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A Perfect Universe: Ten Stories Audiobook, by Scott O’Connor Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Scott O’Connor Narrator: Bronson Pinchot, Therese Plummer, Thérèse Plummer Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2018 ISBN: 9781538436165
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Scott O’Connor’s novels have been hailed as “astonishing” (Library Journal), and “so insistently stirring, you want to lean in close to catch every word” (New York Times Book Review). Now, from the author of Untouchable and Half World comes A Perfect Universe, a piercingly emotional cycle of stories in the tradition of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad and Annie Proulx’s Close Range.

Welcome to the often-overlooked corners of sun-bleached Los Angeles, where a teenaged bicycle thief searches for a kidnapped boy, a young musician emerges as the lone survivor of a building collapse, and an aging actor faces the erasure of his past. There, far from the Hollywood spotlight, we also meet two sisters locked in a destructive cycle of memory and illness, coffee-shop regulars whose lives are torn apart by a stunning moment of violence, and the desperate, fraudulent writer whose fictions connect these unforgettable characters in subtle and surprising ways.

Sharply observed, exhilaratingly paced, and beautifully written, A Perfect Universe is a masterful exploration of growing up and growing old, loss and longing, identity and deception, and the search for redemption, humanity, and grace.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The ten stories gathered here are remarkable…With the popularity of short-story collections on the rise, O’Connor’s addition to the ranks stands out and shines.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Each fast-moving story presents a vivid sense of a California beyond the bright lights of Hollywood…Fans of Jennifer Egan will enjoy O’Connor’s depiction of angst and ennui in capitalist California.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “O’Connor creates a world where everything feels precarious, on the verge of collapse…This fictional world feels all too familiar and leaves us hoping for a more perfect universe, one with job stability, devoted parents, access to education, successful marriages. But, as O’Connor shows, our vices are what make us so delicately and chaotically human. A catalog of imperfections neatly packaged within a book.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Scott O’Connor’s beautifully wrought stories are sharp-edged, unflinching, and filled with the kind of precision of language that etches images into the mind. His characters’ lives are ingeniously connected by a 70s cult sci-fi film, but what really binds them is the often heartbreaking and always surprising ways they attempt to find purchase in the world they inhabit, one which can feel as out of reach and inscrutable as the farthest star.”

    Marisa Silver, author of Little Nothing

  • “Through a kaleidoscopic cast of characters teeming with desires, hopes, frustrations, and regrets, the compelling stories in Thalassa excite the imagination while appealing to the heart. Scott O’Connor’s crystalline prose delivers an ambitious range of voices and narrative structures that reflect the bewildering complexity and quiet beauty of our modern world.”

    John Pipkin, author of Woodsburner

  • “I fell in love with these characters from the first page. The storytelling in this book—tender and attentive, starkly poetic, and always surprising—moved me at every turn.”

    Attica Locke, author of Pleasantville

  • “Scott O’Connor’s riveting exploration into the hopes, the losses, and triumphs of his characters plunges the reader into sprawling Los Angeles, where the entertainment business looms like an extra moon. A brilliant storyteller, O’Connor inhabits his characters and pulls us in after them, exploring lives in which everything is up for grabs and nothing is what you think.”

    Kit Reed, author of The Story until Now

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About the Author

Scott O’Connor is the author of the novella Among Wolves, and the novels Untouchable and Half World. He has been awarded the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and his stories have been short-listed for the Sunday Times/EFG Story Prize and cited as Distinguished in Best American Short Stories. Additional work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Zyzzyva, The Rattling Wall, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

About the Narrators

Bronson Pinchot, an Audie Award–winning narrator and Audible’s Narrator of the Year for 2010, received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.

Thérèse Plummer is an actor, award-winning voice-over artist, and counselor. She is a winner of several AudioFile Earphones Award and has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has appeared in a variety of television and film roles. As a counselor for adolescents, she spent five years using drama therapy techniques in individual and group settings.

Thérèse Plummer is an actor, award-winning voice-over artist, and counselor. She is a winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has appeared in a variety of television and film roles. As a counselor for adolescents, she spent five years using drama therapy techniques in individual and group settings.