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Extended Audio Sample Sleeping with Schubert: A Novel Audiobook, by Bonnie Marson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (386 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bonnie Marson Narrator: Staci Snell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2004 ISBN: 9781415904787
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It seems that the legendary composer Franz Schubert is alive—well, sort of—in the twenty-first century: his soul has taken up residence in the body of Brooklyn lawyer Liza Durbin. Even more astonishing, so has his prodigious gift. A mediocre pianist at best as a child, Liza can suddenly pound out concertos and compose masterly music out of the blue. But how can a brilliant male Austrian composer from the nineteenth century coexist in the everyday life of a modern American woman? And how can Liza explain what’s happened to her without everyone thinking she’s gone off the deep end? 

Fortunately, the evidence is tangible, and Liza is soon brought into the esteemed halls of Juilliard under the tutelage of the revered—and feared—Greta Pretsky, a humorless woman whose only interest in Liza is her channeling of Schubert. Greta’s greedy for her next big star, and the entire New York City press is whispering of Liza’s brilliance as the public awaits her debut at Carnegie Hall. Even Liza’s boyfriend, Patrick, seems more in love with her than ever.

Yet as Liza yields to Franz’s great passion, her own life and identity threaten to elude her. Why was she chosen as the vessel for this musical genius—and when, if ever, will he leave? Their entwined souls follow a path of ecstasy, peril, and surprise as they search for the final, liberating truth.

A strikingly original novel, Sleeping with Schubert plays on years of speculation regarding Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony.” Bonnie Marson’s extraordinary imagination supposes that Schubert cannot truly die until the mystery is solved—even if it means being resurrected in the body of a deceptively ordinary woman. Filled with drama and humor, this irresistible novel explores love, genius, and identity in ways that will engage and amaze readers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Combining just the right amounts of love, lunacy, and lyricism, Bonnie Marson has given us an enchanting tale about genius and relationships sparked by the improbable convergence of a dead composer and a Brooklyn lawyer. This book is as original as they come. You will be captivated. Tawni O’Dell, author of Backroads
  • “A charmed and charming novel—an imaginative joy ride with a gifted and generous spirit. Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
  • “From the opening lines, Sleeping with Schubert is a hilarious, whimsical romp through the looking glass of a great musical mystery. The writing snaps, crackles, and pops with humor as Bonnie Marson makes Schubert a sexy, happening kind of guy who gives new meaning to our dreaming the impossible. Jonis Agee, author of The Weight of Dreams
  • “Combining just the right amounts of love, lunacy, and lyricism, Bonnie Marson has given us an enchanting tale about genius and relationships sparked by the improbable convergence of a dead composer and a Brooklyn lawyer. This book is as original as they come. You will be captivated.”

    Tawni O’Dell, New York Times bestselling author of Back Roads

  • “Marson’s writing is delectable…Her plot takes many twists and turns, weaving triumphs and betrayals, surprises and suspicions through concerts, recordings, and travels. There is much high comedy and even a satisfying soupçon of gravitas. But to write too much about a delicious book is to risk compromising its flavor. Suffice it to say that Sleeping with Schubert is a complete delight.”

    Washington Post

  • “Marson treats the reader to a bit of culture and sophistication. By combining an unusual circumstance with a welcome and inviting level of introspection that is rare to most heroines in the genre, Marson offers audiences the chance to imagine a reality in which baby grand pianos fit in Brooklyn apartments and frumpy lawyers can become renowned Romantic composers.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “A charmed and charming novel—an imaginative joy ride with a gifted and generous spirit.”

    Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

  • “From the opening lines, Sleeping with Schubert is a hilarious, whimsical romp through the looking glass of a great musical mystery. The writing snaps, crackles, and pops with humor as Bonnie Marson makes Schubert a sexy, happening kind of guy who gives new meaning to our dreaming the impossible.”

    Jonis Agee, author of The Weight of Dreams

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Campbell | 2/19/2014

    " Fiction, fantasy...whatever you wish to call Sleeping with Schubert it's a fun read. The characters were diligent and rounded, the story fascinating, the music pleasurable, and the theory of identity merge fascinating. Especially when the merge is two gifted players. This is a story worth remembering and passing around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 2/14/2014

    " =P i also read this on my trip, this time to austin. i'm a little biased just because of my music background, but this was funny just to read about schubert inhibiting someone else's body and having the musical juices flow out. me personally? i would love to get in the mind of either chopin or debussy. and that was not how the cover looked like with my book =) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Niloofar | 2/12/2014

    " This is a very easy, fun read. I had the pleasure of having dinner with the author with my bookclub; she is very interesting. They are working on turning this book into a movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Enid | 2/9/2014

    " Well, it's a very light read - but enjoyable and entertaining. I even learned a bit about Franz Schubert. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lorna | 2/8/2014

    " I guess I didn't find it all that entertaining "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Toni | 1/29/2014

    " I highly recommend this book as just an amazingly fun/tender book to read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 1/28/2014

    " A unique twist on chick lit. Conflicted woman (check). Best friend (check). Zany family (check). Possessed by the spirit of Franz Schubert (huh?). Quite readable, actually. Like the "Jane Austen Addict" books, this author handles a fanciful storyline in a manner that holds together well. The narrative voice is likeable, and I love the idea of FS completing the "Unfinished Symphony"! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 1/26/2014

    " Good summer read ... stick with it the first 1/3 is a little slow, but ends up a really great book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pearl | 1/22/2014

    " This is great chick lit. The main character suddenly becomes a virtuoso and becomes extremely in the sexy in the process. If you're feeling down this book is great pick-me-up, a fantasy-fulfillment book that's just fun and quirky. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 1/7/2014

    " Fabulous book - I am loving every minute of it! I hope the ending is as good as the rest of it. My mother recommended it to me as a great book, and so far, I agree! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gib | 11/9/2013

    " This is a fun book with a really quirky premise. The main characters is seemingly inhabited by Schubert and becomes a concert pianist of his caliber. Marson pulls it off surprisingly well and I liked it plenty good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelley | 10/9/2013

    " Not intellectually stimulating, but the kind of good fiction in which you can totally lose yourself. Ahh... summer reading! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim D | 8/1/2013

    " Unhappy attorney is possessed by Franz Schubert, suddenly becomes a manic piano prodigy. During the emotional whirlwind, ends up performing at Carnegie Hall, battling her eccentric family, ditching her emotionally distant boyfriend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dianne | 1/1/2013

    " An easy, fun read--Shubert's soul "inhabits" the body of a New York attorney, Liza Durbin, who then begins a "new" life as an accomplished concert pianist. As improbable as that sounds, it really had me thinking about the possibilities for tapping into our hidden talents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 8/6/2012

    " I was really surprised that I liked this book so much. I picked it up at my local library and thought it would be pretty silly, however, it was very enjoyable with several laugh-out-loud moments. Plus I learned something about the composer, Schubert. I would definitely recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 5/30/2012

    " If you are looking for a book with deep meaning this is not your book. This is what I like to call brain candy. Not a lot of substance, but pretty entertaining. Fiction and humor and it's best. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 1/20/2012

    " What a fascinating fantasy! I liked it. I love the sentences that the author creates. Also her characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/28/2011

    " I found this book well written, entertaining, and I really enjoyed the story. I couldn't wait to get back to it and would linger on for a while before I'd stop. I think it would make an pretty good movie too, if someone could find a really good way to port Schubert into the mix. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arthur | 5/3/2010

    " Fascinating story about an "ordinary" NY attorney who finds herself inhabited by Franz Schubert - it's fairly long, but has held my interest. Can't wait to see how it finally comes out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 4/17/2010

    " Fluff. You learn a bit about the classical music world, but fluff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 1/18/2010

    " This book pleasantly surprised me! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 11/14/2009

    " Once you get past the idea that a famous dead composer can inhabit the body of a modern woman, this book was pretty good. I really liked a lot of the minor characters, and I thought the conclusion was handled very well. I feel like I should go out and get a Schubert CD to listen to, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Catherine | 9/2/2009

    " A charming story of an unremarkable woman who suddenly finds the spirit of Franz Schubert inhabiting her body. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Evans | 5/16/2009

    " This book tickled me. It is great storytelling, clever, funny, tender. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 11/28/2008

    " This book was thoroughly entertaining. I understand there is a companion CD but did not have it to listen to as I read the book. There were "laugh out loud" sections to this most unlikely tale. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elly Sands | 11/13/2008

    " Another one of those books I thought I'd enjoy but didn't. The composer Schubert inhabits the body of a Brooklyn lawyer, Liza Durbin. Sort of like PBS meets "Sex in the City." I had enough interest in it to skim through to see how it ends. But skimming a book is simply not enjoying it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 5/17/2007

    " Any book that starts off in the shoe section of Nordstrom has to be good! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frances | 8/1/2005

    " This was a very good read. About a women suddenly knowing how to play the piano. Unusual concept but well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 8/12/2004

    " Excellent plane reading and nothing too deep "

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About the Narrator

Staci Snell has worked in radio and as an elementary school teacher. She lives in Los Angeles where she works as an actor. Her television credits include The Shield, The Division, and various commercials. As an audiobook narrator, her numerous titles include Sandra Brown’s Demon Rumm; Ann Rule’s Kiss Me, Kill Me; Sharon Rocha’s For Laci; and Jill Smolinski’s The Next Thing on My List.