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Extended Audio Sample A Friend of the Family Audiobook, by Lauren Grodstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.36 out of 53.36 out of 53.36 out of 53.36 out of 53.36 out of 5 3.36 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lauren Grodstein Narrator: Rick Adamson Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781598879445
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When he sets out to derail his son's inappropriate romance, he just wants to make sure the boy has a decent future. But his world shatters in the process. This tale charts a father's fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gripping…[Grodstein] has succeeded in shattering the image of suburban happiness.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Horrifyingly plausible and deeply poignant, A Friend of the Family will leave you shaken and chastened—and grateful for the warning.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Involving at every level: character, plot, language. one of the more complicated portraits of a father’s love for his son we’ve ever read…Highly recommended.”

    McSweeney’s

  • “Grodstein’s harsh, honest prose makes this haunting tale worthwhile.”

    People

  • “An astute dissector of male aspiration, Grodstein brings great insight into a father’s protective urge for his son in this gripping portrait of an American family in crisis.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “With keen responsiveness to the emotional undercurrents and incremental deepening of stress, Adamson potently communicates the power and intensity of the characters’ conflicts and their implacable decisions. His interpretation of Laura’s crime is particularly moving and compassionate. Adamson is keenly sensitive to the roller-coaster elements of the plot, vigorously capturing a sense of impending doom.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Stunning…She has written a novel that will leave her readers sitting up, sifting the evidence in the dead of night.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Spot-on in its depiction of affection and jealousy among longtime friends; boozy suburban bashes; unrequited love; and adjusting to middle age…A Friend of the Family beautifully captures the ever-striving angst of parents who will take any step to ensure their children’s lives are easier or better. Parents sweating through a teen’s college applications would do well to spend some time with Dr. Pete.”

    USA Today

  • “Unfolds with suspense worthy of Hitchcock…[Grodstein] is a terrific storyteller.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Selected for the November 2009 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 2/16/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. Typical dysfunctional family story but well done and very entertaining. Illustrated the fine line between encouraging your children and/or controlling them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 2/11/2014

    " one of those depressing books that makes you wonder why anyone ever gets married and moves to the suburbs. thankfully, real life is not always so bleak! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrienne Cregar Jandler | 2/5/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed 'A Friend of the Family', my first read by Lauren Grodstein. This gripping story is told from the perspective of Pete Dizinoff, a suburban father, husband and physician, whose life spirals out of control. The interesting thing is that he hasn't made any big or shocking choices, but rather a series of small, ordinary decisions that instead turn horribly wrong. Great book - I'll be reading more of hers! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sunny Shore | 2/4/2014

    " Great storytelling...a suburban dream gone haywire, about an upstanding New Jersey doctor who goes to great lengths to ensure his son's future. Many baby boomers will relate to Dr. Pete, as their friend and neighbor who brags about the son who is a baseball star or got into MIT...it is all very familiar territory. Perhaps, that's what makes it all the more frightening. With one child, Pete pins all his hopes and dreams onto Alec who cannot live up to his expectations and this college dropout takes up with a friend of the family's daughter, 10 years older than the boy, who has her own serious mental problems. It is too much for baby boomer Peter to bear. This book is a compelling read - one you won't put down till the last page ...a cross between the Bergen county area Harlan Coben thrillers and a Jewish family saga.(They even mention Rockland Bakery!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liza | 2/1/2014

    " Enjoyed this book--read it in just a few days. Kept my interest and Grodstein alternated between flashback and and present-tense, which kept me reading! Good airplane book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 1/29/2014

    " Have you ever wished really hard that a person you particularly dislike would just go away...forever? I have and perhaps that's why this book held my interest until the very end. Pete has high hopes for his only son Alec (in spite of the fact Alec seems to be on the fast road to inertia having recently dropped out of college). When Laura, a woman with a really disturbing past takes in interest in Alec, Pete will do whatever it takes to break them apart. What complicates matters is the fact that Laura is Pete's best friend's daughter. Not particularly memorable but quite readable I could definitely relate to Pete's frustration "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kari | 1/26/2014

    " This book was definitely a page turner and I found myself longing for time to set aside from my busy day to continue reading. Great character descriptions and the intricacies of the relationships with long time friends. However, the ending fell flat for me. Is it that we are desensitized and expect a dramatic ending? Is this more of "real life"? Perhaps. Regardless, the ending was not complete or not "quite right" and I found myself irritated, saying, "This is it??!!!" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kylielibrary | 1/21/2014

    " This book really surprised me, it was well written. The author had a way with words that was refreshing. The character of the father though is really great because the reader at first is sympathetic towards him, then in the end you grow to loathe him. "

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

    " This book was well written and paced, but I'm not rating it higher because all the characters are slightly (or more than slightly) loathsome or pitiful, which means I didn't engage with it as fully as I might have. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lillian | 12/17/2013

    " interesting tale of family dynamics but writing was a little strained. Overall I can't recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roland | 11/17/2013

    " i love family trauma novels, this fit the bill "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tisha | 10/7/2013

    " This satisfied my need for something meaty and long (this was semi-long). Great story; written in a fashion that could be a turn off--it jumps around quite a bit--but the author does it do seamlessly that it didn't become that for me. Definitely recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhea Abramson | 10/5/2013

    " ripped through this...couldn't wait to find out what happened. Was a little disappointed by the ending. Compelling enough to stop me from watching tv for a few days : ) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer Price | 6/22/2013

    " started out really good, but went downhill. The writing was good, but the story was very sad and a bit unbelievable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Yahola | 6/6/2013

    " Lots of flip-flopping between past and present. A lot of the information given seemed very insignificant. Good climax, unexpected. Seemed slow until about 75% of the way through. Not the worst book I've read, but not the greatest by far! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 5/17/2013

    " The riveting story of a man who has everything and loses it all in one moment of bad judgment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lesley Green | 5/14/2013

    " now i understand why the person that gave me this book wants to discuss it. A very gripping story of a friendship, family, good intentions and a fathers love for his child. I stayed up til it was done because i was so grabbed by the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheila Good | 3/12/2013

    " Another story of family tragedy and what a parent might do to protect their child - the lengths we go. Good read but unsettling "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana | 3/7/2013

    " This new novel is about two closely knit families, and the relationship between two of the children that tears them apart--that sounds like a cliche, and unfortunately,it felt that way as I was reading it. Nothing in the narrative was especially surprising or interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pat | 6/27/2012

    " This was a disappointing book. Chick lit, at its worse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annette Frost | 5/13/2012

    " I really was not sure where this book was going. It picked up toward the end, but I felt like the whole flashback concept didn't quite work because I never knew what was going on in the present. Nonetheless, I liked it and would read another book by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Zarling | 4/6/2012

    " OK. Predictable "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Magan | 3/6/2012

    " An enjoyable read that was not predictable. However, the author sometimes used unfamiliar and obscure words when something simpler would have sufficed. This small thing detracted from the reading experience a bit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin Antalek | 10/17/2011

    " So far...amazing. I'm a huge fan of her work. If you haven't read The Best of Animals or Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love.... you should. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 6/23/2011

    " The story of Pete, his wife Elaine and son Alec...and also their relationship with friends Joe&Iris and their daughter Laura - a story of life, building what you think will be the perfect life, of mistakes children make and trying to protect them from the world and sometimes themselves too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jody Schwartz | 5/10/2011

    " Just finished this! Couldn't stop at the end! A story about a Jewish family and their expectations for their only child. Poses questions about how to deal with the reality when as a parent your expectations and your child's desires clash. Understandable from all perspectives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 3/28/2011

    " This was just a really good read, highly engaging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sb | 3/10/2011

    " A little slow, but still a good read. You feel bad for the characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rebekah | 3/8/2011

    " Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring and predictable. I only finished it because it talked about places I knew from living in NJ. Other than that, it wasn't at all interesting and took me forever to read because I just couldn't get through it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 3/6/2011

    " Was disappointed by the end of this book. Good writing and interesting subject matter, but I felt like she didn't know how to end it.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 3/3/2011

    " I liked this. I don't know that I was crazy about the ending -- I was expecting some Bigger Reveal -- but in terms of the journey, I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 3/2/2011

    " Kept me going to the end - tightly paced and well-written if not brilliant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 3/1/2011

    " This is one of those disturbing cautionary tales about the dangers of unfettered parental concern and ambition for one's children (in this case, a father and his son). It moves along at a fast clip, and leaves the reader with much to think about. Terrific. "

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About the Author
Author Lauren Grodstein

Lauren Grodstein is the author of the collection The Best of Animals and several novels, including Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love, which was both a Breakout Book selection from Amazon.com and a Borders Original Voices pick. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.

About the Narrator

Rick Adamson is an award-winning voice artist with more than twenty years’ experience in voiceovers, spoken word events, event announcing, and children’s media, as well as commercials for well-known international corporations. He has narrated numerous television and film documentaries, including Croatia, co-narrated with Martin Sheen. His audiobook narration includes more than two dozen major books, as well as dozens of early-reader titles for juveniles. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2011 for Best Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction for In a Heartbeat, and he was among the finalists for the 2006 Audie Award for Best Personal Development/Motivational Work for Younger Next Year. He earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for the ensemble narration of Rough Water.