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Extended Audio Sample Arcadia, by Lauren Groff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,368 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lauren Groff Narrator: Andrew Garman Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton comes a lyrical and gripping story of a great American dream.

In the fields of western New York state in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after.

Arcadia’s inhabitants include Handy, a musician and the group’s charismatic leader; Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah’s only child, the book’s protagonist, Bit, who is born soon after the commune is created.

While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. If he remains in love with the peaceful agrarian life in Arcadia and deeply attached to its residents—including Helle, Handy and Astrid’s lithe and deeply troubled daughter—how can Bit become his own man? How will he make his way through life and the world outside of Arcadia where he must eventually live?

With Arcadia, her first novel since her lauded debut, The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff establishes herself not only as one of the most gifted young fiction writers at work today but also as one of our most accomplished literary artists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Lauren Groff] has taken a quaint, easily caricatured community and given it true universality. And a book that might have been small, dated, and insular winds up feeling timeless and vast. The raw beauty of Ms. Groff’s prose is one of the best things about Arcadia. But it is by no means this book’s only kind of splendor.”

    New York Times
  • “Richly peopled and ambitious and oh, so lovely, Lauren Groff’s Arcadia is one of the most moving and satisfying novels I’ve read in a long time. It’s not possible to write any better without showing off.”

    Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls

  • “An astonishing novel, both in ambition and achievement, filled with revelations that appear inevitable in retrospect, amid the cycle of life and death.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the March 2012 Indie Next List
  • A 2012 Washington Post Best Book
  • A 2012 Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Booklist Editors’ Choice Selection for Fiction
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book
  • A 2012 eMusic Best Audiobook of the Year for Fiction
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction, 2012
  • A 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dearwassily | 2/19/2014

    " Think of this story as a bell curve. Starts out slow, gets better, drops off. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Maggie | 2/19/2014

    " Just mesmerizing, full of gorgeous prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Linda | 2/18/2014

    " A library book club read. Amazing writing; poetic at times. A 70's commune and its effect on a child who grows up within it. Protagonist is male, but filled with beautifully drawn female characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ashley Hutto | 2/8/2014

    " Beautifully and imaginatively crafted novel about a community traversing the changes of life together. So well written you become attached to each and every character and are very sad to see them go. Groff is a really talented author who one to look out for... "

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