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Extended Audio Sample The Whole World Over Audiobook, by Julia Glass Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,336 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Julia Glass Narrator: Denis O’Hare Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9780739332993
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From the author of the beloved novel Three Junes comes a rich and commanding story about the accidents, both grand and small, that determine our choices in love and marriage. Greenie Duquette, openhearted yet stubborn, devotes most of her passionate attention to her Greenwich Village bakery and her four–year–old son, George. Her husband, Alan, seems to have fallen into a midlife depression, while Walter, a traditional gay man who has become her closest professional ally, is nursing a broken heart.

It is at Walter’s restaurant that the visiting governor of New Mexico tastes Greenie’s coconut cake and decides to woo her away from the city to be his chef. For reasons both ambitious and desperate, she accepts—and finds herself heading west without her husband. This impulsive decision will change the course of several lives within and beyond Greenie’s orbit. Alan, alone in New York, must face down his demons; Walter, eager for platonic distraction, takes in his teenage nephew. Yet Walter cannot steer clear of love trouble, and despite his enforced solitude, Alan is still surrounded by women: his powerful sister, an old flame, and an animal lover named Saga, who grapples with demons all her own. As for Greenie, living in the shadow of a charismatic politician leads to a series of unforeseen consequences that separate her from her only child. We watch as folly, chance, and determination pull all these lives together and apart over a year that culminates in the fall of the twin towers at the World Trade Center, an event that will affirm or confound the choices each character has made—or has refused to face.

Julia Glass is at her best here, weaving a glorious tapestry of lives and lifetimes, of places and people, revealing the subtle mechanisms behind our most important, and often most fragile, connections to others. In The Whole World Over she has given us another tale that pays tribute to the extraordinary complexities of love.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 2/5/2014

    " Loved the way the story and characters came together. Didn't care for the husband character all too much. Was that the author's intention? Anyway, a good story and worthwhile read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nancy | 2/5/2014

    " it started about as a really strong compelling story about a modern family and their challenges. then it started to meander and lost its way - and it became incredibly verbose and long and painful to finish. This would have been a great series of well-written, concise novellas...but as a single 500+ page book, it was just too much and it became hard to identify the crux of the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Bringardner | 1/29/2014

    " An interesting collection of people whose lives intersect in New York City. It's a slowly developing story and at times seemed to drag in too much detail, but a pleasant read all the same. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa | 1/18/2014

    " This is the kind of story that will haunt me for a good while and I will return to it in a few months. Only the ending is keeping me from giving it a full 5 stars, but the characters are generally vivid, flawed, and realistic. I use the term historical fiction much more loosely than others, but by the end, others will understand why I selected that as an additional shelf label. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellyjane | 1/17/2014

    " I like the "real world" feel of this book. None of the characters really know how they are supposed to act when situations come up that throw their lives into disarray. Glass follows several characters through a time period when they have to make decisions that will change the course of life and love - and none of the characters is perfect. It is a bit annoying at points to switch between characters, a device I have never loved, but it kept me reading (and guessing!). Glass has talent for exploring human relationships, definitely. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Robyn | 1/16/2014

    " It is rare that I don't finish a book (although I'm less picky about not finishing than I used to be). Still, after about 100 pages I had to give up! I really loved Three Junes, but this was just abismal. A lot of people have commented about Glass' writing--here it's just atrocious! She goes on and on and on about things that don't matter and that just made me hold less and less interest the more I read. The characters are hard to get into (and hard to like; I found them all to be whiny and just drivel). The storyline moves way too slow. Ug. Such a disappointment. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pjsimps1 | 1/11/2014

    " I think I would have liked this better if I had read the book instead of listening to the audiobook. Whoever read the audiobook was kind of bad at it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 1/9/2014

    " NOTE TO SELF READ FIRST "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olive | 1/5/2014

    " loved this book...the characters are well developed and very realistic. for the most part, a believable novel, though i did struggle a little bit with a few issues that the characters go through. a really lovely book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christi Barth | 12/30/2013

    " Absolutely riveting! The book unfolds like an onion, with so many complex, interwoven layers. The author is skilled at making us like even the characters we don't want to like. Wonderful, entertaining read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Marie | 12/26/2013

    " It took me quite a while to care about these characters, but once that kicked in, I was sold. I liked how it ended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 12/25/2013

    " Great character novel proving the world is small even in a city as big as New York. Slow part near the middle and then I couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/22/2013

    " Julia Glass stands out to me because she does not keep the book moving so much through the plot, but because she dives so much into the minds of her characters that you feel personally invested in their well-being. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Wallis | 12/13/2013

    " This was a really enjoyable read, but not a runaway, can't-put-it-down kind of thing. I'd like to read her first book though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Missy | 11/27/2013

    " A little slow, but a good book about relationships. Bittersweet ending. Also a book for foodies - the main character owns her own bakery/becomes a personal chef. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neesha | 11/25/2013

    " Not without its own enjoyable moments, but utterly predictable with lots of cliches thrown in. Either it just wasn't as good as The Three Junes or I'm at such a different point in my life (with respect to reading and otherwise) that I noticed its mediocrity more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brooke | 6/15/2013

    " This was a very long book that seemed to be quite slow-moving. I thought that the ending was very odd and slightly disappointing. It was an okay summer read, but not overly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah Barone | 3/7/2013

    " i'm actually rereading this book. it has an amazing range of very interesting characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anya | 2/25/2013

    " Just as good as "Three Junes". Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan | 2/20/2013

    " I wish I could give this book 10 stars. It was fabulous "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Walker | 11/1/2012

    " This novel is a good read generally. It is a bit uneven, and I was disappointed by the ending in that it rather petered out and left unfinished several issues which had been so carefully outlined earlier in the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 7/24/2012

    " This may be my favorite book of all time. Perfect. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liana | 5/28/2012

    " I really like the way Julia Glass weaves together different characters and their storylines. Her writing style is easy to read and enjoyable. But I suspect that as with her earlier novel, Three Junes, the book won't make a lasting impression on me. It was also a little long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 4/8/2012

    " Not as good as Three Junes, but definitely worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy Plourde | 1/15/2012

    " I found it fascinating how the main character described objects,feelings and words in terms of what color they reminded her of. I found myself imaging and feeling the same way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandy | 12/30/2011

    " Julia Glass is officially one of my favorite authors. This book didn't disappoint, although if I could give it 3.5 stars I would because it was not as engaging as some of her others that I've read, but I can still rely on her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Williams | 11/16/2011

    " I really love her writing--felt like I was in New Mexico the whole book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry Grussing | 11/8/2011

    " This book was okay. I enjoyed the non-major characters most. Some scenes were a little far-fetched for my liking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 10/16/2011

    " Lots of stories within the story; but i became majorly invested in every characters life. Very interesting read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 7/22/2011

    " I read this book less than a month ago and I can hardly remember it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wynne | 7/14/2011

    " There are many reasons to keep a marriage together. Also some excellent menu suggestions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beverly | 5/20/2011

    " A lot of characters and relationships. I really liked it -again reading and listening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hillary | 4/16/2011

    " Overall, a really good book. That said, the pre-9/11 portion is an order of magnitude better than the post-9/11 portion, so that was disappointing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ellen | 3/24/2011

    " I disliked this book. I did finish it but with great irritation all the way with the predictable plot, stereotypical/cutesy characters, etc. I break out in a rash when I think about it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 3/16/2011

    " An enjoyable read. I wasn't compelled to start it, but once I did, it was hard to put it down. Told from multiple viewpoints, each is interesting. I especially liked the handling of 9/11 and how the characters were affected, in life-changing ways. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherrypg | 3/9/2011

    " This book was okay. I enjoyed the non-major characters most. Some scenes were a little far-fetched for my liking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 3/6/2011

    " This book took me a long time to read...I ended up liking it at the end as everything came together but I almost abandoned it a few times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 2/22/2011

    " not as good as her others, but still worth the time! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 2/2/2011

    " This was a really enjoyable read, but not a runaway, can't-put-it-down kind of thing. I'd like to read her first book though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 2/1/2011

    " Slow-moving, but a lovely depiction of relationships: husband/wife, male/female, male/male and parents/son, single woman/older man. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/31/2011

    " This book was terrible. Pointless. There were a few decent stories and characters, but it really wast more of a collection of ramblings than a well crafted story. "

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About the Author
Author Julia Glass

Julia Glass is the author of several books, including Three Junes, which won the National Book Award for Fiction. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her short fiction has won several prizes, including the Tobias Wolff Award and the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Medal for the Best Novella.

About the Narrator

Denis O’Hare is one of today’s busiest actors in the film, television, and stage worlds. The Tony Award–winning actor is best known to television viewers for his recent work on True Blood as Russell Edgington, Vampire King of Mississippi.