The Invisible Bridge

Written by:
Julie Orringer
Narrated by:
Arthur Morey

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 2010
27 hours 52 minutes
Julie Orringer’s astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater (“fiercely beautiful”—The New York Times; “unbelievably good”—Monica Ali), 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 Lévi, 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 Sévigné. As he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter’s 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 Andras’s second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war.

From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras’s room on the rue des Écoles to the deep and enduring connection he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, 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 today’s most vital and commanding young literary talents.
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Never-ending, boring details about unimportant events in the protagonist's life appear on every page of this book. I'm fortunate I did not end up in an accident while listening to this story while driving because it is so mind-numbing. I could only get through three CDs before returning both boxes.

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Although it took a while (most of the first CD) to get into this story, I eventually found it fascinating! Having lived and traveled widely in Europe in the '60's and visiting many of the places my father had been stationed in WWII, I had points of reference for the places Andras lived, traveled through and streets and sections he described in Paris. The rise of Nazism, frightening events due to anti-Semitism as well as the circumscribed role of women during those time were described meticulously and with great emotion. I must confess, however, that the only part I regretted was the end! I hope a continuation or a sequel is in the works because I want to know what comes next in the lives of these wonderful characters!

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WOW, probably one of the best books ever. Beautifully told and read. Historically interesting.

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Kerry in Georgia

There are some books that you read and forget all about; then there are the ones that stick with you forever. The Invisible Bridge is one of those forever-books. To my generation, and those after me, World War II is just something in history books and movies. But thru this book, I lived it. I came away from this story feeling sad for the lives lost, and angry for the suffering and tierany. I became invested in the characters and went on emotional roller coasters with them. I will never take for grated what those men and women had to do to just survive another day, and the sacrifices they made. I wish my grandparents were still with me so that I could ask them for their own WWII stories.

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Selecting the reader for a novel must be difficult, I concede. But when a book contains names, phrases, even whole poems written in not one but two foreign languages, you would think that the producers would take this into account. I am enjoying "The Invisible Bridge," but the mispronunciations of sections written in French are ridiculous (French "gare" [railroad station] rhyming with English "pair"; French "hiver" [winter] massacred). The book also includes Hungarian material, but I have no basis for critiquing that! What a shame when the novel itself is excellent.

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