The Invisible Bridge

  • by Julie Orringer
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 27 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Julie Orringer's astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family's struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it.
Paris 1937. Andras Lvi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Svign. As he falls into a complicated relationship with the letters recipient, he becomes privy to a secret history that will alter the course of his own life.
Meanwhile, as his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena and their younger brother leaves school for the stage, Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. At the end of Andrass second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war.
From the small Hungarian town of Konyr to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andrass room on the rue des coles to the deep and enduring connection he discovers on the rue de Svign, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a love tested by disaster, of brothers whose bonds cannot be broken, of a family shattered and remade in history's darkest hour, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.
Expertly crafted, magnificently written, emotionally haunting, and impossible to put down, The Invisible Bridge resoundingly confirms Julie Orringer's place as one of todays most vital and commanding young literary talents.

More

What the Critics Say

"To bring an entire lost world....to vivid life between the covers of a novel is an accomplishment; to invest that world, and everyone who inhabits it, with a soul, as Julie Orringer does in The Invisible Bridge, takes something more like genius." (Michael Chabon)
“Profound love, familial bonds and the deepest of human loyalties play out against the backdrop of unimaginable cruelty. . . . A stunning first novel.” (Los Angeles Times)
“One of the best books of the year.” (Junot Diaz)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Critics Got in Right

I'm usually sceptical when a book gets rave reviews from the professional critics, but this time they got it right. The Invisible Bridge is a phenomenal novel, quite old-fashioned, and devoid of literary gimmicks and clandestine intentions of the author to preach or moralize. In short, it is beautifully written in a classic prose style, through which Julie Orringer creates an atmosphere of both passion and gloom in an historical setting that, while generally well-known, focuses first on sinister pre-World War II Paris, and then moves to lesser known Hungary after WWII begins. Orringer creates characters with multiple frailties, like most people I know, but whose virtues are enough that ultimately I cared deeply about their fates. The short epilogue was as moving as anything I can remember reading. Call The Invisible Bridge a saga, an epic, a profoundly moving love story; take your pick.

For a long time, I hesitated to buy this book and changed my mind about the purchase several times after adding it to my wish list. At 28 hours, it is by far the longest audio book I've ever listened to and I didn't want to make a mistake. I was finally persuaded to give it a try by the high quality of the reader reviews on amazon.com from those who were captivated by the book. After a somewhat slow start, Orringer's beautiful prose, attention to detail, atmosphere of hope amid impending doom, brought me into the narrative in such depth that I listened to it for long hours at a time. This is a serious literary novel for a serious reader. Many books that I read tell good and interesting stories, but seldom rise to the ranks of literature. For me, The Invisible Bridge combines the best of both worlds: a captivating, fluid narrative, with a fine piece of writing.
Read full review

- Howard

Stumbling Narration

I have struggled with this book for hours upon hours of listening. The narration is so slow, fumbling and awkward that it has simply ruined the book for me. I don't speak German or Hungarian so I can't comment on those languages in the reading--other reviewers have found them equally terrible. However, I do speak French and the mispronunciations are painful. Even street and place names are a total jumble. I find myself trying to sort out the places and words and in doing so lose track of the plot. I agree with other reviewers that greater care should have been taken in finding a multilingual narrator.

I can only recommend the book to someone who does not speak French, German or Hungarian. That way the listener won't be aware of the glaring language issues in the narration. Very disappointing.
Read full review

- Sara

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-04-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio