Log In

Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Get a digital subscription to Publishers Weekly for only $18.95/month.

Your subscription gives you instant access exclusive feature articles on notable figures in the publishing industry, he latest industry news, interviews of up and coming authors and bestselling authors, and access over 200,000 book reviews.

PW "All Access" site license members have access to PW's subscriber-only website content. To find out more about PW's site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time.

Down the River unto the Sea

Walter Mosley, read by Dion Graham. Hachette Audio, , 6 CDs, 7.5 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-1-4789-7631-8

Graham’s low, whispery voice is a perfect match for the protagonist of Mosley’s standalone about a former NYPD detective turned private eye whose police career unraveled after he served nine months in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Joe King Oliver lives in the shadows as he tries desperately to clear his own name while seeking justice for his client, a black journalist who been framed for supposedly killing two cops. Graham is totally convincing as the perpetually scared and often drunk Oliver, who, despite all his sordidness and depression, also manages to sound kind and caring, especially when interacting with his teen daughter. Graham gives her and each of the other secondary characters—Oliver’s violent enemies, his loyal friends, and his ex-wife and love interest, among others—a subtly identifiable voice. Graham, like Mosley, is a master of depicting the complexity of the human spirit. Both author and actor work to enthrall listeners in Oliver’s story. A Mulholland hardcover. (Feb.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
I Have Lost My Way

Gayle Forman, read by Nicole Lewis, Sunil Malhotra, and Michael Crouch. Books on Tape, unabridged, 6 CDs, 7.5 hrs., $50 ISBN 978-0-525-63627-4

With varying degrees of success, three actors lend their voices to the audio edition of Forman’s YA novel. The story centers on three young adults, all hurting in unseen ways, who stumble upon one another in Central Park and become ad hoc family over the course of a single day. The standout performance comes from actor Malhotra, who sounds entirely believable as Harun, a closeted teen who has kept his personal life hidden from his Pakistani immigrant parents for fear of hurting them. He is a diehard fan of up-and-coming singer Freya, the female member of the trio. Actor Lewis is convincing as Freya, whose gravelly speaking voice is feisty and confident, but she falters when providing dreadful accents for Freda’s fast-talking English music manager and Ethiopian father. The third performance, by veteran YA narrator Crouch as Freya’s love interest Nathaniel, is quietly effective as he inhabits an introverted character who opens up as he grows closer to Freya and Harun over the course of the book. There are lovely moments, but the performances never come together to form a cohesive whole. Ages 14–up. A Viking hardcover. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban-American Underworld

T.J. English, read by Tim Andrés Pabon. HarperAudio, , unabridged, digital download, 19 hrs., $36.99 ISBN 978-1-53849-7593

Voice actor Pabon’s fluid narration adds clarity to English’s multigenerational true crime saga about the criminal exploits of the Cuban mafia in America in the decades after the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The book follows the career of José Miguel Battle, aka El Gordo, who led the Cuban mob to the United States and launched a hugely profitable numbers racket known as the bolita while wreaking havoc on the streets of Union City, N.J., and Miami. Actor Pabon guides listeners through a confusing landscape of characters with sure-footedness and fluency in both English and Spanish. The book contains numerous accounts of vicious crimes committed by rival bolita outfits; Pabon’s steady, calm reading voice helps to dial down that violence and allow listeners to stay focused on the larger narrative. Pabon’s skillful narration and English’s rich story combine to make this a gripping audiobook. A Morrow hardcover. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Knowledge: A Richard Jury Mystery

Martha Grimes, read by Steve West. Dreamscape Media, 10 CDs, 12 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-974901-44-9

West’s melodious British baritone smoothly sorts through the complicated plot and numerous characters in Grimes’s 24th Richard Jury mystery. Det. Supt. Richard Jury is hunting for the man who shot and killed American physicist David Moffitt and his wife, Rebecca, in front of London’s Artemis Club, a swanky art galley cum casino. The investigation leads Jury and his team to Africa following a tip from one of the kids in the Filth, a rough-and-tumble pack of kids, who spotted the murderer boarding a plane to Nairobi. West effortlessly transitions from one quirky character to the next. He gives delightful accents to British gentry such as Jury’s sidekick, Melrose Plant, as well as to Plant’s servants, Ruthven and Martha. He’s even credible as the boys and girls of the Filth, particularly 10-year-old Patty, a competent schemer who tails the murderer as far as Nairobi and Tanzania. West is just as convincing when providing the voice of the hip owner of the art galley as he is in rendering the cool and confident cabbie who knows the streets of London backwards and forwards. West’s mastery of Grimes’s wit, twisting plot, and zany characters will keep listeners hooked from start to finish. An Atlantic Monthly hardcover. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, read by the author. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 13 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-525-58874-0

Noted chef, restaurateur, and public television personality Bastianich brings a natural kindheartedness to the audio edition of her autobiography. The book provides a sprawling account of Bastianich’s life, beginning on the Istrian peninsula, where she was born in February 1947, the same month the region was overtaken by Tito’s Communist regime. At age 11, she moved to a refugee camp in Trieste, Italy, where she lived for two years before relocating permanently to America. In her new country, she was able to turn her love of food into a host of family-run business ventures. Bastianich opts for a straightforward reading and speaks lovingly of farm rituals, including slaughtering livestock, harvesting crops, and­—most importantly—cooking family meals. Bastianich’s tone manages to blend a somber reverence for the challenges of immigrant life with a whimsical, adventuresome spirit. Her serious devotion to food and family is evident throughout this enjoyable audiobook. A Knopf hardcover. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

John Leland, read by Robert Petkoff. Macmillan Audio, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 7 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-9332-9

Veteran voice actor Petkoff subtly captures the personalities of the six subjects in New York Times reporter Leland’s study of the lives of New Yorkers over the age of 85. Following each of his subjects over the course of a year, Leland counters commonly held assumptions about this growing demographic and addresses the realities of aging. For the audio edition, Petkoff wisely opts outs of full-on characterizations, instead choosing to convey the individual demeanors of the three men and three women who comprise the study. His performance comes alive in the direct quotes and turns of phrases, such as nursing home resident Helen Moses’s feisty refrain “bring me a gin and tonic” when conversing about her active social life and romantic entanglements. Others don’t quite share Helen’s zest for new adventures, and Petkoff adjusts his tone to tackle Leland’s discussions of loneliness, depression, and even the wish to die. Petkoff’s balanced approach nicely complements the complexities of Leland’s research. A FSG/Crichton hardcover. (Jan.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
All We Can Do Is Wait

Richard Lawson, read by Holly Linneman. Books on Tape, library edition, 8 CDs, 9.5 hrs., $60 ISBN 978-0-525-53157-9

Reader Linneman’s emotional, empathetic narration draws readers into Lawson’s YA novel about a tragic bridge collapse that brings together several teenagers who meet in the waiting room of Boston General Hospital. When the Tobin Bridge collapses into Boston’s Mystic River, the initial death toll is over 200. As Skylar, Morgan, and siblings Alexa and Jason wait to hear whether their loved ones survived the collapse, they form connections with each other. Rather than a straightforward reading, actor Linneman captures the emotional toil of each character over the course of that one harrowing evening, as well as in flashbacks revealing their relationships to the victims. Her voice trembles tearful, joyful, loving, or scared––depending on what the moment requires. This brings an immediacy and vibrancy to such lines as, “The first time he kissed Kyle, Jason had felt like he was both lifting off the earth and sinking into it.” Linneman also creates distinctive voices for the characters, most memorably the strong Boston accent of Morgan. Linneman’s impressive narration elevates this excellent novel. Ages 12–up. A Razorbill hardcover. (Feb.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope

Chessy Prout, with Jenn Abelson, read by Chessy Prout. S&S Audio, unabridged, 9 CDs, 11 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-5082-4910-8

A young survivor of sexual assault poignantly recounts the trauma of her experience in the audio edition of her memoir. Prout was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted by a senior at her prep school, St. Paul’s School—and there are times in this heartfelt narration where her vulnerability is on full display. Her voice breaks when describing the rape and when she tells of the moment she first realized she could be a voice for survivors. Mostly, though, the now college-age Prout comes across as strong, capable, and rightly angry—especially when telling of the many ways people affiliated with the school attempted to shame her into silence and rallied around her attacker by helping to fund his legal defense. Prout’s performance is natural and unforced, alternating between the gentle tones she reserves to describe the support of various family members and the fierce, uncompromising pitch she adopts when detailing the abuse and its chilling aftermath. The audiobook offers some bonus content at the end: Prout’s mother reads her own afterword of advice for victims and their families, and coauthor Abelson, a Boston Globe reporter, offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of the book’s creation. This confident audio adaptation reflects both the strength and the fragility of its young author and narrator. Ages 14–up. A S&S/McElderry hardcover. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors

Daniel Tudor and James Pearson, read by Derek Perkins. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, 4 CDs, 5 hrs., $31.99 ISBN 978-1-5436-7779-9

Veteran voice actor Perkins’s straightforward narration leads listeners through this study of everyday experiences of the 24 million North Koreans living under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-un. The authors readily admit that reporting on North Korea is a challenge given the wall of secrecy, isolation, and fear that surrounds the country and its inhabitants; still, they manage to draw out a few tantalizing glimpses into everyday life—such as how the government dictates the hairstyles and clothing choices for its populace, with deviations from prescribed looks potentially resulting in prison time. Perkins delivers the information in a clear voice, but the book—which is more sociological study than nonfiction narrative—offers no individual story lines and little in the way of emotional weight. As a result, listeners are confronted with a steady stream of names, cities, dates, and other facts. Perkins works well with what he has, but the source material’s dryness is hard to overcome. A Tuttle hardcover. (Feb.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon

Robert Kurson, read by Ray Porter. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-525-52700-8

Voice actor Porter effortlessly captures the full swing of events that led America to surpass the Soviet Union in the race to be the first country to orbit moon. Set against the backdrop of Vietnam War protests and racial tensions following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the story centers on the three astronauts picked to head the excursion. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, along with a team of NASA engineers, planned and executed the mission in the span of four months. Porter fully captures the thrill of pulling together the risky Apollo mission, in which the slightest miscalculation could have meant death for the three-man crew. Whether laying out the technical specs of a rocket, conveying the human interactions between the astronauts and their families, or recreating in-flight banter between the crew, Porter’s narration is highly engaging. Skillfully rendered by Porter, this is an epic tale of American triumph. A Random House hardcover. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 05/25/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.