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Extended Audio Sample All That Is: A Novel, by James Salter 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: James Salter Narrator: Joe Barrett Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An extraordinary literary event, a major new novel by the PEN/Faulkner winner and acclaimed master, here is a sweeping, seductive, deeply moving story set in the years after World War II.

After his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair—a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe—a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, love eludes him. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen, and finally he meets a woman who enthralls him and sets him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.

Romantic and haunting, All That Is explores a life unfolding in a world on the brink of change. It is a dazzling, sometimes devastating labyrinth of love and ambition, a fiercely intimate account of the great shocks and grand pleasures of being alive.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A beautiful novel, with sufficient love, heartbreak, vengeance, identity confusion, longing, and euphoria of language to have satisfied Shakespeare.”

    John Irving, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “A consistently elegant and enjoyable novel, full of verve and wisdom.”

    Julian Barnes, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Enthralling…A vividly imagined and beautifully written evocation of a postwar world.”

    John Banville, Man Booker Prize–winning author

  • “The best novel I’ve read in years. All That Is will be treasured by its readers. Salter’s vivid, lucid prose does exquisite justice to his subject—the relentless struggle to make good on our own humanity. Once again he has delivered to us a novel of the highest artistry.”

    Tim O’Brien, National Book Award–winning author

  • “This masterpiece is a smooth, absorbing narrative studded with bright particulars. If God is in the details, this book is divine.”

    Edmund White, National Book Critics Circle Award–winning author

  • “Salter plunges into the capricious world of book publishing…Think Mad Men with more tweed…The sentence-to-sentence craftsmanship is stunning, and Salter can still write a perfect love scene.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Highly decorated literary hero James Salter burnishes his reputation with All That Is.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Salter is one of the most celebrated living American writers, and after a seven-year hiatus he returns with possibly his best work yet.”

    Marie Claire

  • “The everyday may be one of the hardest things to write about…To indelibly record the trivial and the portentous with the same ravenous affection, thereby persuading us that there may be no difference between the two when assaying the worth of a life or divining its mystery—that is a crowning achievement and it’s Salter’s to claim.”        

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[Salter] is a master of the sentence so vivid [that] it stuns. His sweeping new All That Is will refresh the canon of one of America’s best living writers.”

    Vogue

  • “In All That Is, the sense of time passing is ever-present. It’s a panoramic book, an intimate epic that spans seven decades in the life of Philip Bowman…All That Is abounds with Salter’s signature vivid imagery…And once again, there are unabashedly erotic scenes that border on the operatic—passages that may come as an outright shock to some.”

    Village Voice

  • “The best novel [I’ve] read in a long time…All That Is is Salter’s version of a contemporary American War and Peace, with the war, World War II, in this instance, coming first…Reading and re-reading all this, I found myself in a state that Salter’s work—as with the finest writers we know—often induces. You breathe deeply and your pulse races. The sentences, the scenes, the life, the life.”

    NPR’s All Things Considered

  • “[A] sweeping and lovely book steeped in the high drama of romance. All That Is follows Philip Bowman from his service in World War II through a career as a book editor in a bygone New York. There is no plot in a conventional sense, but in another way it has the most resonant plot of all: the unspooling of a life. The book reads like a highly intimate biography in which the search for romance—and sex—plays a starring role. Some of Bowman’s relationships come to brutal ends, but always they begin with seduction, and Salter never stints on bedroom scenes…Salter still has the muscular authority and unembarrassed romanticism that can make a man sweat.”

    GQ

  • “In [Salter’s] care, the dust of the mundane is wiped away. Events resonate. Descriptions sparkle. Salter’s mastery is such that from the affecting and effective early scenes of protagonist Philip Bowman’s experiences off Okinawa during World War II, through all the twists and turns of a life played out in a rapidly changing America, nothing about this book disappoints…As absorbing as the brief chapters on war are, the author’s scenes of seduction are equally realistic and memorable…In this book, he has rubbed words to a high sheen indeed.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “Exquisite. In widely admired novels, Salter’s great subject has been the often highly charged relations between men and women. His new novel, All That Is, revisits that subject in a mature, unsentimental story of one man’s restless search for love…The connective tissue of the story is the series of romantic entanglements into which Bowman slips almost haphazardly. His relationships flourish and fade in a variety of sharply observed settings. Whether his setting is the Virginia horse country, a stylish dinner party in London, or a Seville café, Salter writes with authority. And in painting those scenes, he captures the angst of the privileged classes who seem to have all anyone could desire and yet long for something that lies just out of reach. Salter has long been lauded for his effortlessly beautiful prose and his deft characterization. Those talents are undiminished.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Striking…seamless…beautifully done. The experience of reading [All That Is] is akin to the panoramic view of flying, when aloft and moving fast. That is Salter’s point…we drift through life, this novel suggests, without ever really getting to know those around us.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • All That Is contains a brilliant indictment of love, even as it revels in its sensual transports…It is perhaps not an accident that Salter would publish this very beautiful book at the age of eighty-eight. He senses the end in beginnings, applies the acquired wisdom of years and the terrifying perspective of accumulated experiences to the ordinary goings on the heart…It is this sense of being outside of one’s own life, one’s own loves, of experiencing or remembering an entire marriage or relationship as ‘things glimpsed from a train’ that gives Salter’s work both its depth and its difficulty, its alarming insight and its grace.”

    Slate

  • “A masterpiece…a commanding, sensual tour de force…I have learned from everything James Salter has written. In [him] I discovered not only an exquisite writer but a manner of living.”

    Departures magazine

  • “In an era characterized by sex writing that defaults to irony and comic dysfunction, Salter restores that erotic experience to a kind of exalted, tantric level throughout his books (including this new one) that is simply hot…All That Is [is] the sweeping story of a book editor’s experiences in love and war in the 1940s…The title strikes me as a kind of summational claim for the adequacy or the fullness of life as it’s lived, as opposed to another world or some metaphysical longing or longing for elsewhere.”

    Interview

  • “Joe Barrett is perfectly cast, with the warm, slightly graveled voice of a man who, like Salter’s Philip Bowman, has been around the block a few times. His performance is flawless…The production is equally polished…Pure listening pleasure. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Achingly real…Salter renders the first blushes of Bowman’s loves exquisitely—their giddiness, occasional illicitness, eroticism—and his bewilderment after the relationships fail…Salter punctuates his elegant prose with sharp, erotic punches.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With the ever-changing panorama of New York City and New York publishing as background, Salter addresses time, love, and the mystery and wonder of life itself.” 

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • One of the New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2013
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 in Fiction
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick in May 2013
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award,
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About the Author

James Salter (1925–2015) was the author of numerous books, including the novels Solo Faces, Light Years, A Sport and a Pastime, The Arm of Flesh (revised as Cassada), and The Hunters; the memoirs Gods of Tin and Burning the Days; the collections Dusk, and Other Stories, which won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Last Night. He was the recipient of the Rea Award for the Short Story and the PEN/Malamud Award. Life Is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days, was written with his wife, Kay Salter. He lived in New York and Colorado.