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The One-in-a-Million Boy

Narrated by: Chris Andrew Ciulla
Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Summary

A one-in-a-million story for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and think about how extraordinary ordinary life can be. Not to be missed by those who loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Elizabeth Is Missing or The Shock of the Fall.

Miss Ona Vitkus has - aside from three months in the summer of 1914 - lived unobtrusively, her secrets fiercely protected. The boy, with his passion for world records, changes all that. He is 11. She is 104 years, 133 days old (they are counting). And he makes her feel like she might be really special after all.

Better late than never...only it's been two weeks now since he last visited, and she's starting to think he's not so different from all the rest. Then the boy's father comes, for some reason determined to finish his son's good deed. And Ona must show this new stranger that not only are there odd jobs to be done but a life's ambition to complete....

©2016 Monica Wood (P)2016 Dreamscape Media, LLC.

Critic reviews

"I loved it! The boy is one of my favourite literary characters ever! I thought it was a gem of a novel, heart breaking and heart-warming. Beautifully written, with characters that you want to keep by your side." (Adele Parks)
"Loved it! Oh, that ending.... Ona is such a brilliant heroine and Quinn surpasses all expectations. Such a life-affirming read - love the way Monica's story brings out the best in people." (Hannah Beckerman)
"Wood writes beautifully." ( Washingtonian)

What members say

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  • Kate
  • Surrey
  • 15-04-16

Beautiful

Where does The One-in-a-Million Boy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book was made for audio and especially Chris Ciulla who was spectacular at creating a mood and changing his voices which were very evocative. I think it was perfect in the audio genre to the point that I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much as a book. I loved the recordings Ona made with 'the boy' and they were beautifully read by CC. A very uplifting story despite the sad undertones. It took a good few chapters to start unfolding but it was certainly worth it to understand what makes each character tick. What a splendid book!

Have you listened to any of Chris Andrew Ciulla’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but I'll certainly look out for them now, he was excellent in this audiobook!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A beautiful story

A story of human frailty and love, of many depths. Well read with humour and accent.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Simply amazing

An amazing read that focus on death and sorrow . I was working truly moved to by this story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not for me!

The Goodreads description of this book states it is "Not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL."
Now, I enjoyed all of those three titles. However, The One-in-a-Million Boy was nothing like any of those.
I found it very boring. Despite having listened to more than half I still couldn't figure out where the story was headed. Usually it takes A LOT for me to give up on an audio book but getting through only half of it in 3 months has to be a sign that it isn't working.
Despite the title being what it is we don't even get to know the boy's actual name, making it very difficult to warm to him. Though I didn't warm to any of the other characters either.
There were to many clichés as well: sassy old lonely lady strikes unlikely friendship with lonely boy, whose absent dad's a bit of a bum but his mum has now found a good father figure for him. Blah blah blah. Seen it, watched it, read it. A million times.
I didn't think the narration was that good either. It sounded very forced but monotonous at the same time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Just simply superb

Most books I have enjoyed on audible. Some I have really loved, and a very few I have not liked. But this book is quite something else. I just adored it, and am so sorry it is now finished. The characters will live with me for ever - they are all wonderfully drawn, even the minor ones. It is mainly the stories of three main characters, drawn into one story, all interacting and affecting each other deeply. It did make me cry, but it is a beautiful story.

At first I did find some of the descriptive narration a little difficult to follow at times; but do not let this put you off. It is superbly narrated, with all the different voices and characterisation shining through. I am very pleased that I listened to this book, rather than reading - not something that I always find.

I shall certainly listen to it again - and again in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Compelling listen, lovely story

Really enjoyed this audio book. Style put me in the mind of a man called Ove... but ultimately very much it's own story. Initially the narration was a bit off beat for me, but a chapter or two in I settled into the story and really looked forward to my commute and the next installment. Also think characters were well fleshed out, and likeable. Would recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Poingnant...thought provoking...stunning

Provoked a lot of internal thinking for me and i am determined not to leave it as late as Quin to get a handle on the type of adult i wish to be or heaven help me...Ona. Touching and realistic story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An amazing story of friendships

This is wonderful story of several unlikely friendships: between an 11 year old boy who I think is aitistic; a 104 year old very independent lady; and the boy's parents, and the complex relationships of all of them.
Beautifully written and excellently narrated.
A truly one in a million story which I will certainly listen to again.
Just beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unexpectedly brilliant

When the book started I wasn't sure that it was for me but as I listened I was drawn in by this unusual, sad & funny story. It was excellently read, the voices painting pictures. Loved it & recommend it to anyone wanting something different.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lovely book

I really enjoyed this book. It is unique, moving, funny and uplifting. The reader is comforting and engaging. At the beginning the different character voices seemed strange but I found myself warming to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful