The Lawgiver

  • by Herman Wouk
  • Narrated by Peter Riegert, Zosia Mamet
  • 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For more than 50 years, legendary author Herman Wouk has dreamed of writing a novel about the life of Moses. Finally, at age 96, he has found an ingeniously witty way to tell the tale in The Lawgiver, a romantic and suspenseful epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day. The story emerges from letters, memos, emails, journals, news articles, recorded talk, tweets, Skype transcripts, and text messages.
At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multi-billionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business.
Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than 60 years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the Moses movie when the Australian billionaire insists on Wouk’s stamp of approval.
As Wouk and his characters contend with Moses and marriage, the force of tradition, rebellion, and reunion, The Lawgiver reflects the wisdom of a lifetime. Inspired by the great 19th-century novelists, one of America’s most beloved 20th-century authors has now written a remarkable 21st-century work of fiction.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

OMG, Herman Wouk is still brilliant at 97!!

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

Yes. The narrators are perfect, and the text is written as snippets of emails, letters, journal entries, and conversatios, so that the story really lends itself to the audio format with a male and female narrator.


What other book might you compare The Lawgiver to and why?

Wouk is a genius at developing a female character (see Marjorie Morningstar and Natalie Jastrow), so any of his other novels stand up well with his latest.


What about Peter Riegert and Zosia Mamet ’s performance did you like?

Reigert makes one feel as if he is listening to Wouk himself, and Mamet does the women and each of them true justice. These are big female characters, and I had tears in my eyes after the epilogue. I'm a 64 year old man.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

No movie. Please.


Any additional comments?

i have a neice who is a rabbi, and I can't wat for her to experience this book.

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- Amazon Customer

Light Novel from Wouk, badly narrated

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The Narrators. See below.


Who was your favorite character and why?

I would have to say Margo Solovei, as she seemed to be the most fleshed out. Oddly, off-screen character and uber-douchebag Smallweed is a runner-up, as the whole situation with him struck me as morbidly funny. Wouk also did a very good job writing himself as a self-insert.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

There were two narrators, a man and a woman. The male one was fine, the female one was bad - Margo sounded like a teenager reciting her diary. Also, if my memory is correct neither of them gave separate voices to the characters unless they had to - every epistle written by a male character had the same male voice, and second voices were only if the epistle contained dialogue.


Did The Lawgiver inspire you to do anything?

Not really. The Lawgiver isn't a weighty story: some light humor, some light romance, some light discussion of religion. All in all, a nice little story, if you're not expecting anything deep.


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- Joshua

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-13-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio