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Extended Audio Sample A Thousand Pardons, by Jonathan Dee Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Dee Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Once a privileged and loving couple, the Armsteads have now reached a breaking point. Ben, a partner in a prestigious law firm, has become unpredictable at work and withdrawn at home—a change that weighs heavily on his wife, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara. Then, in one afternoon, Ben’s recklessness takes an alarming turn, and everything the Armsteads have built together unravels, swiftly and spectacularly.   

Thrust back into the working world, Helen finds a job in public relations and relocates with Sara from their home in upstate New York to an apartment in Manhattan. There, Helen discovers she has a rare gift, indispensable in the world of image control: She can convince arrogant men to admit their mistakes, spinning crises into second chances. Yet redemption is more easily granted in her professional life than in her personal one.   

As she is confronted with the biggest case of her career, the fallout from her marriage, and Sara’s increasingly distant behavior, Helen must face the limits of accountability and her own capacity for forgiveness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dee’s gifts are often dazzling and his material meticulously shaped…[He] articulates complex emotional dynamics with precision and insight.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Dee bounds gracefully among Helen’s, Ben’s, and Sara’s points of view as they try to reassemble their lives. Their stories feel honest, and the prose is beautiful.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Graceful prose and such a sharp understanding of human weakness that you’ll wince as you laugh.”


  • “Dee continues to establish himself as an ironic observer of contemporary behavior…The plot is energetic…But most compelling is the acuteness of the details.”


  • A Thousand Pardons is that rare thing: a genuine literary thriller. Eerily suspenseful and packed with dramatic event, it also offers a trenchant, hilarious portrait of our collective longing for authenticity in these over-mediated times.”

    Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

  • “Dee is adept at meshing the complexities of marriage and family life with the paradoxes of the zeitgeist. In his sixth meticulously lathed and magnetizing novel, he riffs on the practice of crisis management…[and] nets the absurdities of a society geared to communicate in a thousand electronic modes while those closest to each other can barely make eye connect.”


  • “With his sixth novel, Pulitzer finalist Dee has written a page turner without sacrificing a smidgen of psychological insight. What a triumph.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2013
  • Selected for the March 2013 Indie Next List
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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