The Fault In Our Stars
Written by: John Green
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Length: 7 hours and 14 minutes
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
The Fault in Our Stars is John Green’s sixth novel and was published in January 2012. Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen year old cancer patient narrates the story. It all starts with her parents forcing her into Literal Heart of Jesus, a support group that leads to her meeting Augustus Waters and falling madly in love with him. Augustus is an ex basketball player and an amputee. The title draws inspiration from Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”, Act 1 Scene 2 where Cassius the nobleman tells Brutus “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings”.
Hazel has not been anything but terminal for a long time, even with the tumor shrinking breakthrough that saw her get a few more years to enjoy life. The diagnosis has finalized her life’s chapter until she meets Augustus Waters who turns everything around. They meet at a support group and Hazel’s story takes a completely different direction. The experimental drugs on her thyroid cancer have bought her a few more years of life but she still had to quit school at the tender age of 13. Even though she was reluctant to join the local church support group, the instant connection she and Augustus, the former basketball player, make her feel grateful for joining.
Evidently, the two can’t get enough of each other and a doomed but beautiful romance starts to blossom. Augustus does not really fear dying, but fears the thought of his entire life amounting to nothing and going to waste. On a road trip, he decides to use his Genie Foundation wish so as to make Hazels dream of meeting the author of a favorite book in Amsterdam come true. Everything starts transforming into a profound, sad story that comes with so many questions no one has answers to. The audiobook is simply bold, insightful, raw and irreverent. It tells a thrilling, fun but tragic story of love and being alive.
Thoughts worth mentioning
Kate Rudd does a wonderful job performing the audiobook – transforming it into something more than a story. She does particularly amazing job voicing Hazel – the young girl’s emotions, wit, existential observations and her fight for life are captured and brought to life in perfectly in the audiobook. You can actually tell how weak Hazel is with Kate’s narration, feeling the unavoidable presence of her sickness. The emotions and drama are all brought together to the very end of the audiobook giving you a complete fulfillment.
The narrator manages to make Augustus and Hazel look like the most adorable couple alive with the charming and pretentious yet believable dialogue. You will love listening to the Fault in Our Stars audiobook even more the second time because I doubt that you won’t have an urge to go through it all over again.
The Fault in Our Stars audiobook is generally good in quality. It sounded extremely good on my home stereo system and just as good on my car stereo. It can be listened to without any problems even when driving. Kate Rudd does an amazing job projecting her voice and you therefore won’t have to keep fighting with the volume knob from time to time as it is usually the case with poorly done Audiobooks.
Also commendable is the way she manages to take the listener from one chapter to the other. You can actually feel the story flowing and it is not hard at all to connect one chapter to the next. It is an audiobook that anyone can listen to and have an easy time relating to even without knowing anything about the storyline or having to read the print version.
Considering that the novel is 313 pages long, the 7 hours and 14 minutes length of the audiobook seems a little on the long side. However, no stone is left unturned and listeners can be assured that every important detail is given enough attention to make the audiobook enjoyable and understandable for all. Kate Rudd manages to pace the narration in such a way that she gives listeners enough time to sink in the story but to also think fast and speculate on what is likely to happen next. She knows how to hold suspension long enough to get you yearning for more.
If you love romance stories that present the protagonists with hard challenges, yet they remain beautiful, then the Fault in Our Stars audiobook is a must listen for you. The book deals with teens and cancer without necessarily being a sappy story which is a big plus for me. You definitely have your crying moments but they will still be covered by those moments where you cannot help but laugh out loud. The audiobook makes the story more memorable probably because of the consistently good performance of the narrator. You might not have the time to listen to the book for 7 hours straight, but you can be sure that you will be longing for the next time you are all alone in your car to continue with the beautifully sad story of Hazel. It is just like a great novel you find hard to put down until you know what happens next and how it all ends. I recommend that you set aside enough time to listen to the audiobook to finish it as fast as you can because you definitely won’t mind going re-listening it just to go through the major highlights of the story that makes worth living for both Hazel and Augustus regardless of the challenges they both are going through.
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