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.


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

Great story; poor reader

This is a good story which kept me involved and wanting more, keeping up its pace until the end. The reader did not do it justice. She reads competently but with no voices at all, just her own same flat American accent and intonations and it's impossible to tell from her voice who is speaking even when the character is Australian. A great shame as I would highly recommend the book otherwise and I still enjoyed it.
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- Maddy

Lost interest half way through

I didn't finish this. The story is reasonably well put together, and although parts of the plot reminded me a great deal of another book, I don't think it's fair to write it off it solely on that basis. Plots and settings are always shared and this one was chugging along okay. I think perhaps with a different narrator I might well have got to the end, so perhaps the main issue for me was technical issues with the recording. She has a nice speaking voice, but there were a lot of hesitations or half-stoppages in the reading which I found distracting. I kept listening for them rather than listening to the story itself. For an audiobook we pay for, I'd expect that all of these problems would have been over-dubbed during the production. It may be that, after some of the brilliant narrations I've heard on audio now, that my expectations are getting too high. For example, in this particular book, the narrator rendered the Australian character in an American accent which I found very distracting (I live in Australia, so there's a clue to why that issue struck me in particular).

It makes me think that audio is a very risky format for an author, because any issues with the narrator can ruin their otherwise enjoyable novel. In this particular case, I didn't find the story gripping enough to overcome the few issues I had with the narration, but it wouldn't put me off trying another Ann Patchett novel in the future.
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- Valerie

Book Details

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