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Download Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Times Magpie: A Walk in Prague Audiobook, by Myla Goldberg Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (104 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Myla Goldberg Narrator: Myla Goldberg Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2004 ISBN: 9780739313022
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Sometimes a city can be like a bird. Just as the magpie is an inveterate collector, hoarding beautiful eclectic bits to line its nest, so Prague retains fragments from bygone regimes and centuries past to create a city of juxtaposition that is alternately exquisite and bizarre.

Prague’s personality is expressed as much by its obvious beauty as by its overlooked details. This unforgettable place is brought to life by acclaimed author Myla Goldberg, a former Prague expat, whose first novel, Bee Season, captivated so many with its unique voice and exhilarating prose.

Myla Goldberg lived in Prague in 1993, just as the process of Westernization was getting under way, the city straddling a past it wished to shed and a future it was eager to embrace. In 2003, she returned to see what the pursuit of capitalism had wrought and to observe the integral ways in which Prague’s character had endured. In Time’s Magpie, Goldberg explores a city where centuries-old buildings have become receptacles for Western values and a generation defined by the Communist regime coexists with a generation for whom Communism is a rapidly fading memory.

Wander through the narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets to places most tourists never see—to a neighborhood eerily transformed by the devastating flood of 2002; to an anachronistic amusement park that is home to a discomfiting array of Technicolor confections; and to the cabinets of curiosity in the Strahov Monastery, where hidden among deceptively modest displays of butterfly specimens and ladies’ fans are creatures that defy the laws of taxidermy. This imaginative, individualistic journey will show you the odd and unique corners of a city often seeking to erase what its very stones will not allow it to forget.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jim Graham | 6/2/2013

    " The author is inclined to smirk at whatever does not match her own "modern" sensibilities. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 1/22/2013

    " Prague is far, far more interesting a city than this "travelogue" makes it out to be. Dry, hardly giving one a sense of the city at all (and that's from someone who has spent time there!). I expected better, being an admirer of her fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 1/20/2013

    " It was a good read and both illuminated and brought back memories of Prague. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 7/24/2012

    " I read this book prior to visiting Prague and was looking for more substance or out-of-the-ordinary sights to see. Instead I found these travel essays a bit bland. The book wasn't a waste of time, but I've enjoyed other books of this same genre much more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 3/30/2012

    " A very different perspective of Prague from an expatriot who knows the city's best and worst attributes. I enjoyed her book, but frankly she made Prague sound a bit like a slum. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 11/14/2011

    " I read this in preparation for our trip to Prague. It was a small, easy to read, walk through the city. What fun, to walk some of the places I had read about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tuck | 10/23/2011

    " not that great of an insight into prague, but enjoyable read. it could have been a desription of spokane just as easily. from a great series (now defunct) called Crown Journeys) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 cat | 9/21/2011

    " listened to this on one of my many roadtrips and enjoyed the travel essays despite their admitted blandness at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hillary | 9/18/2011

    " I thought her characterization of American cops was absurd and misguided. Aside from that (and that's not what the book's about anyway) totally beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucile | 6/13/2011

    " This book made me really want to visit Prague - where my mother's family is from. It also made me want to read some of her fiction, as she really does have a lovely way with description. Definitely a nice, quick, intriguing read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Obisbooks | 4/16/2011

    " A bit interesting but felt a bit rambley, some interesting tidbits but I don't think I could say anything about Prague after reading this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 2/14/2011

    " Having gotten engaged in Prague and married into a Czech family, I loved the author's talk of her walks through Prague and how her impressions were similar to or different than my own. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 MikeFromQueens | 1/18/2011

    " This was a light read of a visitor to Prague, and some of the lesser-known places to visit. Some vivid scenes of the author's interaction with the locals were interesting, including the police. I could have written this book myself. "

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

    " Well, I listened to this on audio does that still count? Anyway it was a great look at Prague by a wonderful guide! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/14/2010

    " Maybe more a 3.5/5.

    There were some flashes of brilliant writing in this, and I really enjoyed how vividly I was able to imagine the city through them, but there were also some places I wished everything tied back into the clever magpie idea a little more tightly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tuck | 8/26/2010

    " not that great of an insight into prague, but enjoyable read. it could have been a desription of spokane just as easily. from a great series (now defunct) called Crown Journeys) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 MikeFromQueens | 2/28/2010

    " This was a light read of a visitor to Prague, and some of the lesser-known places to visit. Some vivid scenes of the author's interaction with the locals were interesting, including the police. I could have written this book myself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyger | 2/11/2010

    " Well, I listened to this on audio does that still count? Anyway it was a great look at Prague by a wonderful guide! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 10/13/2009

    " A very different perspective of Prague from an expatriot who knows the city's best and worst attributes. I enjoyed her book, but frankly she made Prague sound a bit like a slum. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 3/17/2009

    " Prague is far, far more interesting a city than this "travelogue" makes it out to be. Dry, hardly giving one a sense of the city at all (and that's from someone who has spent time there!). I expected better, being an admirer of her fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hillary | 11/17/2008

    " I thought her characterization of American cops was absurd and misguided. Aside from that (and that's not what the book's about anyway) totally beautiful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 1/8/2008

    " I read this book prior to visiting Prague and was looking for more substance or out-of-the-ordinary sights to see. Instead I found these travel essays a bit bland. The book wasn't a waste of time, but I've enjoyed other books of this same genre much more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 8/3/2007

    " Having gotten engaged in Prague and married into a Czech family, I loved the author's talk of her walks through Prague and how her impressions were similar to or different than my own. "

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About the Author
Author Myla GoldbergMyla Goldberg is the author of several books, including The False Friend, Wickett’s Remedy, and the bestselling, critically acclaimed Bee Season, which was widely translated and adapted to film. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.