the arrival of a hard-partying old friend. In “Robbing the Cradle” Lisette does everything she can to give her husband a baby, committing an act of desperation. In “The Idea Man” Beth, a divorcee, falls in love with a man who lies for fun. And in the incredible title story, Kathleen finds herself sitting at the hospital bedside of a man she had planned to divorce, comforted by the woman she went out of her way to hurt. These characters are divorced and beginning to date again, childless and longing for children, married and aching for more. Often unexpected and unsettling, always fascinating, Signs and Wonders showcases a young writer of remarkable range and emotional depth.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wise and whimsical…There’s plenty of playfulness and warmth throughout these stories, but there’s plenty of insight, too. Nobody pulls it together, and nobody falls apart. They simply go on, doing the unexpected, the admirable, and, often, the regrettable, for one of the oldest reasons in the word—love.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Wondrously engrossing…Signs and Wonders display[s] her characteristic strengths—dynamic plots, keenly observed settings, and characters so idiosyncratic, ambivalent, and contradictory they could be your family, your neighbors, people you work with.”

    Boston Globe

  • “The literary equivalent of a Paul Simon album: crisp, focused, lovely, and lasting…Ohlin’s characters are so genuine you’ll be reminded of people you know, love, and hate.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Ohlin’s second winning short story collection grapples with the trappings of love and loss…These snippets of life’s upheavals highlight Ohlin’s keen eye for observation.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Ohlin’s] characters, male and female, may not always be sympathetic, but they are always believable. They are as diverse as the stories’ settings: colleges and cities, both coasts of the US, and beyond borders. The skillful use of surprise will induce laughter and shock, often in the same story and at the same moment.” 

    Booklist

  • “Presented from unusual perspectives in a distinctive, sometimes enchanting voice, each story is filled with paragraphs that are often whimsical short tales in themselves. Readers who enjoy a youthful, fresh approach will find each story a satisfactory adventure.”

    Library Journal

  • An Oprah’s Summer Reading List Selection

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo | 2/19/2014

    " Slice of life short stories. Not an anthology, all stories are by the same author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 2/18/2014

    " Somewhat frustrating. Ohlin masterfully sets up three-dimensional characters with a sense of action and motivation, but too often the story ends without arriving at a satisfying conclusion. A few stories, including the title story, "Forks", and "You Are What You Like", are quite impressive, however. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Txkikind | 2/12/2014

    " Such a wonderful book. It deals with different aspects of love in a very realistic way. And, I liked the short stories. They really kept my attention. "

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

    " Really liked it. The only thing that got a little old for me was that divorce is a part of just about every one of the short stories. But there is something fresh in each story as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lara | 1/23/2014

    " One of the characters is a truth teller and she loves commercials. "Some of them are so clever these days. They tell a whole story in under thrity seconds. They have this wonderful economy." And I compare Ohlin to this character, a truth teller whose stories are economical, but full of pith. Nothing life-changing for me here, but well written stories all the same. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/18/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. These stories were captivating and insightful. Tremendous emotional intelligence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon Stevens | 1/10/2014

    " I love short stories and she is on par with Richard Bausch, but one too many stories with car accidents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micaela | 1/9/2014

    " Excellent collection of short stories -- Ohlin's writing is arresting and beautifully crafted. The stories are a bit macabre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Geller | 12/11/2013

    " I like her writing even though her last book was panned in the Times (I thought it was fabulous). Stories were inconsistent but I ate them up like candy. So a good read, but like candy, instant energy that don't stay with you. Look forward to her next novel. Read the new one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat | 12/7/2013

    " Surprising, moving, witty, and deeply intelligent. Alex Ohlin's voice Reminds me of Anne Beattie. The best short story collection I've read in a long time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 11/3/2013

    " 4.5 stars. I think it's late enough in the year to declare this the best short story collection of 2012. It reminded me a little of Emma Straub's Other People We Married and a little of Jean Thompson. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ayla | 10/5/2013

    " Well written, but truthfully nothing memorable. Feels like a collection of college writing assignments. No connection for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Pi | 8/30/2013

    " Beautifully written. I often find my interest in a collection flagging if I read it in a straight shot, but these stories held my attention from beginning to end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 6/28/2013

    " These short stories were very compelling, but I was unable to make sense of the thread that bound them all together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Orndorff | 5/28/2013

    " Really interesting approach to short stories and the drama of life. I really enjoyed the conflicts within these stories and the way the author expressed the different points of view of the story tellers. "

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

    " Only made it through the first three stories. For me, none of them seemed very creative. They just seemed to be fairly mundane. Just not the book for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 1/31/2013

    " This is a collection of very well-crafted, exquisitely beautiful and sad stories, exemplifying the love between people, even if misdirected or somehow flawed. Worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen Michel | 1/2/2013

    " Great writing, but short stories really aren't my thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 11/16/2012

    " best new short story collection I've read in a long time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kd | 11/7/2012

    " Not my cup of tea. Thought it would be better than it was...a collection of short stories, but the characters just were too unlikable and I just didn't see them developed enough to care about them. Oh well, no harm done! "

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About the Narrators

Tandy Cronyn was born in Los Angeles in 1945. She has appeared in many plays both on and off Broadway, and has also made several film and television appearances, including Twisted and Law & Order: Cruel and Unusual.

Graham Rowat is a television and theater actor who is best known for his stage performance in Dracula, Beauty and the Beast, and Mamma Mia. He currently resides in New York with his wife, Kate Baldwin.

Morgan Hallett is an actress known for her roles in the films Population 436, Perfectly Normal, and The Reader. Also an accomplished narrator, she has read numerous titles for Recorded Books, including Elizabeth Camden’s Into the Whirlwind and Amanda Ashley’s As Twilight Falls.