The World to Come

  • by Dara Horn
  • Narrated by William Dufris
  • 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An intoxicating combination of mystery, spirituality, redemption, piety, and passion, The World to Come is Dara Horn's follow-up to her breakout, critically-acclaimed debut novel In the Image. Using a real-life art heist as her starting point, Horn traces the life and times of several characters, including Russian-born artist Marc Chagall and the New Jersey-based Ziskind family. Benjamin Ziskind, a former child prodigy, now spends his days writing questions for a television trivia show. After Ben's twin sister Sara forces him to attend a singles cocktail party at a Jewish museum, Ben spots Over Vitebsk, a Chagall sketch that once hung in the twins' childhood home. Convinced the painting was stolen from his family, Ben steals the work of art and enlists Sara to create a forgery to replace it. While trying to evade the police, Ben attempts to find the truth of how the painting got to the museum. From a Jewish orphanage in 1920s Soviet Russia where Marc Chagall taught art to orphaned Jewish boys, to a junior high school in Newark, New Jersey, with a stop in the jungles of Da Nang, Vietnam, Horn weaves a story of mystery, romance, folklore, history, and theology into a spellbinding modern tale. Richly satisfying, utterly unique, her novel opens the door to "the world to come", not life after death, but the world we create through our actions right now.

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What the Critics Say

"A deeply satisfying literary mystery and a funny-sad meditation on how the past haunts the present, and how we haunt the future." (Time)
"Spellbinding....A compelling collage of history, mystery, theology, and scripture, The World to Come is a narrative tour de force crackling with conundrums and dark truths." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book!

I found this to be one of the most enjoyable of the 200 + books on tape that I have listened to. It belongs right up there with other great "reads" such as "The History of Love" and "The Book Thief". If you liked those two, you'll like this one as well. The story was fascinating, the writing was excellent and, contrary to what the previous reviewers have said, I thought that the narration was very good. I highly recommend this book.
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- Robert

A fascinating journey , heartful

Dara Horn has created a masterpiece that contain many wonderful things and is vividly portrayed in this audio reading. So much of the novel is like a story told to a child and has ironic sophistication through the eyes of the characters especially the twin lead characters when they were children. These oral narrative aspects make the novel even better when heard rather than read (although I will read it for a second experience since it is such a fine work of literature.) Horn weaves together story lines that trace through several generations of a Russian American Jewish family- tales that are both hilarious and profoundly moving and philosophical. I learned so much about art, spirituality, Chagal, Yiddish story telling, and many new ways to look at living, survival, and the meaning of death and life. Dara Horn's use of language and detail motifs is just short of brilliant and most original. Anyone who has an interest in religion, cultural adaptation, and transformational spirituality, must experience this multi- layered book.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-18-2006
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio