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Extended Audio Sample Sleeping with Schubert: A Novel Audiobook, by Bonnie Marson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.58 out of 53.58 out of 53.58 out of 53.58 out of 53.58 out of 5 3.58 (40 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bonnie Marson Narrator: Michele Santopietro Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9780739311905
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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

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teri Jo Hanseen | 2/18/2014

    " I actually liked this book. Different concept, but I enjoyed the direction it went. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 2/2/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nik | 1/25/2014

    " This is a five star read for a simple reason, the title is deceiving. My mother in law gave it to me as a joke. Joke was on her when I replied, "it is an excellent read." What I liked most about it, was the finish. Simple plot that stuck well all the way through til the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 1/20/2014

    " =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 =) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cayenne | 1/20/2014

    " Interesting story idea, but definitely some adult stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 1/19/2014

    " The famious composer enters the body/life of a young lawyer. She becomes a pianist studying at Julliard. her loved ones/friends change; she learns to live with someone else and fame. Schubert died of Syphillis at age 31 so didn't achieve respect until after death, so he is enjoying his fame at long last. Humorous, enjoyable book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arthur | 1/13/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frances | 1/12/2014

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 1/11/2014

    " Finished this book yesterday! I loved it! It's very funny and a very original story. I highly recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/9/2014

    " Intriguing concept of inhabitation by Schubert and fun to see the classical concert scene in Manhattan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/15/2013

    " Fabulous! what an idea, to become posessed by one of the greatest composers in history. Read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Evans | 12/10/2013

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elly Sands | 7/9/2013

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb | 3/26/2013

    " No one in book group could really get into this one. Schubert inhabits this woman's mind and body. Even though I am a piano player and have played Schubert, I just couldn't get into the whole premise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 3/24/2013

    " 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 Bobbi | 2/26/2013

    " A modern woman is inhabited by the spirit of Franz Schubert. The only reason I read (errr listened to) this book was because I stumbled upon a companion cd of the same title, music of Schubert. A silly story imho. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 12/8/2012

    " Falls apart under discussion, but thrilling to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim D | 10/31/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pearl | 9/4/2012

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 8/15/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 8/13/2012

    " 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 Michelle | 3/26/2012

    " I had so much fun reading this book. Being a musician, the premise naturally appealed to me. It's a fantasy, but I didn't have any problem buying into it and just enjoying the ride. Wouldn't we all liked to be "occupied" by a genius, maybe just for a short time? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 1/27/2012

    " If you read this, do the audio book because they play Schubert's music through the whole recording and his music is so beautiful. The story is pretty silly but taken pretty seriously if such a thing as Schubert taking over someone's body actually happened. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nikki | 12/21/2011

    " The premise is a bit quirky but I really enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 7/22/2011

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 5/24/2011

    " This book pleasantly surprised me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/13/2011

    " Intriguing concept of inhabitation by Schubert and fun to see the classical concert scene in Manhattan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/5/2011

    " I love the first half of the book, but the author didn't have a clear view on how to end it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 12/7/2010

    " Really enjoyed this book. Very different story from anything I have read before. What if you woke up and were able to play Schubert having never once played the piano? Schubert actually shares your body. Told you it was a different and entertaining story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Enid | 11/24/2010

    " 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 | 11/8/2010

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 BobbiJ | 11/2/2010

    " A modern woman is inhabited by the spirit of Franz Schubert. The only reason I read (errr listened to) this book was because I stumbled upon a companion cd of the same title, music of Schubert. A silly story imho. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelley | 8/12/2010

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dianne | 7/22/2010

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 7/13/2010

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 5/21/2010

    " I had so much fun reading this book. Being a musician, the premise naturally appealed to me. It's a fantasy, but I didn't have any problem buying into it and just enjoying the ride. Wouldn't we all liked to be "occupied" by a genius, maybe just for a short time? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teri Jo | 11/22/2009

    " I actually liked this book. Different concept, but I enjoyed the direction it went. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 9/28/2009

    " Fabulous! what an idea, to become posessed by one of the greatest composers in history. Read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arthur | 9/10/2009

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coki | 6/27/2009

    " listening too - so far so good, a more cultured chick lit so far. -- Good reader and sweet story, nice character development, chicklitish plot bit not fluffy. Well, not OVERLY fluffy "

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