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Extended Audio Sample The Piano Teacher: A Novel Audiobook, by Janice Y. K. Lee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,129 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Janice Y. K. Lee Narrator: Orlagh Cassidy Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781101011010
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"A rare and exquisite story . . . Transports you out of time, out of place, into a world you can feel on your very skin." —Elizabeth Gilbert

Janice Y.K. Lee's latest novel, The Expatriates, is now available from Penguin

 
The New York Times bestseller 

In the sweeping tradition of The English Patient, Janice Y.K. Lee's debut novel is a tale of love and betrayal set in war-torn Hong Kong. In 1942, Englishman Will Truesdale falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong to work as a piano teacher and also begins a fateful affair. As the threads of this spellbinding novel intertwine, impossible choices emerge-between love and safety, courage and survival, the present, and above all, the past. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Piano Teacher is laced with intrigue concerning a hoard of Chinese artifacts called the Crown Collection that went missing during the war (like the artworks owned by the real-life Hong Kong businessman Paul Chater). But while the inevitable ‘who did what and when and why’ that dominates the last third of the novel is satisfying because it answers all those questions, readers will be more enthralled by Lee’s depiction of Will’s relationships with his two lovers—‘Claire, with her blond and familiar femininity, English rose to Trudy’s exotic scorpion’—and the unsparing way Lee unravels them.”

    New York Times

  • “There is something altogether haunting here. Perhaps it’s the way the story advances, peeling its way from layer to layer until the truth of each character lies bare. Perhaps it’s the way Lee shows us that war can make monsters of us all. Most memorably, however, it’s her portrait of Hong Kong, which having witnessed so much cupidity, moves on with splendid indifference. Like a piano under different fingers. Or a siren with another song.”

    Washington Post

  • Selected for the January 2009 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A Denver Post Bestseller
  • A Book Sense Pick

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kari Dahlquist | 2/10/2014

    " interesting time capsule of Hong Kong during and just after WWII. The ending goes for a big bang but is flat and unsatisfying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martee48 | 2/10/2014

    " Slow start, mostly character development, interesting ending, perhaps there this is setting the stage for another book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Parker | 2/7/2014

    " I liked it but it was a depressing book! I give it 4 1/2 stars. Well-written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dora | 2/6/2014

    " I didn't care about any of the characters. While it was interesting reading about the history behind the concentration camp, I just wanted to get it finished for my book club. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Catherine | 1/21/2014

    " Interesting perspective of Hong Kong on the verge of WWII and it's aftermath. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bobbie Mission Viejo | 1/15/2014

    " I didn't finish this book - there are too many good books to read, why struggle trying to complete a book that doesn't interest me? It seemed too contrived. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C.c. | 1/15/2014

    " Interesting but weak ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shannon | 1/1/2014

    " It went by quickly, maybe a bit too quickly. Maybe I couldn't really grasp some parts because I've never been to Asia. Or because I'm not English. Either way it was a nice read but not very deep to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 12/30/2013

    " Really enjoyed it. I was captivated, couldn't put it down. The ending was a little more subtle than I wanted, but overall good debut. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Donaldson | 12/16/2013

    " This was a cool look into the history of Hong Kong and a great story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalie Jackson | 12/12/2013

    " Reminiscient of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. The tone of the book was painful but addicting, much like the character's experiences with love. The individual was definitely hailed as more important than the group in this sadistic, unfortunate love story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Verna Seal | 12/12/2013

    " Quite good. I haven't read about the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. But the story is about people - not the event. Good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacyericson | 12/5/2013

    " It moved a little slowly for me, but both characters and setting were interesting. Plot was fuzzy, but part of the point seemed to be that life is fuzzy, sometimes as sharp as a sword abd sometime muted, dull and dreamlike. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 PetiteEglise | 7/17/2013

    " Ook tijdens vakantie verslonden. Goed boek, mooie beschrijvingen, soms beetje langdradig. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberley | 6/30/2013

    " I found the end disappointing, but enjoyed the book overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jayne | 5/18/2013

    " Slow start and Disappointing ending. Middle was good though!! :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Collier | 4/1/2013

    " This book was very intriguing. It definitely kept me interested until the end. I didn't love the explanations at the end, but it was still good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jbrovold | 10/15/2012

    " I liked this book ALOT. It is set in Hong Kong during 1943 when the Japanese occupied Hong Kong and some of the same players 10 years later. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Siobhán Cullen | 8/6/2012

    " I did enjoy this read though started to lose interest half way through. Enjoyed a literary return to Hong Kong "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Norma | 4/6/2012

    " I like to read about this era in history & historical fiction is one way to do this. It took a while to get used to the time shift but now I'm enjoying it. I particularly like the listen & read the book simultaneously. Interesting book but not 'fabulous.' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ally Wampler | 3/4/2012

    " Trudy Liang = Holly Golightly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 8/1/2011

    " Really well written and a great story "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Styler Ribarovic | 7/16/2011

    " Completely underwhelming. I didn't like one character and found the words just slipped through my head like water. I finished it, but i wasn't very interested. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rayna Forman | 6/9/2011

    " Interesting....did not know anything about the Hong Kong during WW II. There are some items at the end of the book that still leave questions unanswered. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arlene | 5/17/2011

    " GREAT UNTIL THE ENDING.... WHAT A WAY TO MAKE IT SO ANTI-CLIMATIC "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vanessa | 5/16/2011

    " Easy read novel. Vision of ex-pat life in Asia during Worlsd War II. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sullyfitz | 5/13/2011

    " Read it for book club and didn't finish, which is rare for me. Another dull story with unimaginative characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 5/7/2011

    " I had mixed feelings about the book, primarily because I didn't feel connected to the main characters. However, the description of life in Hong Kong before and after WWII was really interesting, particularly the social class issues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaycee | 5/7/2011

    " This was was sitting on my table for a while, and turned out to be an excellent story. I found the mysterious plot along with the Hong Kong setting during and after WWII held my interest to the end, despite some very unlikeable characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trina | 5/1/2011

    " I enjoyed reading this till the end. The scenes of Hong Kong and its population of western expats and mixed-race "exotics" (author's word)was quite engaging, but the end was not the dark revelation the author implied throughout the book. and the piano teacher herself was kind of a dud. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Effie | 4/28/2011

    " I really liked this book up until the ending which didn't seem to wrap things up at all. This historical fiction about Hong Kong left me with too many questions.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 4/21/2011

    " A different story. The historical information and the view it provides of Hong Kong were interesting. I could not particularly like any of the characters. Sometimes their motives were strange. Overall though the plot was compelling enough to keep me reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Delight | 4/19/2011

    " It took me awhile to get into this book. I thought it would be better than it was, but it did have an unexpected twist at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellanor | 4/15/2011

    " I picked up from my bedside table where it had been sitting for almost a year- I read last weekend- couldn't put it down- beautifully written- "

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About the Author
Janice Y. K. Lee was born and raised in Hong Kong. She received a BA in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard College. A former editor at Elle magazine, Lee lives in New York with her husband and four children.
About the Narrator

Orlagh Cassidy is an udiobook narrator who has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, as well as fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. She is a graduate of SUNY at Purchase and a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Scholarship. She has been seen on and off Broadway and in films, including Definitely Maybe and Calling It Quits. Her television credits include roles in Law & Order and Sex and the City and as Doris Wolfe on Guiding Light. She has done voice work for commercials in which she is probably best known for her role as the mom in the “BFF Jill” spots for AT&T.