Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt @shelbyvanpelt @MarinIreland @michaelurie @HarperAudio @librofm

the setup…
Tova Sullivan is a 70-year old widow who works nights at the Sowell Bay, Washington aquarium as the janitor responsible for mopping the floors. She loves what she does as it keeps her busy but it’s her fascination with the giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus that delights her every night. Marcellus was rescued four years ago and is nearing the end of his life span. He’s beyond resourceful as he manages to escape his tank each night, finding other morsels to snack on. It’s their little secret. Cameron Cassmore is 30-years old and still trying to find his way living in Modesto, California. He was abandoned by his mother and raised by his Aunt Jeannie, never knowing his father’s identity but recently found information that leads him to believe the man is living in Sowell Bay. Cameron decides to try to find him after he loses his job and girlfriend.the heart of the story…
The story is told from three points of view…Tova, Cameron and Marcellus! All three characters were distinctive and interesting but it was Marcellus who had my imagination soaring and my spirit lifting to glorious heights. He was clever and witty, giving an entirely different perspective about his “rescue” and life away from the ocean. I also liked Tova who, despite having recently lost her husband and her 18-year old son thirty years ago, embraced life in her own way and had a great life outlook. Cameron was tougher to warm up to as he lived his life as a victim of his circumstances. However, his evolution throughout the story made him just as compelling. How these three intersect eventually wasn’t a great mystery but the journey getting there had me riveted.the narration…
Both narrators gave wonderful performances, capturing the essences of their respective characters. Marin Ireland did a great job of distinguishing the characters and I always knew whose point of view was being presented. I have to admit, however, that I was utterly captivated by Michael Urie’s interpretation of Marcellus. It was perfection.the bottom line…
I loved this story with its charming characters, both primary and secondary, and the promise of something beyond the reality. Marcellus has a secret that he’s trying to convey to Tova and his efforts were unconventional but completely in line with his personality. I never thought I’d be this enamored of an octopus so it’s a tribute to the writing that Marcellus became so endearing. I also highly recommend the audio version as the performances make such a difference. It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel as it overwhelmed me emotionally. It was just lovely.

Book Info

  • Release Date: May 3, 2022
  • Narrators: Marin Ireland & Michael Urie
  • Audio Length: 11 hours, 16 minutes
  • Publisher: HarperAudio


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(Thanks to HarperAudio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

20 thoughts on “Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt @shelbyvanpelt @MarinIreland @michaelurie @HarperAudio @librofm”

  1. Yay, every time I read a wonderful review of this book, I am happy. I loved this book and knew nothing about the story when I listened to it and was blown away. Yes, the narrators were perfect and became the characters. Wonderful review, Jo!

    Liked by 1 person

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