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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, read by George Blagden.

Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. Yet there is an emptiness at the heart of Ella's life - an emptiness once filled by love.  

So when Ella reads a manuscript about the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his 40 rules of life and love, she is shocked out of herself. Turning her back on her family, she embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work.  

It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored....

©2019 Elif Shafak (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Forty Rules of Love

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, not great audio

You really need to pay attention with this audiobook because voices don’t change often and there are a lot of characters to keep track of. Story was great, I just wish the speaker had more diversity with his deliverance.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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"The Embodiment of Nothingness"

Astonishingly beautiful and readable love story, mystical poem and historical adventure. I can't remember when I last read a novel that impressed me so much.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful and full of wisdom

Narrated with warmth and compassion. The narrator gently illustrates many different characters subtly and effectively. An intricate web of colourful characters, this beautifully written book carries you through history and brings to life timeless truths that are needed today more than ever. So grateful to have received this precious gift.

1 person found this helpful

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Sooo disappointing, awful narration and worse plot

I had been so looking forward to this book as I really enjoyed 'The Architect's Apprentice' by Elif Sharak and am a big fan of Rumi so this book sounded wonderful, unfortunately it was a massive disappointment. The narration was awful and such a weird choice - using an English man to play and American family (mainly a mother and daughter) as well as multiple Persian characters - he unfortunately did so in such a meek and simpering way for all the characters you can't ever get beyond his annoying breathy tone into the story. But even if you could, the plot is terrible as well. There is a Sufi mystic lecturing at you for whole portions of the book which becomes increasingly dull, but worse than that, is the quite frankly entirely unbelievable central plot of the correspondence between the main character -a self-proclaimed housewife- and a globe-trotting sufi author. We're supposed to believe they're falling in love through their letters, however while the sufi sends her interesting and thoughtful observations on the world as he travels through it, she responds by only ever really talking about how boring she and her life are, putting herself down and begging for reassurance (from a man who doesn't know her). There are also some weird anti-female undertones to the Rumi part of the book where he and the mystic are straight up shitty to his wife for her wanting to be remotely involved or acknowledged, and the mystic (who's entire purpose in life is to follow the religion of love), marries Rumi's adopted daughter, decides for some inexplicable reason he can't have sex with her, and then lets her go crazy and die of heartbreak which honestly doesn't seem to bother him or Rumi at all, and they continue merrily on their way. What even is this book!?

1 person found this helpful

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So surreal, I felt I was in another world

I loved it. I was so into the book I did not want to leave it for a second. The narration made it even better!

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Excellent story and fantastic narration!

The story of Rumi & Shams inter-twined in a story from a familiar future is simply brilliant. The book has stroked my interest into both these men as well as into sufiism. I have to mention that the narration is superb. The narrator has actually put his soul into the dialogues and it shows. Well done!

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Profoundly impactful

I admire Elif's analytical, ethical and universal approach to life which can only be magnified by the deepest meaning of love. Inspiring and educational novel for everyone that could benefit from learning what acceptance and tolerance is about.

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Beautiful as always

Another rollercoaster of historical intrigue with the always-magical writing of my favourite author. A complex and ambitious novel, a bit too religious for this atheist but quite beautiful nonetheless and with a certain number of resonating truths. I prefer her other works (this is the fourth I've listened to) but I am still looking forward to reading the others.

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Enlightening

This is an amazing book that can transform life; so enlightening and an eye opener.

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Amazing! This book sparked a yearning for more!

Absolutely gripping and well written. I'm left with the need to explore Sufism further! Thanks

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  • Essra
  • 19-10-19

A touching story and an equally touching narration

The book has successfully given life to many characters, each of which had their own beliefs and opinions. The narrator did a great job embodying the different characters and distinguishing between them. The only reason I didn't rate it as a 5 star book was because of the gloominess that surrounded the final chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Asrar
  • 17-09-19

Surprising, captivating, and thought provoking.

I thought this was going to be another trendy Middle Eastern romantic story. It came recommended by people who's views I admired, so I read it. It ended up redefining many skewed meanings I had in my mind about the religious and (or should I say v.s) spiritual areas of life. Will probably read it again at another point in time. Highly recommended if you're a 'truth seeker'. George Blagden's narration was mesmerising!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr Anuj Radia
  • 24-11-20

Loved it

A spiritual book with a storyline. Thoroughly enjoyable. narrator does a fab job of it too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-20

A true eye opener

I was quite perplexed wether to buy this, thinking it might be anther generic love novel. How wrong was I - this book is a true eye opener, it is about love; but a very philosophical approach to it. The story was excellent & one can definitely improve oneself by listening to this novel. Amazing.

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  • Priscilla Spiga
  • 08-06-20

This warms your brain and your heart

This book may be a fiction, but it gives so much that I will listen to it again and again. So well written and also so well interpreted ❤️ thank you to everyone involved

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-05-20

Sensational!

Beautifully written and narrated. The end will leave you wishing there was more. The teachings are profoundly inspiring.

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  • Arabian Bee 🐝
  • 24-04-20

My first Audible experience

This book was recommended to me by my friend who also suggested signing up for audible. The Forty Rules of Love is the first book I have read by Elif Shafak. It’s a beautiful story about love, kindness and friendship. I particularly enjoyed Shafak’s descriptions of whatever there was in this book. Moreover, different colours of the voice of the narrator added this extra factor to the entire experience. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Ghada
  • 07-01-20

This book is like no other book

The book is amazing but also the narrator adds a very nice touch to the book. I listened to the whole book in 2 days and it just felt like a healing therapy. It is like no other book!

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  • Christina Auerbach
  • 20-12-19

The Forty Rules of Love

Very beautiful book with profound wisdom. a delight entering the world of Rumi and Shams