The Books of Jacob: A Novel Audiobook, by Olga Tokarczuk Play Audiobook Sample

The Books of Jacob: A Novel Audiobook

The Books of Jacob: A Novel Audiobook, by Olga Tokarczuk Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Allen Lewis Rickman, Gilli Messer Publisher: Penguin Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 23.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 17.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: February 2022 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9780593395264

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

77:54 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

16 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

46:27 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Olga Tokarczuk: > View All...

Publisher Description

The Nobel Prize–winner’s richest, most sweeping and ambitious novel yet follows the comet-like rise and fall of a mysterious, messianic religious leader as he blazes his way across eighteenth-century Europe.

In the mid-eighteenth century, as new ideas—and a new unrest—begin to sweep the Continent, a young Jew of mysterious origins arrives in a village in Poland. Before long, he has changed not only his name but his persona; visited by what seem to be ecstatic experiences, Jacob Frank casts a charismatic spell that attracts an increasingly fervent following.

In the decade to come, Frank will traverse the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires with throngs of disciples in his thrall as he reinvents himself again and again, converts to Islam and then Catholicism, is pilloried as a heretic and revered as the Messiah and wreaks havoc on the conventional order, Jewish and Christian alike, with scandalous rumors of his sect’s secret rituals and the spread of his increasingly iconoclastic beliefs.

The story of Frank—a real historical figure around whom mystery and controversy swirl to this day—is the perfect canvas for the genius and unparalleled reach of Olga Tokarczuk.

Narrated through the perspectives of his contemporaries—those who revere him, those who revile him, the friend who betrays him, the lone woman who sees him for what he is—The Books of Jacob captures a world on the cusp of precipitous change, searching for certainty and longing for transcendence.

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“Narrated with clarity and poise by Gilli Messer and Alan Rickman, this audiobook takes more than thirty-five hours but is worth it. Messer masterfully portrays the characters, delivers Hebrew authentically, and uses accents—Yiddish, Polish, and German—elegantly…Long but outstanding and compelling. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

— AudioFile 


  • “Tokarczuk can make a period so distant from us in every way feel so completely alive.”

    — Los Angeles Times
  • “Sophisticated and ribald and brimming with folk wit…The comedy in this novel blends, as it does in life, with genuine tragedy.”

    — New York Times
  • “Miraculously entertaining and consistently fascinating.”

    — Washington Post


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

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About Olga Tokarczuk

Olga Tokarczuk, one of Poland’s most celebrated and beloved authors, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature and the International Booker Prize, among many other honors. She is the author of a dozen works of fiction, two collections of essays, and a children’s book; her work has been translated into fifty languages.

About Gilli Messer

Marin Ireland is a voice artist who has won five Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award for Best Female Narration in 2020. She is an award-winning actress known for her starring role in the Broadway show Reasons to Be Pretty, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She has appeared in a number of off-Broadway shows and television series, including Homeland, Unforgettable, The Killing, The Following, and others.