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Download An Available Man: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample An Available Man: A Novel Audiobook, by Hilma Wolitzer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 5 3.35 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hilma Wolitzer Narrator: Fred Sullivan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781482982367
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When Edward Schuyler, a modest and bookish sixty-two-year-old science teacher, is widowed, he finds himself ambushed by female attention. There are plenty of unattached women around, but a healthy, handsome, available man is a rare and desirable creature. Edward receives phone calls from widows seeking love, or at least lunch, while well-meaning friends try to set him up at dinner parties. Even an attractive married neighbor offers herself to him. The problem is that Edward doesn’t feel available. He’s still mourning his beloved wife, Bee, and prefers solitude and the familiar routine of work, gardening, and bird-watching. But then his stepchildren surprise him by placing a personal ad in the New York Review of Books on his behalf. Soon the letters flood in, and Edward is torn between his loyalty to Bee’s memory and his growing longing for connection. Gradually, reluctantly, he begins dating (“dating after death,” as one correspondent puts it), and his encounters are variously startling, comical, and sad. Just when Edward thinks he has the game figured out, a chance meeting proves that love always arrives when it’s least expected.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a book to savor page by page, filled with astute detail, both comic and mournful, about what it’s like to be middle-aged and lonely yet not to give up on the search for love.”

    Julia Glass, National Book Award winner

  • “A warm, keenly incisive view of life’s vicissitudes by a writer too seldom heard from.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Families are Wolitzer’s turf, and she’s an observant and often humorous chronicler of domesticity and the stuff that comes with it: illness, loss, boredom, crankiness, and, on good days, love.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This is a lovely novel, an elegant bouquet of family life, made up of tenderness and confusion, grief and solace, uncertainty and commitment, and the unexpectedness of love.”

    Roxana Robinson

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mkb | 2/18/2014

    " A sweet book about a 65-year old man whose wife of 20 years has died. And the many widows who want to hook up with him. Including his ex-fiance who left him at the alter many years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debi | 2/15/2014

    " I adored the main character of this book, a 60 something male widower, as he re-enters the dating scene. The timing of the book felt off, which in a way felt realistic, like someone going through grief would be experiencing time--how it feels slowed down then rapidly moved ahead. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 marg | 2/4/2014

    " Let's face it. I won't be finishing this, and even if I were, I wouldn't enjoy it. This was an unfortunate read in part because I read it almost directly after reading The Beginner's Goodbye which falls along the same lines - sad widow tries to recreate life for himself after his wife dies. That book wasn't all that wonderful and this one is by far worse. The characters are either annoying or non descript and the arch is basically one man's attempt to move on through the desperate women who throw themselves at him. He's boring, and so's the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly Purrington | 1/19/2014

    " I will truly miss the characters in this novel. It reminds me a bit of The Widower's Tale in that you fall in love with the main character and watch him as he moves through his grief stages. It is funny, well written and a well crafted story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 1/15/2014

    " Sweet book about a widow who ventures into the dating world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bethh | 1/11/2014

    " I liked this pretty well - I read it in one sitting on a Sunday afternoon. The main character was sympathetic, and his experiences in getting back into dating and life after the death of his wife were believable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina Brackett | 1/11/2014

    " A very sweet book with a sad beginning and happy ending, and moving on after a loss. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Larry | 12/31/2013

    " This could have been a short story. Wordy, repetitious, trite. I was very interested in the premise, only to be disappointed by the writing and the drawn out story. Could have been much better "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 12/29/2013

    " A nice little book to listen to. I give it a 6.5 on my 10 scale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 12/16/2013

    " Really sweet book with excellent imagery and detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 12/14/2013

    " Cute romance about a widower--nice to look at it from a male's perspective although I wonder if a woman can truly see the male perspective? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 12/4/2013

    " A sweet, sweet book about Edward, a widower at age 62 looking to pick up the pieces and find love again. Charming and engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 5/19/2013

    " Liked this book--the chapters move really quickly and I liked all of the characters you are supposed to like. I liked the ending as well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Max | 3/18/2013

    " This was a well written, interesting, thought-provoking if not particularly absorbing book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Odoublegood | 3/16/2013

    " light and humorous; shapely brief chapters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 3/1/2013

    " A sweet and sad story about a man who has lost his wife and can't get over it quickly enough to satisfy all the well-meaning people who want to see him paired off again immediately. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/4/2012

    " My favorite parts were the scenes in NYC and that the unicorns in the cloisters were worked into the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 9/17/2012

    " Well written, touching and true to life story about one man's loss of love finding his way in a new life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 8/22/2012

    " 2.75 actually. Read it because it was a gift and felt obliged. A romance novel for the widowed set. But the main character is likeable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita Bresnan | 6/16/2012

    " This was a delightful read. The main character (a widower) was so likable and real. Having suffered the loss of his wife, it showed how a person can work through grief and with a bit of luck, find happiness again. I highly recommend this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Knitme23 | 5/29/2012

    " As the teaser says, "tender and funny." It's one of those books I seem to love: well-written, optimistic, funny, but not much happens, really. Just up my alley! Reminded me a little of Elinor Lipman. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maureen Mahowald | 4/29/2012

    " I was somewhat disappointed in this book. I had expected something with more humor. The book bogs down with an extended romance of a long lost love and does not spend enough time with the relationship that the hero eventually finds. "

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

    " This was a good read about a recently widowed man in his early 60s. His stepchildren place a personals ad, and he meets a variety of women, including one from his past. His reflections on relationships, aging, and family relationships are spot on, and the story moves at a good pace. "

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About the Author

Hilma Wolitzer is the author of several novels, including Hearts, Ending, and Tunnel of Love. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award. She has taught at the University of Iowa, New York University, and Columbia University. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Fred Sullivan is an actor and an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator. He has played over one hundred roles as an award-winning resident actor at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island. He is resident director at Gamm Theatre and teaches acting at the Rhode Island School of Design.