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Extended Audio Sample Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel Audiobook, by Hilary Thayer Hamann Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,292 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hilary Thayer Hamann Narrator: Rebecca Lowman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9780307736314
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Anthropology of an American Girl is a semi-autobiographical novel. It is the story of a young woman and her culture that strives for a measure of narrative depth, detail, and objectivity. It follows its protagonist, Eveline Auerbach, as she moves through a pre-digital American landscape during the 1970s and 1980s. In the most basic respect, it is a coming-of-age story that prescribes a return to simplicity as the most rational and ethical response to the chaos and confusion of upward mobility.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “As vast and ambitious as the country itself.”

    Washington Post

  • “Remember what it feels like to be seventeen? Eveline Auerbach sounds like somebody many of us knew—or were…A realistic, resonant, and universal story.”

    O: The Oprah Magazine

  • “Utterly original…A rare kind of novel—at once sprawling and intimate—whose excellence matches its grand ambition.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “[A] page-turning read [that] rivets through a rawness of complex emotion…Like Jane Austin, George Eliot, or Edith Wharton, [Hamann] critiques her era and culture through the tale of a precocious young woman buffeted by the accidents, values, and consequences of her age.”

    Providence Journal-Bulletin

  • “An accomplished and absorbing work of fiction, resonant and romantic in the grandest sense, that will remind you what a great American novel really is.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “A marvelously complex and tragic figure of disconnection, startlingly real and exposed at all times.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Intelligent and without a false note—a memorable work.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna Prushinski | 2/5/2014

    " I had read many glowing reviews about this book. The size intimidated me because I am such a slow reader. But you really do need to take your time with this novel. The language is beautiful and the impending angst is truly an overpowering emotion running throughout this book and in real-life itself at these ages. I have to admit that sometimes I wanted to kick Eveline and say "move on" but then again, I remembered the age group being written about and the naivete and confusion that follows. The character of Jack rang completely true with me and I found the writing about him to be the strongest and clearest. This author is able to take emotions and put them into words and then the words become pictures in your mind. The entire book plays like a film as you read. You envision everything,...sometimes even to its smallest detail. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 2/5/2014

    " I liked the book but I found it a little long winded at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Fagin | 1/30/2014

    " This was an interesting book. I found it to be written very differently than what I usually encounter. It seemed to me that the story was told literally through the emotions of the main character Eveline. She described how she felt about a certain event long before the book described the event itself. It could be that I read the book during a time that I find myself feeling very disconnected from the world around me that I read it that way. I did enjoy reading it, I loved the characters. But I think it would have felt more realistic to me if the characters were older. Eveline was in high school and Rourke was in his early 20's. they both seemed much too emotionally evolved to me. The only character that rang true for me was her fellow high school boyfriend - whose name I can't remember. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda Cohen | 1/28/2014

    " Tried but couldn't get past the 1st few pages! Usually give things 50 pages but got sick of looking at it on my shelf. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Erika | 1/21/2014

    " It held my interest for about 200 pages... not good for a 700 page novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Suzanne (suz&mark) | 1/11/2014

    " sometimes I can tell pretty early on when Im not going to like a book. The summary of the story sounds very interesting but I didnt like the writing style of the author. Its hard to articulate but I just want the story, not the philosophical musings of the main character, comparing the coming of fall to death, etc. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristin | 1/9/2014

    " Couldn't even finish it and I HATE not finishing books. Trite and undeservedly self important. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarai | 1/9/2014

    " Too deep for me...the last 100 pages were slightly better than the first 500. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/4/2014

    " One of those very poetic books, I liked it a lot. I wanted to find out what happened to her in the end. However, it does tend to get boring. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kendra | 12/29/2013

    " Just couldn't get into this - I hardly ever don't finish a book, but this one just didn't do it for me. Felt more like a chore to read than a gift. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alison Dean | 11/29/2013

    " I have to admit this is probably the most boring book I have ever read. There seemed to be no storyline and the characters were very weak. I wouldn't recommend it - but that's just my opinion! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marija Thomas | 11/19/2013

    " I can't put my finger on what was missing from this book. At first I liked the slow pace of it. I liked the way it put me back to my tv-less childhood. But then I just sort of lost interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 8/28/2013

    " Really disturbed at the reviews for this book :( I thought it was beautiful and absolutely loved it! Give it a chance, don't let the negative reviews discourage you! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi | 6/2/2013

    " Probably one of my favorite books I have ever EVER read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 2/4/2013

    " I got to the 00's, couldnt finish it. I enjoyed it but its a very hard read. Lots of skipping around. Painful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly | 7/10/2012

    " Look, when Publisher's Weekly said this was crack in book form, they were not joking. I stayed up nearly all night several nights in a row reading it, I simply did not want to enter my real life because this book's life was so real and so damn interesting. Please, please read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 5/28/2012

    " An amazing book. It was hard not to relate to certain parts of just coming of age in general. I would recommend to pretty much anyone :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn Phelps | 2/6/2012

    " The first part of this book was enjoyable with its view of the 80's and some interesting characters. However, the last half dragged and I found myself totally frustrated with the inertia of the main character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Quintiere | 11/20/2011

    " Mesmerizing. Kept me up reading all night. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angie | 11/13/2011

    " This book was like reading the random thoughts of a depressed schizophrenic person. Which sounds more fun then the book was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 11/1/2011

    " Despite a few bad plot turns -- and the complete lack of agency of the heroine -- I loved this book! So engrossing, I feel like I just returned from a vacation. What an emotional whirlwind... I can't wait to read it again, and soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsey | 9/18/2011

    " I was a little disappointed with the ending, but overall, it was a good read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 5/9/2011

    " pretentious and meandering, with a weak, boring main character and abusive, unlikeable male characters who are painted as saviors "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cassandra | 4/1/2011

    " Most loved book I have read in my lifetime. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 3/23/2011

    " one of the best books i've read in ages. full of insights about love,
    friendship, life. glad i have it in hardcover to hold and flip through.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 3/22/2011

    " I liked the book but I found it a little long winded at times. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Edie | 3/15/2011

    " I wanted to like this book, but 160 pages into a 600 page book I still wasn't feeling it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Teresa | 3/7/2011

    " Started out terrible. Got better towards the end. Not the greatest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea | 2/2/2011

    " A dark, deep story. It is beautifully written, but depressed me quite a bit. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kerry | 2/1/2011

    " wow a loooong book about a girl and her affair with a hot and scary teacher. Horribly boring. 600 pages worth of boring. She didn't even want to live her own life in the book-why would I want to live it...for 600 pages. Bleck. "

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About the Author
Author Hilary Thayer Hamann

Hilary Thayer Hamann has worked extensively in New York’s film, publishing, and entertainment industries, and is co-director of Films on the Haywall, a classic film series in Bridgehampton, New York. She currently lives in Manhattan and on Long Island.

About the Narrator

Rebecca Lowman is an actress and audiobook narrator who has won eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has starred in numerous television shows, including Law & Order, Big Love, NCIS, and Grey’s Anatomy, among many others. She earned her MFA from Columbia University.