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Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings
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Beautiful expression of love

This book draws you in very swiftly and gently. The story alternates between modern day USA and ancient Turkey. Rumi's Sufi philosophy is expressed through the storyline very well, making you think about life and love.
The narrator is excellent, changing his tone and his accent to suit the characters.
I will definitely hear it again.

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great book

book was intriguing, and the narrator was good, I would love to listen more by this author.

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Life Changing

A lovely work and an equally enrapturing performance. One area of improvement for the narrator though would be to get the pronunciations correct since they are in Arabic. His accent has spoiled the names and Arabic phrases

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Fiction at its best but unreliable

narration was awesome but I didn't like the story as how Rumi and Shams were portrayed

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the infinite dimensions of love

a profound book! it has many layers which are masterfully synced to make sense.

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Mesmerizing

Beautifully penned, one could literally visualize the whole story.
The captivating narration transports the listener to the described era's. Very well narrated. Iam eager to hear it more than once.

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Profound and intriguing!

Loved the narration and Loved Shams Tabrizi. The clarity he carried around is amazing.

Such a simple rules giving away the crux of Love, Life and The God.

Also getting to know Sufism was a beautiful experience.

The constant toggle between ancient and modern life is gripping and the realisation of how we have moved so much but the teachings remain as relevant today as those were then. Love is the water of Life.

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Excellent 👍

loved listening to it. Deeply moved by the story n heart touching Great Job Done ❤

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Intriguing & Must Read

Love: An abstract quality; the benevolence and affection of God, towards an individual or towards creation; (also) from an individual; regard and consideration of one human being towards another prompted by a sense of a common relationship.


Forty Rules of Love is beyond your expectations of general image of Love, and more connected to Spiritual kind, for better change in your otherwise superficial and maybe limited perspective view towards nature & loving, in believing.

It's a fictional novel with similar to Sufism manual that not only has different stories for every rules, but also, captures events from all Characters' view. Wholesome yet devastating, musical yet instructive, and lastly, it beautifully wraps the Journey of companionship towards believing in Love over two different timelines simultaneously, equally important and Interesting!

There are beautiful characterisations, real places and fascinating timelines, smooth blend of fiction and fantasy with real life based events, and most impressive is the Writing! ❤️❤️

Also, (spoiler) Kimya, and Kerra both deserved much better expressive and understanding partners, & to be fair, some events do raises questions from Social point of view, which intrigued me to ask right away to Elif, just like Ella from book, but it's the vibe that's so pure and simple and giving, that it foreshadows every little basic random thoughts. Also, it's a treat to have such strong, important, and varied female characters with genuine relatability, just fell in love with Dessert Rose 😻

So for the One's who are Spiritual and One's who have ever wished for a pure companion, have an awesome experience through it's words of wisdom!

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Profound

I loved the book, the narrator added to the charm and profoundness of the story.

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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.

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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!

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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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-01-20

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.

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  • Chris N.
  • 18-01-20

"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.

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  • mary-clare blackburn
  • 21-07-20

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-20

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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  • Mr. R. E. Towers
  • 13-02-21

Beautifully crafted story of life and friendship

This is a beautifully crafted book about the relationship between the 13th century religious scholar, Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervisher. The relationship leads to Rumi becoming a mystic and poet.

Much of this story takes place in Konya which is in the south of modern day Turkey where Rumi's family had fled to avoid the invading Mongols from their home in modern day Afghanistan.

Shams is a mystic Sufi who holds no truck with the tradition of the religion. He is charismatic and full of wisdom and conviction. Shams sets Rumi a number of questions and challenges which develop his understanding. Love exists between the two men but Shams's influence over Rumi, as well as his exposure of hypocracy within the religion's practitioners, incurs the hatred of Rumi's family and the community

The story is juxtaposed with a modern day relationship which develops between Ella, an unfulfilled Jewish wife and literary agent in Northampton, Massachusetts and Aziz Zahara the author of Sweet Blasphemy, a book (about Rumi and Shams) she is tasked with reviewing.

Ella is enraptured by the book and it's teachings, which makes her evaluate her own life, a process she finds unsettling. Ella begins to correspond with Aziz, a free spirited Scot who is a travelling Muslim convert, who she suspects is the reincarnation of the spirit of Shams.

Will Ella be moved to give up her marriage and children for a man she has never met?

This is a excellent book which gets to the heart of life, love, spirituality and friendship. Although Shafak does try to justify the Quran's endorsement of men to admonish and beat women. Counter this with the chapter written from the perspective of a leper which is one of the most piwerful, empathetic and moving pieces I have read.

This should not spoil the reader's enjoyment of the thought provoking book which is written from the perspective of numerous narrators and is part story and part historical record.

The reading is faultless and always believable.

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  • Maxi
  • 27-12-20

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-12-20

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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  • Bage
  • 14-12-20

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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  • M. King
  • 21-10-20

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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  • Mano
  • 29-09-20

Enlightening

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-21

Absolutely loved every word of it

I simply could not stop listening to it. It was very engaging and enkightening .

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-01-21

Beautiful :)

For all those with a heart that speaks the depths of a wandering dervish, I hope this book further wraps your soul with the bountiful love that surrounds us ever presently.

Highly recommended to all seeking wisdom while visiting life’s tavern :)

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  • shae
  • 29-05-20

magical

magical words from elif shafak!
amazing journey within your soul.
love is the answer to eveything

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-12-19

Cookbook

I’m drawn to the topic around which this book is written. However, it didn’t really lift off into good fiction when based so much on an already established set of circumstances. It was more like following a recipe in a cookbook. Also, there were far too many characters written in the first person. Tiresome for any reader.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-11-19

Great Mix of Fiction and Wisdome

Opening up the Black box. Now can understand and see the plan a bit clearer. Be Rumi. 😉🖤🖤🖤🧿

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-19

Beautiful

Quick, passionate, Educational. A heartbreaking warm hug. Reminds me to have my heart broken to know love fully.