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Extended Audio Sample Atmospheric Disturbances Audiobook, by Rivka Galchen Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.84 out of 52.84 out of 52.84 out of 52.84 out of 52.84 out of 5 2.84 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rivka Galchen Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504627153
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When Dr. Leo Liebenstein’s wife disappears, she leaves behind a single, confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves almost exactly like her and even audaciously claims to be her. While everyone else is fooled by this imposter, Leo knows better. Certain that his real wife is alive and in hiding, Leo embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim his lost love. From the streets of New York to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, Leo’s quest becomes a test of how far he is willing to take his struggle against the seemingly uncontestable truth he knows in his heart to be false.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] enthralling debut…heartbreaking and maddening…Don’t be surprised if this gives you a Crying of Lot 49 nostalgia hit.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Witty, tender, and conceptually dazzling, Galchen’s metaphysical tale of longing, grief, love, and the volatility of the self gracefully charts the tempestuous weather of the human psyche.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An intricate puzzle powered by an urgently beating heart…A superb first novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Astonishing…This dense, brilliant novel should be much in demand.”

    Library Journal

  • “Galchen’s astonishing debut is rich in detail and scientific exploration and a kind of dreamy psychological dissembling that keeps the reader as baffled as Leo right to the end. This dense, brilliant novel should be much in demand.”

    Library Journal

  • “Galchen’s intriguing and sophisticated first novel has a startling premise and unique characters, all ably interpreted by Hillgartner. His rich baritone is perfect for the obsessed Liebenstein and, surprisingly, equally effective for the female characters. His real achievement, though, is portraying the transformation of the psychiatrist as he argues with himself that his increasingly bizarre observations are scientifically valid and that his wife is really not herself.”

    Booklist

  • A 2008 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Finalist
  • An Indie Next Notable Title for July 2008
  • A 2008 Slate Magazine Best Book for Fiction
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2008
  • Winner of the 2010 Saroyan Prize
  • Winner of the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award
  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mr. Moose | 2/6/2014

    " After you finish writing something, you should ask yourself one key question: So what? This book, like too many recent novels I've picked up, had no answer. So I stopped reading it. Don't try to show me how cool and clever your writing is - just tell me a story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carina | 1/27/2014

    " 3.5 stars - a random pick at the library that turned out to be really pretty good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 1/20/2014

    " I actually didn't finish the book; not my cup of tea. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 1/14/2014

    " I sometimes loved this book and sometimes was frustrated by it. Galchen does a few interesting things with her use of scientific (meteorological) fact in engagement with fictional metaphors... so I was very interested to read this book as part of my thesis reading (which concerns application of scientific ideas to fictional craft). But she didn't really push it to the point of being mind-blowingly original ... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicolemauerman | 1/11/2014

    " Short background on this book: I learned about this book from the New York Times notable books of the year. My goal is to read all of the top fiction picks (Yikes 50 in all!) and this was one. All of the books so far (ok, so to date, I have only read nine) have been enjoyable, thoughtful, and well written. However, I struggled with Atmospheric Disturbances. This book is about a psychologist who is looking for his wife after she becomes replaced by an-almost-exact-double. This book left me with a lot of unanswered questions and the ending was disappointing. Unique, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend this read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 G | 1/10/2014

    " Galchen is undeniably quite smart, but I found this novel to be exceedingly tedious. Her version of incipient insanity certainly convinces but I didn't think she was a very good stylist, which separates her from the Borges whom she so clearly admires. But I also think that that, no matter how good a writer she was, the novel's premise would have never interested me, which is why I gave it three stars - it may be someone else's cup of tea. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ingrid | 1/8/2014

    " I am very disappointed by this book. It could have been an interesting story, if the author would have succeeded in making the characters believable. I just didn't care. At all. Yes it is clever. But not the inspiring kind of clever. It's a bit of a smartass. Other reviewers have compared the book to math homework. I completely agree. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/6/2014

    " very interesting and oddly compelling..... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chao | 12/15/2013

    " It's real messed up, but it's written in such a way that you totally understand what happens when people go crazy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Reita | 12/9/2013

    " I didn't get past page 11. Usually I'll read a book even though I don't like it, but this was just not my thing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monique | 3/3/2013

    " A little disjointed and sort of odd. Not everyone's cup of tea but I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zach | 2/6/2013

    " I didn't actually finish this, because I absentmindedly left it somewhere last week. I was just over halfway through. I know where I left it, and I could almost certainly go retrieve it, but I have not done so. My lack of motivation to get the book back is probably review enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vegantrav | 1/20/2013

    " very promising premise (narrator suffering from a mental delusion/defect such that he believes his wife to be an imposter), but the development of the story was a bit disappointing "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aharon | 5/17/2012

    " Good! Then dull! Then good again! Aaaah! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 BW Diederich | 12/4/2011

    " A subtly weird and emotionally affecting little book. I went in not sure what to expect and came out totally in love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elliott | 7/11/2011

    " This is a wonderfully inventive novel. I can't wait to see what Rivka Galchen writes next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 5/15/2011

    " Well written. Unfortunately the plot starts to unwind at the end. It sinks beneath the technical details of meteorology and the main characters obsession with it.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tad | 4/27/2011

    " By the time I was halfway through I wanted to smack the main character upside the head. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen | 4/13/2011

    " This was one of the worst books I have ever read. The story felt so disjointed, there was no flow. It also felt like it was "trying too hard." Read it for a book club, otherwise I would not have finished it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carina | 3/23/2011

    " 3.5 stars - a random pick at the library that turned out to be really pretty good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tfalcone | 2/5/2011

    " Certainly caught my attention right at the beginning! The guy has lost his wife and his patient, he seems to have an imposter posing as his wife... way odd. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sternchen | 12/31/2010

    " A book about love and how you don't want it to end.
    Enthralling absurdity of perceptional logic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Selma | 12/20/2010

    " The way this story was presented has many holes "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susie | 12/1/2010

    " A seriously awesome novel by an impressive writer. Hilarious and heartbreaking with moments of concise observations on human nature and perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 11/10/2010

    " This is a tight novel with interesting characters and concepts but a lack of explanation and resolution for most of what happens. If you can come to terms with the sort of surreal nature of it, I'd recommend giving it a try. "

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About the Author
Author Rivka Galchen

Rivka Galchen earned her medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed a residency in psychiatry and also completed her MFA at Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham fellow. She has published essays in The Believer and Scientific American, and in 2006 she was awarded a Rona Jaffe Writers Award.

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an actor, author, playwright, and professional narrator. Under the name Jahnna N. Malcolm, he and his wife, Jahnna Beecham, have written over one hundred books for young readers; their musicals have played in theaters across America. His audiobook credits include works by Dean Koontz, Nelson Algren, and William F. Buckley Jr.