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April/May 2018

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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BACK TALK: Stories Danielle Lazarin Read by Reba Buhr A girl copes with the loss of her mother. A woman grapples with her upcoming divorce. These are two of the stories of love and loss that Reba Buhr's strong narration ramps up in this female-cen- tric collection. She captures the sardonic y e t v u l n e r a b l e t o n e o f teenagers perfectly and demonstrates the range of her abilities in other sto- ries in which she makes real the turmoil of middle age. Moving between these characters with the ease of an experienced narrator, she captures the universal- ity of grief in the human experience. Her tender treatment of life's biggest disap- pointments will be welcomed by avid listeners who are looking for shorter lis- tening segments that can be completed while running errands. M.R. Tantor Media 6.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781977305053 $28.88 (also MP3, DD) THE LARGESSE OF THE SEA MAIDEN Denis Johnson Read by Nick Offerman, Michael Shannon, Dermot Mulroney, Will Patton, Liev Schreiber The audio version of Denis Johnson's posthumous short story collection has an eye-popping cast of celebrity narrators. Actors Nick Offerman, Michael Shannon, Dermot Mulroney, Will Patton, and Liev Schreiber are simply terrific. In the title story, Offerman, as an ad man in his 60s, delivers lines like "Have I loved my wife? We've gotten along . . . " with a sublime blend of thoughtfulness and dry humor. Shannon is wry and tense as a recovering alcoholic writing letters to his family. The gravelly voiced Mulroney finds humor and pathos in a story of life in a county jail. Patton brings a hushed intensity to his role as an aging novelist. And, finally, Schreiber expertly vacillates between serious and absurd as a poet who's obsessed with a conspiracy theory about Elvis. A.T.N. Random House Audio 5.25 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525495475 $15.00 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525495482 $57.00 THE IMMORTALISTS Chloe Benjamin Read by Maggie Hoffman Maggie Hoffman narrates this thought- provoking story with a straightforward delivery. She gives the mother, Gertie, a perfect nagging Jewish mother voice and uses pace, tone, and inflection effectively to bring the other characters to life. After the prologue, which finds the four Gold s i b l i n g s , a g e s 7 t o 1 3 , sneaking off to visit a for- tune-teller who tells them the dates of their deaths, the story breaks into four sections that explore how each sibling lives his or her life with that knowledge. There is little interweaving to connect the siblings' lives in adulthood, but the individual stories give a look at four dis- tinctive personalities and their reliance on fate. N.E.M. Penguin Audio 11.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525497639 $20.00 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525497646 $95.00 Fiction April/May 2018 n 35 THE GREAT ALONE Kristin Hannah Read by Julia Whelan Listeners, beware: You won't want to stop listening to narrator Julia Whelan's performance of this complex story of survival and family set in a 1970s Alaskan homesteading commu- nity. Ernt, a Vietnam POW survivor; his wife, Cora; and their teenage daughter, Leni—all newly arrived and ill-pre- pared to make it through a northern winter—have darker demons to face than Mother Nature. With pitch-perfect timing and a touch of drama, Whelan exquisitely builds the tension, creating an enveloping atmosphere of foreboding that's difficult to turn away from. Whelan's believable portrayals of the local population; her heart-grabbing delivery of young Leni's seen-too-much, grown-up-too-fast perspective; and her performance of Ernt's terrifying bouts with PTSD, all set against gorgeous descriptions of an unforgiving, untamed Alaska, create a don't-miss audio- book experience. C.B.L. Macmillan Audio 15 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781427212689 $44.99 (also DD) "Recording this beautiful and brutal book is possibly the most rewarding experience I've ever had in the booth. I loved every second of it." —Narrator Julia Whelan A don't-miss audiobook experience. Photo by Kei Moreno

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