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The Man on the Mountaintop

An Audible Original Drama
Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (251 ratings)

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Summary

Audie Award, 2019: Faith-Based Fiction and Nonfiction

Audiofile Earphones Award Winner 

The Man on the Mountaintop tells the story of Holy Man Joe, an ageing and unassuming man who lives in a hermitage on top of a mountain. During the summer months, thousands of hopefuls line the single-file path leading to his door, seeking his wisdom. From bombastic, wealthy nobles intent on cheating their way to the top to drunkards who gradually build the physical and mental strength they need to quit their addiction, The Man on the Mountaintop is a rousing tale full of humour, wit and life lessons. 

In an Audible Originals production, Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, Fortitude) and Toby Jones (Infamous, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) lead a multivoice cast in an inspiring tale that is as entertaining as it is profound. 

Also featuring Alison Dowling, Anne Rosenfeld, Avita Jay, Christophe Hespel, Christopher Ragland, Clare Corbett, David Thorpe, Fran Canals, Hayward B. Morse, Jeff Harding, Lachele Carl, Laurence Bouvard, Liza Ross, Lobo Chan, Martin T Sherman, Paul Panting, Rachel Atkins, Richard Rees, Sagar Arya, Sheena Bhattessa, Stephen Hogan and Tim Bentinck. 

A note from the author, Susan Trott: 

Dear Listeners,

I was having trouble getting to sleep at night. Instead of counting sheep, I found myself counting people going up a mountain to see a holy man. Each night, semiconscious, I came to know this holy man and the pilgrims.

My insomnia problem was solved. Now I had a story to write. I wrote it quickly, although years later, when asked how long it took to write, I said 50 years, which was also true.

Recently the Dalai Lama said, 'You don't have to believe in God to be a kind and compassionate person.' Joe, our man on the mountaintop, would agree.  

©2017 Audible, Ltd (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"Hollywood stalwarts Stanley Tucci and Toby Jones get behind the microphone and bring their versatile talents to this story of a holy man whom long lines of pilgrims desperately want to meet but few come to understand. In honest and soothing tones, Jones, as "Old Man Joe," skillfully draws out the hopes and fears of a number of troubled travelers, played by an excellent ensemble cast. Backed by original music and straightforward sound effects, Tucci's direct and gentle narration keeps this superb full-cast performance on track and flowing. A rare blend of down-to-earth wisdom mixed with fine acting and an engaging story - what a treat." (AudioFile magazine) 

What members say
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Trott's Fables!

You know I think some people are going to love this and I wish them the best of it. To be fair Audible say it is in the realm of the fable and that's exactly what it is . . . though as usual, full disclosure, I only made it a little under halfway through.

To me while I was intrigued by the concept I found the whole thing a bit quaint and twee for want of better words, almost like I was being read a children's story. The whole thing is of course ridiculous and relies on one-dimensional stereotype characters like the world's most famous man.

BUT - that's what a fable is after all so it's my own daft fault for not taking Audible at their word. I hope that plenty will like it because it does have a certain charm and amusing faux wisdom about it but it's not something I wanted to spend a long time with.

In short, it's bound to split opinions!

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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inspired storytelling

Loved this book and wished it was much longer. The narration and voices were brilliant and bought to life an inspiring story.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Pleasant, thoughtful

Pleasant, enjoyable and thoughtful. Depending on your journey in life resultant enjoyment of this story, gentle story depends entirely on you as to what you reap

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A thought provoking and feel-good story

The kind of book that makes you reflect on your own self, but also introduces you to the stories of others.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stunning

Stunning production and story. Beautiful and thought provoking storyline, beautifully narrated.

Highly recommended for all.

6 people found this helpful

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inspiring

really enjoyed this book, unusual, uplifting and inspiring. its an easy read but keeps you engaged

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating

This is a lovely tale that is enchanting and humorous. Toby Jones is like silk with his narration. Wonderful.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Compelling

A beautiful, spiritual journey which really makes you contemplate your own actions and life. Loved every second.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Touched me on so many levels

When I saw the title of this recording I was moved to purchase it at once. The drama starts with a drawing unlike any other. I listened every chance I got. The story moved me in ways that told me that I was on journey of varying flavours.

Joe, the holy man intrigues me with his easy and yet flawed ways when in truth he is a genius with human features. His ways really strike me. I have since bought The Holy Woman which is about Anna's story moving forward with her new role. The players in this production are stellar and moving. Thank you all

11 people found this helpful

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A beautifully written story 5*

A beautifully written calm and peaceful story, with subtle humour and Toby Jones is marvellous as the hermit Joe.

After 30 minutes wasn’t sure how the story could sustain nearly 6 hours, but it does.

Can’t think of another audio drama like it, it’s unique. Perfect*.


*Okay, nearly perfect; there’s an editing issue at around 2 hrs 12 minutes 09 seconds, sentence repeated?

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-01-19

Not my cup of tea

Not that bad, but also not that amazing. Since it's included in the subscription of audible, it's okay. But I found essentially pretty boring with some little nice messages that would make the world a better place if it was practical. Finally it's just some cute metaphor far away from reality, unfortunately.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-19

Lots of food for thought

Couched in the backdrop of a Buddhist monk’s mountain retreat, this book uses a series of interactions between friends and strangers to pose ethical and philosophical questions. It has a wide array of characters who filter in & out of the stories. Each story is a realistic life situation which is debated by the characters who must live through it. I don’t necessarily agree with the monk 100%, but the approach kept me interested throughout and the topics gave me new perspectives on my own life.

17 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • LauraMay George
  • 23-04-19

A Trite and Predictable Religious Allegory

Ugh. It started well enough but ultimately I stopped and started this story about 4 times over three months.

It's a readers theater of one dimensional characters with no depth and comically simple resolutions are offered to each "problem" encountered.

Dull vocabulary and oddly dated and upsetting stereotypes. Thank goodness Stanley Tucci is enjoyable because it's the most redeeming quality.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michele Mattix
  • 06-01-19

Delightful and full of wisdom

This book is a series of stories about a holy man that people travel to see and consult with. Each pilgrim comes with his/her issues and you get to hear how each learns his/her lesson. Refreshing content that nourishes the soul.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Solunari
  • 01-02-19

Simple - which is all you really need

These are very simple little glimpses of wisdom. Simple is all you really need. You will like them or you will not. Simple.

19 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joette T
  • 13-01-19

Good for falling asleep

I like this book because it’s got short stories within the story and for some reason the voices make me fall asleep. Exactly what I was looking for.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Jim
  • 31-03-19

Never engaged with this

I am sure some would love this, but I definitely did not. I have struggled with the start of plenty of books, only to be glad I finished. This, on the other hand, was a struggle all the way through. I kept waiting for it to click but could never determine the point of the tale as it meandered from one person to another to another with nuggets of wisdom here but far too much drudgery wrapped around them. So not in terms of wisdom, lessons, an interesting storyline or any other element did I lock in on this. And at no point did I really buy "Joe" as a holy man. Not sure if was the character, the voice acting or what, but it is hard to engage when the supposed main character for much of the book is as tedious as he is interesting. Apologies to those who loved this book.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack
  • 03-03-19

Did not finish

The stories were really boring, and pretty shallow. A lot of the lessons people learned from the holy man were obvious and unrealistic. Characters were also one-dimensional which made it way less engaging.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kieran O'Brien
  • 12-02-19

A poor attempt to popularise philosophy

Excellent narration by a star cast, but the story is clumsy pseudo-philosophy that the reader is expected to find profound because the characters keep assuring us that it is.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Becky lydick
  • 05-01-19

An amazing uplifting work

Stanley Tucci, always a pleasure, lends his amazing tone to a work with an equally amazing one in this meaningful and beautiful creation. It is a difficult task to compile this much wisdom and inspiration into such a short time, but The Man On The Mountaintop moves mountains for sure. Characters come to life amidst wonderful descriptive language. A true masterpiece to be certainly be enjoyed, but also cherished and shared.

19 people found this helpful