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Download A Disorder Peculiar to the Country: A Novel Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample A Disorder Peculiar to the Country: A Novel (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Ken Kalfus
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (689 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ken Kalfus Narrator: James Boles Publisher: Audio Evolution Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN:
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Joyce and Marshall Harriman are in the midst of a contentious divorce, but still sharing a cramped, over-mortgaged Brooklyn apartment with their two children. On the morning of September 11, Joyce departs for Newark to catch a flight to San Francisco, and Marshall, after dropping the kids at daycare, heads for his office in the World Trade Center.

She misses her flight and he's late for work, but on that grim day, in a devastated city, among millions seized by fear and grief, each thinks the other is dead, and each is secretly, shamefully, gloriously happy. As their bitter divorce is further complicated by anthrax scares, suicide bombs, foreign wars, and the stock-market collapse, they suffer, in ways unexpectedly personal and increasingly ludicrous, the many strange ravages of our time.

In this astonishing black comedy, Kalfus suggests how our nation's public calamities have encroached upon our most private illusions.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ania | 2/19/2014

    " I really liked this book at first - the dark comedy mised in with post 9-11. But I didn't think it ended well and just kind of fell apart about halfway through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claudia Moscovici | 2/12/2014

    " Who would have thought that a satire about as serious a subject as 9/11 would be possible? But it was, and Ken Kalfus did it masterfully (and, of course, comically). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erik | 2/4/2014

    " This was an interesting idea, though the overall story was lacking. The novel was the story about a NYC couple going through an ugly divorce. At the beginning, each assumed the other was killed in the 9/11 attackes on the WTC, but the book lost steam as it progressed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meghan Davison | 2/2/2014

    " The only other fiction about 9/11 that I've read is Jonathan Safran Foer's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," which is heartbreaking. And yet it is somehow easier to read than Kalfus' sardonic look at 9/11. It is uncomfortable reading an account of 9/11 that isn't meant to make us sad. It is uncomfortable reading about characters who grieve not for what they lost but for what they wish was lost. It is uncomfortable reading about unsympathetic characters when we want to read about heroes. But if you can get past that, Kalfus writes an excellent study of human nature--- especially our ability to make even the grandest tragedy about ourselves. The two main characters, Joyce and Marshall, are a couple going through a hateful divorce which consumes their lives far more than the terrorist attacks. They think about happier times and how they dissolved into such a bitter marriage and wonder: how did we come to this? In fact, every event in the book, every argument, every relationship, every missed warning about the attacks, every mistaken piece of evidence about WMD forces us to ask, how did we come to this? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janice | 1/30/2014

    " An interesting perspective on 9/11 from the point of view of a couple getting a divorce. A tough topic to read about on both fronts, but worth reading! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 1/20/2014

    " The book is a fascinating story of the war between two people as a metaphor for the destruction of post-9/11 New York. It's ballsy of Kalfus to compare private and public terrorism, but he pulls it off in a fast and compelling read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Arielle Rittvo | 1/14/2014

    " A really pointless book that has no depth "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rob | 1/14/2014

    " Yawn. Loved the first chapter, liked where the second went, then.....huh? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devin | 1/12/2014

    " Brilliant, startling, shocking, hilarious, sobering. This satirical look at a post-9/11 world draws on a number of rich literary traditions as it studies the ludicrous, bitter, and startling collision of our nation's public catastrophes and one couple's private illusions. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alicia | 12/30/2013

    " I tried listening to this. I thought that perhaps the 9/11 tragedy would be in the "background" of the story. It was not. I enjoy dark humor, but there was nothing humorous about the few chapters I made myself listen to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 12/1/2013

    " I enjoyed the tie in with 9/11, but not the best story. Many parts left me completely lost and unsure what was going on. Divorce seems awful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathaniel | 11/28/2013

    " A strange saga of a couple going through a hellish divorce with 9/11 playing the backdrop. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Becky | 11/21/2013

    " I thought this book would be a quirky take on post 9-11 new york. it was like a bad, terribly written mid life crisis with surreal scenes where the soon to be divorced dad makes a home-made bomb and straps it to himself. The first 20 or 30 pages were funny -- the rest was craph. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lonnie | 12/31/2012

    " I don't know. I just finished reading it and I haven't processed it yet. Any thoughts on the ending? I would love to discuss this with someone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terra | 12/17/2012

    " I was prepared to read about 9/11 with this novel, so it didn't bother me. Kalfus's writing and storytelling are extremely effective (mainly at making me never, ever want to get divorced, especially living in NYC), but I found some plot holes. Overall, a good and timely read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 12/11/2012

    " Def liked the black comedy of it, wasn't sure about the politics of the author. Worth a read and a discussion, rather than just an exciting read. Easy reading in a good way - ie, not light but not challenging. It was good for traveling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Catherine | 5/4/2012

    " Ugh. This is not a dark comedy, it's just dark. And not exceptionally smart, in my opinion. Just depressing. The 9/11 stuff is gritty and real, but is not the meat of the book. Nothing compare to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is a brilliant book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sheila | 12/13/2011

    " Hated every character from start to finish. If that was his objective, he was beyond successful. Had a few moments of insight about 9/11 when it wasn't boring me to tears and making me wish the two main characters had perished in the attacks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Nadine | 10/5/2011

    " I read quite a lot 9/11 novels so far. This one's quite nasty. I'm angry at those characters for being do selfish and not thinking of what they do to their kids. I'm not finished yet. I'm curious how Joyce and Marshall work out their problems. Or better if they do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rodney | 8/11/2011

    " Penetrating on how the whole country went crazy after 9/11. Dark comedy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 8/2/2011

    " It's pretty impressive that someone successfully pulled off writing a comedy about 9/11 without iit being tasteless "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sam Sigelakis-Minski | 5/26/2011

    " Good read, but very unsettling at times. Good for reflection, not good if you are looking for a reconciliation tale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ross | 5/18/2011

    " Good read. While 9/11 is a central character in this book, this book is also the story of a relationship -- one gone awry. Intriguing read, pretty quick. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeffrey | 4/1/2011

    " 9/11 and acrimonious divorce. Which is mostly terrific. I think it's one of those odd ones that could work even better as a movie, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katy | 1/4/2011

    " Quick, easy read. The dark humor gave a different perspective to the events of 09/11. I felt that the text and subjects were a bit too jumbled for my taste, but I assume it was the intention of the author given the subject of the novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 7/3/2010

    " A quick read about the disintegration of a relationship in the wake of 9/11. The pampered, spoiled couple are unappealing, yet you keep reading to see which one is more wretched in the end. Have a sedative on hand for the recoil of contempt. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mournfulbliss | 5/21/2010

    " This book is creatively witty while still being true to the historic facts. Basically, Ken Kalfus takes the events of 9/11 and the other horrific events in America at the time and put it into real fictional lives. This is a must read if you have a dry humor, witty, sarcastic like. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MJ | 4/22/2010

    " A scathing War of the Roses story set among the backdrop of September 11.

    Profoundly vicious, yet strangely compassionate. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 2/19/2010

    " This book just didn't do it for me. Its type of humor... well, I didn't really find anything funny. And I surely didn't care about the two main characters or their kids as they went through their wreck of a divorce. The most interesting thing about it is the title. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jenifer | 2/9/2010

    " Darkly funny in spots. I appreciated its dressing down of our tendency to personalize events bigger than us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teryl | 1/9/2010

    " Strange and sad. An interesting take on post 9/11. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 11/12/2009

    " It's pretty impressive that someone successfully pulled off writing a comedy about 9/11 without iit being tasteless "

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