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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle…
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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Gabrielle Zevin (Author), Scott Brick (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6204911,778 (3.99)348
When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.
Member:tjblue
Title:The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Authors:Gabrielle Zevin (Author)
Other authors:Scott Brick (Narrator)
Info:HighBridge Audio (2014), Edition: Unabridged, 420 pages
Collections:Audio Books, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014)

  1. 40
    The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (Micheller7)
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    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (bell7, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    bell7: Though one is set in contemporary times on a fictional island of the coast of Massachusetts and the other in post World War II England, both books show the importance of story and have an optimistic tone while dealing with some of life's challenges.
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A love of literature helps protagonists form unlikely but rewarding new relationships in these tender stories of personal redemption. The vibrant characterization, gently humorous tone, and whimsical, heartwarming narratives shine in compelling novels that illustrate the power of reading.… (more)
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    Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (sturlington)
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    Silas Marner by George Eliot (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Storied Life of AJ Frikry is based off of Silas Marner.
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    The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay (carriehh)
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    Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof (Electablue)
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» See also 348 mentions

English (487)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (492)
Showing 1-5 of 487 (next | show all)
I'm so glad I came across this book. After couple fantasy books, packed with lots of action and deep plots, this was a great return to amazing stories about the amazing lives of amazing (although fictional) people. Written by Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an exceptional story, that follows the lives of several different characters, brought together both by intention and fate. Needless to say, it's very well written with great attention to detail – I have to admire the literary mentions that are very discreetly and unobtrusively slipped into the main story – they greatly complement the book-loving spirit of A. J. Fikry. Another thing, that I appreciated greatly is, that the characters are very believable. They have passions, flaws, and quirks and they develop through the story. The lovely smart two-year-old becomes a six-year-old who loves her daddy to pieces and then a teenager, who is little bit embarrassed by his father, the lonely depressed man, who despites many things, eats only frozen food and drinks too much becomes a loving dad, who tries very hard to make his little girl happy and to find happiness and love of his own. Even the mysterious abandonment of a small child, that felt at the beginning a tat bit unrealistic, makes perfect sense at the end, as the plot develops.

This is a heart warming, funny, sad a touching tale of life... And although the book is slow-paced, or more precisely, very calm, it does not drag or get boring at all – it just fluently flowing through series of life events and their consequences. The one negative thing, that I have to point out is, that there is one point in the book, where the author has to reach very suddenly to the point of view of a supporting character, to explain some things, but it brings a conclusion to some questions, so it's not disturbing, just unexpected. And also, what kid is not present when her father has an operation to wish him luck. Other than that, there aren't any flaws to the book, at leat for me. ( )
  MargaretGwen | Apr 23, 2021 |
I'm so glad I came across this book. After couple fantasy books, packed with lots of action and deep plots, this was a great return to amazing stories about the amazing lives of amazing (although fictional) people. Written by Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an exceptional story, that follows the lives of several different characters, brought together both by intention and fate. Needless to say, it's very well written with great attention to detail – I have to admire the literary mentions that are very discreetly and unobtrusively slipped into the main story – they greatly complement the book-loving spirit of A. J. Fikry. Another thing, that I appreciated greatly is, that the characters are very believable. They have passions, flaws, and quirks and they develop through the story. The lovely smart two-year-old becomes a six-year-old who loves her daddy to pieces and then a teenager, who is little bit embarrassed by his father, the lonely depressed man, who despites many things, eats only frozen food and drinks too much becomes a loving dad, who tries very hard to make his little girl happy and to find happiness and love of his own. Even the mysterious abandonment of a small child, that felt at the beginning a tat bit unrealistic, makes perfect sense at the end, as the plot develops.

This is a heart warming, funny, sad a touching tale of life... And although the book is slow-paced, or more precisely, very calm, it does not drag or get boring at all – it just fluently flowing through series of life events and their consequences. The one negative thing, that I have to point out is, that there is one point in the book, where the author has to reach very suddenly to the point of view of a supporting character, to explain some things, but it brings a conclusion to some questions, so it's not disturbing, just unexpected. And also, what kid is not present when her father has an operation to wish him luck. Other than that, there aren't any flaws to the book, at leat for me. ( )
  MargaretGwen | Apr 23, 2021 |
The story of a bookseller who owns the only bookstore in a small town. His life isn't particularly painted in bright colors; it's painted in all colors of the imaginable color spectrum because that's just life.

The character of A. J. Fikry surprisingly never grew on me, but I did love that he grew on the people of Alicetown. I admired the women in his life. It is the fantasy of a book reader to get people in their life to enjoy reading just as much as they do. Thankfully, I got to live that fantasy through A. J. and his humble bookstore. I have so many favorite lines from this book. They are all saved in the gallery of my phone because it's just timeless. From the proposal to the book reviews to his last words to Maya; it's all very endearing.

Even though (like I mentioned before) I admired Amelia, I couldn't help but think of her as a character placeholder for the pleasure of male gaze. Also, like the character Janine mentions in conversation with Daniel Parish to "show, don't tell" while talking about his novels and writing style, the author maintains this in her writing. There was not a whole lot of internal dialogue from the characters. I found this quite off-putting, perhaps it's just my young-adult-loving brain.

I do see myself going back and re-reading this book. ( )
  nikkiroy | Apr 14, 2021 |
This was a really lovely story. I've seen in recommended in a number of places, and almost didn't read it because it was approaching "too popular." (To quote A.J. Fikry, "If something is good and universally acknowledged to be so, this is not reason enough to dislike it.") ( )
  ssperson | Apr 4, 2021 |
Ajay, a 39 yr old widower
  BONS | Mar 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 487 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zevin, Gabrielleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Biekmann, LidwienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dompè, MaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Estúdio InsólitoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guitry, AuroreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
come on, sweetheart
let's adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me.
—Rumi
Dedication
For my parents,
who furnished my formative years with books,
and for the boy who gave me
The Stories of Vladimir Nabakov
all those winters ago.
First words
On the ferry from Hyannis to Alice Island, Amelia Loman paints her nails yellow and, while waiting for them to dry, skims her predecessor's notes.
Quotations
They had only ever discussed books but what, in this life, is more personal than books? (p. 18)
You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book? (p. 87)
Amelia knows she should hang up, but she doesn't. Some part of her wants the story. What is the point of bad dates if not to have amusing anecdotes for your friends?
Her mother likes to say that novels have ruined Amelia for real men.
In Amelia's experience, most people's problems would be solved if they would only give more things a chance.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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