The Faraway Nearby

  • by Rebecca Solnit
  • Narrated by Rebecca Solnit
  • 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This personal, lyrical narrative about storytelling and empathy from award winner Rebecca Solnit is a fitting companion to her beloved A Field Guide for Getting Lost.
In this exquisitely written new audiobook by the author of A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit explores the ways we make our lives out of stories, and how we are connected by empathy, by narrative, by imagination. In the course of unpacking some of her own stories - of her mother and her decline from memory loss, of a trip to Iceland, of an illness - Solnit revisits fairytales and entertains other stories: about arctic explorers, Che Guevara among the leper colonies, and Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, about warmth and coldness, pain and kindness, decay and transformation, making art and making self. Woven together, these stories create a map which charts the boundaries and territories of storytelling, reframing who each of us is and how we might tell our story.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Story - Worst Narrator Ever

Would you consider the audio edition of The Faraway Nearby to be better than the print version?

With a different narrator, this could bring this fine book alive, but this narrator is just wretched. Flat and repetitive tone with a pace that disrespects the words and story.
Looked up to see who the narrator is so as to never to get another from her so poor is the performance, she essentially detracts from a great story. Learning that this lame narrator is the author explains much. Such an sad circumstance to have a great story and have allowed the author to make it unlistenable.


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rebecca Solnit?

A professional narrator. Any professional narrator. Maybe even a synthetic voice would have life and variety in the performance


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The first two chapters are unsurpassed in poignant and compelling description of the mother daughter relationship as many of us experienced it. World class writing.


Any additional comments?

Do this author a favor and get a professional narrator who cares about the work and does not force the reader to read this painful audible rendering. She is a skilled writer doing her book no good in narrating it.

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- Katherine S.

Great Book - Author shouldn't read it

Would you listen to The Faraway Nearby again? Why?

I'd love to, but I don't think I cold listen to the author reading it again.


What other book might you compare The Faraway Nearby to and why?

It's a unique story


What didn’t you like about Rebecca Solnit’s performance?

The author could benefit from working with a vocal coach. The intonation of her voice is monotonous and she speaks through her nose and mouth, so the voice was muddy, nasally, and drone-like. It sounded like she had a cold. All G's were pronounced hard - as in 'talking' became 'talkink'. So many words in the English language end in 'g' - this vocal quirk became distracting and ultimately annoying (or as would be read, "distractink" and "addoyink". I almost stopped listening when she clearly struggled to pronounce the word "numbing".

For such a brilliantly written book, it was surprising and extremely disappointing to listen the the stuffy, noisy and flat reading of of this immensely creative book. What was especially surprising was that these issues could have been remedied with vocal coaching, which should have occurred upon the first trial readings!


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- S. Earle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios