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Download The Greenhouse Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Greenhouse Audiobook, by Audur Ava Olafsdottir Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (675 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Audur Ava Olafsdottir Narrator: Luke Daniels Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781469243238
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Young Lobbi was preparing to leave his childhood home, his autistic brother, his octogenarian father, and the familiar landscape of mossy lava fields for an unknown future. Soon before his departure, he received an awful phone call: his mother was in a car accident. She used her dying words to offer calm advice to her son, urging him to continue their shared work in the greenhouse tending to the rare Rosa candida. Prior to his mother’s death, in that very same greenhouse, Lobbi made love to Anna, a friend of a friend, and just as he readies his departure he learns that in their brief night together they conceived a child. He is still reeling from this chain of events when he arrives at his new job, reinstating the rare eight-petaled rose in the majestic forgotten garden of an ancient European monastery. In focusing his energy cultivating the rarest rose, he also learns to cultivate love, with the help of a film buff monk and his newborn daughter, Flora Sol. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Victoria | 1/29/2014

    " I feel like translated fiction can be awfully hit or miss - usually more of a result of the translation, than the original work. This translated novel I thought was smoothly written, and very interesting. I really enjoyed reading it, but it felt more like half a novel than a full novel because the ending was just lacking. Everything about it felt unfinished, other than the relationship between father and daughter. The ending did not satisfy me, and some of the more fantastic healing elements were mentioned repeatedly, but never went anywhere. The main character, Lobbi, was very feminine, and I felt like the explanations for this was more superficial than well grounded. But the biggest problem I had with it, was that the book lacked a sense of setting. The monastic town was well drawn out, but not having a country or town name even was a bit frustrating. And I wouldn't have known that Lobbi started his journey in Iceland had it not been for the back of the book! It distracted me throughout the book. It was very interesting, but too unresolved for me to really like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 1/25/2014

    " I was surprised by what I felt was an abrupt ending, but it wasn't a horrible way to end the book. Perhaps I wasn't ready to let Lobbi's story go. "

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

    " I've read several Nordic authors the last few years so I was looking forward to expanding out to Icelandic authors. However, I was disappointed with this novel; more specifically, with the translation. Phraseology was often clumsy, especially the vernacular. I think some of the other more negative reviews may be due to the fact that the translation is awkward or downright incorrect. The story was a nice one, but I felt it could have been developed a little more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carole | 1/4/2014

    " This is an unexpected gem of a book. Lobbi, a 22 year old Icelandic man, travels from the harshness of his homeland to an ancient monastery where he will try to recreate a rose garden and the 8 petaled rose it was famed for. Along the way, his touching relationships with his father and autistic brother, the mother of his child and a cinephile monk, teach him life lessons. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 12/26/2013

    " Thoroughly enjoyable. A quiet book - the kind in which it is easy to lose yourself, and return to whenever you find a stolen moment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 12/21/2013

    " Simple yet deep. I loved the budding father daughter relationship between Lobbi and his baby daughter Flora Sol. Translated from Icelandic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc Moore | 11/30/2013

    " I worried at first that The Greenhouse was about to descend into Euro-nihilism ala The Stranger, but the book took a turn for the better at about the 40% mark. Ethereal and touching. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggieg | 10/24/2013

    " Like many reviewers on Amazon, I dowloaded this book because it was free. But what a little gem it turned out to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Oanh | 9/30/2013

    " Excellent. Such a strange, disembodied voice that the narrator has, and yet completely engaging. A story that's left me uplifted and a bit heartbroken, yes, simultaneously. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ajay Menon | 9/15/2013

    " Funny, yet touching. Honestly I liked 99% of this book higher than I'm rating it, I knocked one star off because I really disliked the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emmanuelle Dehon | 8/18/2013

    " Great book, well written and not pretentious. It did take me a little while to get into it and to bond with the main character but once there I couldn't put the book down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 5/8/2013

    " If you can get past the slightly odd structure of multiple very very short chapters, this is a really beautiful and affecting story about finding fulfillment in the simplest things in life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Clare Williams | 3/15/2013

    " This was a very gentle story, but it kind of fizzed out with no conclusive ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 10/26/2012

    " I loved this book, but the translation/editing was a little rough. "

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About the Author

Audur Ava Olafsdottir was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1958. She studied art history and art theory in Paris and is a lecturer in history of art at the University of Iceland and a director of the University of Iceland Art Collection. She has curated art exhibitions in Iceland and abroad, and written about art and art history in various media. She is the recipient of the Reykjavik Literary Award, the DV Culture Award, and the Prix de Page award for the best European novel of 2010.

About the Narrator

Luke Daniels is a narrator whose many audiobook credits range from action and suspense to young-adult fiction, including works by Philip Roth and John Updike. He has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 and 2014 and has earned thirteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actor, he has performed at various repertory theaters around the country, with an emphasis on Shakespeare.