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Extended Audio Sample Beginner’s Greek: A Novel, by James Collins Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,088 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Collins Narrator: Jerry O’Connell Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Jerry O’Connell lends his talents to this delicious romantic comedy—more Cary Grant than Hugh Grant—which begins on a flight from New York to Los Angeles.

When Peter Russell finally meets the woman of his dreams, he falls as madly in love as one can on a flight from one US coast to the other. Her name is Holly. She’s achingly pretty with strawberry-blonde hair, and she reads Thomas Mann for pleasure. She gives Peter her phone number on a page of The Magic Mountain, but in his room that night Peter finds the page is inexplicably, impossibly, infuriatingly … gone.

So begins the immensely entertaining story of Peter and his unrequited love for his best friend’s girl; of Charlotte and her less-than-perfect marriage to a man in love with someone else; of Jonathan and his wicked and fateful debauchery; and of Holly, the impetus for it all. Along the way, there’s the evil boss, the desirable temptress, miscommunications, misrepresentations, fiendish behavior, letters gone astray, and ultimately, an ending in which every character gets his due. Both incisive and wonderfully funny, this is a brilliantly understated comedy of manners in which love lost is found again.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “James Collins has written a romantic, funny, and insightful page-turner about love in modern times, missed opportunities, and the wheel of fate (with a blowout!), which is so engaging and real that you will find it impossible to put down.”

    Andriani Tragiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife

  • “James Collins is on home turf when it comes to the secret world of the American aristocracy. He knows these people uncomfortably well. I enjoyed Beginner’s Greek enormously.”

    Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey

  • “Part comedy of manners, part chick lit in male drag, James Collins’ Beginner’s Greek is a great big sunny lemon chiffon pie of a novel.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “James Collins’ debut relies on a stunning number of familiar tropes—the meant-to-be lovers thwarted, the hapless romantic in love with his best friend’s girl, the treacherous boss. But he makes magic of it all by infusing those would-be clichés with so much old-school charm that you want to believe, and with so much patient detail that you actually can. A-”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Collins…writes as if fully aware that anyone who saw any one of a thousand other romantic comedies will find the plot familiar: he plays romantic comedy clichés with an expert coolness. Anyone for whom chick lit is a guilty pleasure will find the tone here multiple notches above the usual fare.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Megan | 2/19/2014

    " You know it's a good book when a sleep-deprived woman keeps reading it even after she's finally managed to get her 9-week-old to sleep at 2:00 a.m. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Elaine | 2/15/2014

    " Peter and Holly meet on a plane and it's love at first sight. Even though he loses her phone number, he does manage to meet up with her again some time later ... except that she's now his best friend's girlfriend. Yes, a bit soap opera and too coincidental but I still liked this book. It's nice light reading and kinda sweet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tamara | 2/14/2014

    " A love story from the man's point of view. Some of the characters were too precious and the ending was a little too neat, but a good interesting read for all those who believe true love always finds a way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Heidi | 2/13/2014

    " Listened to this on CD- originally checked it out soley because Jerry O'Connell (from Crossing Jordan) read it and I love him! This was a good "listen"- a love story written by a man and told from a man's percpective. A light, romantic, humorous read. "

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About the Author

James Collins writes for the New Yorker, has been an editor at Time magazine, and is a former editorial assistant at Little, Brown. He is the author of Beginner’s Greek. Collins currently lives in Virginia with his family.