State of Wonder

  • by Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by Nancy Baldwin
  • 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down Dr. Annick Swenson, who has disappeared in the Amazon while working on a valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her, Marina’s research partner Anders Eckman, died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to several troubling questions about her friend’s death.

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What the Critics Say

"Reading State of Wonder is a sensory experience, and even after it's over you'll keep hearing the sound of insects,and your own head will still be hot." (More magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A wonderful story, beautifully told

I rarely mourn the ending of a book (as I’m usually so excited to start the next!), but I was genuinely grief-stricken in the final few minutes of this book… I was thoroughly engaged from the very beginning and didn’t lose interest throughout.

There is so much to praise, but high on the list is Patchett’s creation of flawed characters I somehow managed to care deeply about.

Much like the dark, wide river where most of the story is staged, State of Wonder is gentle and beautiful, but has the ability to surprise and scare with its unexpected turns and frightening depth. I found myself deeply moved on more than one occasion.

I’m a scientist by profession, and found the narrative about drug development in the Amazon plausible enough to be inoffensive, but unlikely enough to remain interesting.

Nancy Baldwin’s narration was also good. Baldwin has a slight “catch” in her voice that I found quite endearing, and has a gentle tone that suited the book perfectly.

A strong recommendation from me.
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- Matthew "Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible."

not really, no.

I had liked Belcanto and so I went on and read another one by this Barbara Kingsolver-cum-Sandra Brown author. I was very disappointed. Had this been written by Barbara Kingsolver, whom I don't especially love, but do respect, this novel would have made sense from a narrative and logical and emotional point of view. Had it been written by Sandra Brown, whom I neither respect nor like, it would not have pretended to be something it's not.
Written by Ann Patchett, it's a mishmash of doubtful science and implausible emotions mixed into a very creaky narrative. I did not buy the love relationship; I did not buy the guilt; I intensely disbelieved the revealing discussion between the older and younger scientist on morals and science and staying on in the jungle. I felt she had no idea what she was writing about, emotionally or scientifically or morally or from a strictly narrative point of view. There is no interest in the deeper layers of anything - morality, love, the Amazon, the tribe, humanity, literature... Shallow, pretentious, over-long fluff.
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- Ilinca

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-09-2012
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd