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Extended Audio Sample The Old Country Audiobook, by Mordicai Gerstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mordicai Gerstein Narrator: Tovah Feldshuh Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2005 ISBN: 9780307245458
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Mordicai Gerstein’s portrayal of Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between the towers of the World Trade Center, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, won the 2004 Caldecott Medal and was among the most admired books of the year. Now comes a memorable new work, a novel of singular insight and imagination that transports readers to the Old Country, where “every winter was a hundred years and every spring a miracle . . . where the water was like music and the music was like water . . . where all the fairy tales come from, where there was magic–and there was war.”
There, Gisella stares a moment too long into the eyes of a fox, and she and the fox exchange shape. Gisella’s quest to get her girl-body back takes her on a journey across a war-ravaged country that has lost its shape. She encounters sprites, talking animals, a chicken that lays a golden egg, a court with a spider for a judge–and bloodshed, destruction, and questions of power and justice. Finally, looking into the eyes of the fox once more, she faces a strange and startling choice about her own nature.
The Old Country is at once timeless and contemporary–a tale that draws on a wealth of storytelling tradition and dramatizes the question of what it is to be human. Part adventure story, part fable; exciting, beautifully told, rich in humor and wisdom, it is the work of an artist and storyteller at the height of his powers.


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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Preston Russell | 2/16/2014

    " it is an intering and supridingly old fashioned book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 1/19/2014

    " a Wonderful tale of war and the view points of different beings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Ernst | 12/31/2013

    " This is a great quick read for young and old alike. It is reminiscent of folk tales passed from generation to generation. The writing style is loose, and doesn't get boggled down with too many details, like any storytelling. The story revolves around a little girl who gets tricked into trading places with a fox, it just so happens that war is waging all around them, and in the process she must rescue her family as well as regain her original form. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys folk tales, magic, and adventure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dracolibris | 12/27/2013

    " Recommended by a teen patron, it was hard for me to get into this story. It defintely has a different "flavor" than more teen lit I have been reading and was quaint in its own way, but I felt it was perhaps a little too young and simplistic for what i was craving at the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 11/6/2013

    " Clearly a fairy tale written for children...that doesn't shy away from Kafka references and the horrors of war. A short novel that grew out of a short story; I think I would have liked it more as a short story, dense and weird, with the Jewish metaphor a bit more understated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blue J | 11/5/2013

    " I just love this book. Very well written and detailed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penny | 9/2/2013

    " Fiction - excellent booklegger book for 4th & 5th graders... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauretta Allen | 8/26/2013

    " Loved this book. Has a great message. "

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

    " This book is an interesting blend of historical fiction/grandmother's reminiscences mixed with an element of fantasy. It tells the story of the grandmother as a young girl during a time of war and upheaval in her eastern European country and something unusual that happens to her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimifly | 12/2/2012

    " I really liked this story, there's something about it that reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 10/11/2012

    " Enchanted tail full of old world fairy tales. "

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

    " Excellent! Gerstein combines familiar fairy tale elements into a fresh, intriguing read. This was not what I expected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hlochte | 7/30/2011

    " a complex children's book that uses fantasy and traditional literature to express an anti-war message "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mitzi Moore | 7/6/2011

    " A magical fairy tale "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erinn | 6/13/2011

    " Nice take on creation of fairy tales and the loss of magic. I wasn't always fond of the narrators voice and writing style, but it does tie into the 'old country' feel. The story while complete did not feel whole, it could have been expanded, it felt a bit brief in the conclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roko | 3/30/2011

    " Buena explicacion sobre lo que esta bien y lo que esta mal según la naturaleza de cada uno.
    Nunca mirare a los zorros a los ojos por mucho tiempo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aclaina | 2/7/2011

    " Excelente historia, super conmovedora, con mensaje y entretenida :) una excelente adquisición sin duda alguna "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauretta | 1/6/2011

    " Loved this book. Has a great message. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Preston | 9/24/2010

    " it is an intering and supridingly old fashioned book "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janeen-san *Roy Mustang=epic* | 8/16/2009

    " This book had such great potential and easily could have been fantastic. However, it totally failed to do so. Instead of giving it 1 star, I gave it 2, because of the interesting idea of two characters switching bodies.
    That was the only thing that held my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 4/12/2009

    " this was a very well writen fairy tale. you could fall in love with the charecters. and i loved the very unexpected twist at the end. the way the crystle palace was described realy gave me vivid mental images. i recomend this book for the young or young at heart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 2/20/2009

    " Enchanted tail full of old world fairy tales. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penny | 1/13/2009

    " Fiction - excellent booklegger book for 4th & 5th graders... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Neil | 12/20/2008

    " Don't ever try to write a book if you think symbolism and allegory are the same thing as a story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tripmastermonkey | 5/6/2008

    " oh, man... this book had such great potential. and there are amazing storytelling elements in this tale, but there is ultimately a coldness that hangs over this story- the horrible way that revenge, instead of justice, is related... dammit "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hlochte | 4/9/2008

    " a complex children's book that uses fantasy and traditional literature to express an anti-war message "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Me (Emma) | 2/9/2008

    " Though a little bit odd, it's especially interesting the way the author writes it. "

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About the Author
Author Mordicai GersteinMordicai Gerstein's picture book, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers was awarded a Caldecott Medal, one of the highest honors in the children's book industry. The book was also voted one of the New York Times Best Books of the Year, following in the footsteps of Victor (1998) and Arnold of the Ducks (1983) and two New York Times Best Illustrated Books, The Wild Boy (1998) and The Mountains of Tibet (1987). The author lives in Northampton, MA.
About the Narrator

Tovah Feldshuh is an American actress, singer, and playwright. She has been nominated for numerous awards, including twice for an Emmy and four times for a Tony.