Noah's Compass

  • by Anne Tyler
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the incomparable Anne Tyler, a wise, gently humorous, and deeply compassionate novel about a schoolteacher, who has been forced to retire at sixty-one, coming to terms with the final phase of his life.
Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn't bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.
His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets is well, something quite different.
We all know a Liam. In fact, there may be a little of Liam in each of us. Which is why Anne Tyler's lovely novel resonates so deeply.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Low key and thought provoking

Most of Anne Tyler's work seem to have little "action".This one is no exception, but that's not a bad thing. The main character in this book is almost an observer in his own life. There ae many points where he could make a definitive move, but he is somehow incapable. Instead, he complacently seems to accept what life hands him. I disagree with other reviewers who found the narrator lacking. His voice fit this character well and helped illustrate Noah's lack of curiosity about the world he lives in. The book was very engaging, perhaps becasue I deserately wanted this man to break free of his lassitude and make a bold move.
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- Eileen

Excellent exploration of life choices

This is a subtle examination of the choices made (the roads taken and not taken) and the ramifications of those choices on others. Do we stay the course or just keep afloat -- and who do wear harm unknowingly in the process?
Perhaps because I am 61 the novel seemed so real and so true.
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- Polyhymnia

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-05-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio