Above the Fire: A Novel Audiobook, by Michael O’Donnell Play Audiobook Sample

Above the Fire: A Novel Audiobook

Above the Fire: A Novel Audiobook, by Michael O’Donnell Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Robert Fass Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.17 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.88 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: December 2023 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9798200987856

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

86:05 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

44:03 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

65:41 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Michael O’Donnell: > View All...

Publisher Description

An enthralling debut, Above the Fire crystallizes the relationship between a father and son as they survive a winter of isolation. Perfect for fans of The Dog Stars by Peter Heller and The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Laboring under a shared loss, Doug and his young son, Tim, set out on a late season backpacking trip through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They find beauty and solidarity in the outdoors, making friends along the trail and falling into the rhythms of an expedition. But when reports of warfare and social collapse reach the ranger station, Doug—seeking to protect the only family he has left—withdraws even further into the backcountry.

The alpine winter presents its own dangers, as father and son must endure the elements, the solitude, and the ever-present threat of outsiders. As their isolation intensifies, and the nature of the country’s disorder becomes more unsettling, their bond with each other grows more fierce. But as spring approaches, they must decide whether—and how—to confront the perils of a changed world.

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“Above the Fire is a timely and tense novel about a loving father forced to prepare his son for a cold and uncertain world. With his terrific debut, O’Donnell invents the counterpart to the ‘summer beach read'—call it the ‘winter cabin fever read'—and his careful prose thrusts the reader into a worst-case scenario where every choice could mean life or death.”

— Kevin Guilfoile, screenwriter and author of Cast of Shadows and The Thousand 


  • “A prescient, timely novel of sacrifice and consequence, O’Donnell’s debut soars as a modern survival tale full of timeless, biting prose. Fireside reading with a pulse, Above the Fire commands attention and satiates the appetite for a unique plot that honors a classic dilemma. A triumph.”

    — Ross Ritchell, author of The Knife
  • “Above the Fire is a quiet, thrilling, profound book. Set against the backdrop of catastrophe, it is a meditation on fatherhood, love, resilience, and loss. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

    — Jon Fasman, author of The Geographer’s Library and The Unpossessed City
  • “At once fierce and touching, Above the Fire is a powerful story of parenthood and grief, nature and civilization, and the raw essentials of life.”

    — A. D. Miller, Booker Prize–shortlisted author of Snowdrops
  • “A terse, well-paced story that effectively blends the elements of a classic nature adventure tale with a touching portrait of the loving relationship between a parent and child.”

    — Shelf Awareness
  • “An utterly gripping debut novel about humans surmounting threats both external and emotional.”

    — Booklist (starred review)

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About Michael O’Donnell

Michael O’Donnell is the author of the novel Above the Fire. His writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and other publications. He has been a member of the National Book Critics Circle since 2005. An attorney by profession, he lives in the Chicago area, where he practices law. He earned his bachelor’s degree with distinction from Indiana University and his law degree magna cum laude from Boston College.

About Robert Fass

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and twice winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has earned multiple Earphones Awards and been named in AudioFile magazine’s list of the year’s best narrations for six years.