Extended Audio Sample

Download Before You Know Kindness: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Before You Know Kindness: A Novel Audiobook, by Chris Bohjalian Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,609 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chris Bohjalian Narrator: Blair Brown Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2004 ISBN: 9780739314166
Regular Price: $12.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $11.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

For ten summers, the Seton family—all three generations—met at their country home in New England to spend a week together playing tennis, badminton, and golf, and savoring gin and tonics on the wraparound porch to celebrate the end of the season. In the eleventh summer, everything changed. A hunting rifle with a single cartridge left in the chamber wound up in exactly the wrong hands at exactly the wrong time, and led to a nightmarish accident that put to the test the values that unite the family—and the convictions that just may pull it apart. 

Before You Know Kindness is a family saga that is timely in its examination of some of the most important issues of our era, and timeless in its exploration of the strange and unexpected places where we find love.

As he did with his earlier masterpiece, Midwives, Chris Bohjalian has written a novel that is rich with unforgettable characters—and absolutely riveting in its page-turning intensity.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000484

Quotes & Awards

  • Before You Know Kindness may very well be his best. . . . Masterly . . . timely [and] well-wrought. The Boston Globe
  • An irresistible read. Moving from quiet domestic drama to legal thriller. The Washington Post
  • A dark psychological dance of family estrangements, lies and self-righteousness . . . plenty of finely wrought characters and thought-provoking personal and political drama. The Seattle Times
  • Extraordinary. . . . Bohjalian has had much success in the past, including a selection as an Oprah Book Club author. Before You Know Kindness is better than anything he's written before. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "Before You Know Kindness may very well be his best. . . . Masterly . . . timely [and] well-wrought. The Boston Globe

  • Extraordinary. . . . Bohjalian has had much success in the past, including a selection as an Oprah Book Club author. Before You Know Kindness is better than anything he's written before. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/19/2014

    " Bohjalian's book "Midwives" was one of my very favorites years ago. This one was not quite as compelling (maybe it was the subject matter) but I still loved the way he gives the reader access to the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 2/7/2014

    " slow start. middle picks up and gets a little interesting. still found myself not really caring about the characters. ending is a bit disappointing. (things are a little too neatly tied up. i was hoping for a little more drama.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elaine | 2/6/2014

    " While I found parts of this book interesting, I never really bought into the characters, so the whole story felt a little flat to me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heidi | 2/1/2014

    " B-O-R-I-N-G. Due back to the library (already renewed once) and I don't plan on taking it back out to finish it. Just not interested! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 1/29/2014

    " Bohjalian is a very good writer, but his editor was asleep at the pencil. He needs and deserves a better editor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 1/24/2014

    " love chris bohjalian "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 1/11/2014

    " Interesting novel- about the pain inflicted on a family when a young girl inadvertently fires a weapon. The family slowly falls apart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 1/2/2014

    " A page turner and very rivoting "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 12/25/2013

    " My favorite book by this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacey B | 12/18/2013

    " Interesting premise, but I struggled with the writing style. I have enjoyed a number of Chris Bohjalian's books, particularly Midwives, but the writing style and tone of this one made it difficult for me to find the principle characters believable. Not bad, but not great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty King | 12/8/2013

    " Everything I like in a book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chloe | 11/30/2013

    " Great book- but not nearly as impressive as Bohjalian's other works! Glad to have read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Day | 11/27/2013

    " I really liked this book. Touched on some issues of political and family sensitivity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 11/26/2013

    " The first one of his that I read. Good story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 9/8/2013

    " This felt like an episode of TV's Brothers & Sisters but with much, much less likeable characters. I'd hoped for more so I'll maybe try something else by the same author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 rachel | 8/30/2013

    " Surprisingly engaging family drama. Worth the read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Levy | 7/25/2013

    " Very sad book that showed how a tragedy can impact a family and bring out the unspoken norms within a family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/30/2013

    " LOTS of unimportant details you had to wade through to finish this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherree | 6/10/2013

    " I really liked this, the third book I've read by this author. It was moving and a little suspenseful, and I thought it was a fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ashley | 3/3/2013

    " This was a call-in sick to work kinda book...i have it if anyone ever wants to borrow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly Tarr | 1/22/2013

    " It was a good story, a bit predictable but entertaining. It was slow moving in spots and was repetitive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Burris | 11/19/2012

    " Not the best of Chris'. It took me a long time to read this book and it was story driven rather than character driven. I found it lack the compelling aspects of Midwives and Law of Similars, even Water Witches. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jolene | 10/21/2012

    " Decent book. A little drawn out, but very intricate depictions of family nuances and personalities. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Deb | 4/8/2012

    " Hated this. Couldn't finish the damn thing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 6/25/2011

    " this story dragged on and on- I kept hoping it would get better but it didn't. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane Cvitanovich | 5/15/2011

    " Not a bad book, but not a good one either. The primary character (Shot in the chest! By his daughter!) was so unsympathetic that It made the book a bit of a slog to get through. I probably would not have been as disappointed as I was if I hadn't enjoyed "Midwives" so much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 4/5/2011

    " Took a while to get going but I really enjoyed it. Very elegant writing full of social comment and sometimes very funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi | 3/8/2011

    " Unfortunately, I thought it was pretty slow reading. I had high hopes for this book but it took a while to get going and once it did, it kept moving at a slow pace with lots of repetition. The ending was, not surprisingly, predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teryl | 3/6/2011

    " My first Bohjalian and I was hooked. I love the way he writes and enjoy the moral dilemmas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rsvpeterson | 2/25/2011

    " I liked this book a lot but wouldn't say I loved it for a couple of reasons. I didn't like Chapter Thirty-Five where the author wraps up a part of the story from the viewpoint of a crow. Truly, unbelievable for a dramatic story like this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phebe | 2/18/2011

    " This is a great story revolving around the issue of gun control and family conflict...oops, that sounds bad! Well written as all of his books are and off the beaten path of thinking on the topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/22/2011

    " The first one of his that I read. Good story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 1/12/2011

    " Pretty boring....glad when it was over.

    Family dynamics, vegetarian/vegan movement....taking it too far to where it effects relationships. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leah | 1/5/2011

    " I abandoned this book. It was too slow. Not bad necessarily, just slow. I might go back to it one day. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian is the author of numerous books, including several that made the New York Times bestselling list. His novel Midwives was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and three of his novels have become movies: Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers.

About the Narrator

Blair Brown is a Tony Award–winning actor. Her best known role is Nina Sharp from the television series Fringe. She prepares for recording audiobooks the same way she does for her other roles: by reading the text three times.