Download Census Audiobook

Census Audiobook, by Jesse Ball Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jesse Ball Narrator: Chris Andrew Ciulla Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2018 ISBN: 9780062798008
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A powerful and moving new novel from an award-winning, acclaimed author: in the wake of a devastating revelation, a father and son journey north across a tapestry of towns.

When a widower receives notice from a doctor that he doesn’t have long left to live, he is struck by the question of who will care for his adult son—a son whom he fiercely loves, a boy with Down syndrome. With no recourse in mind, and with a desire to see the country on one last trip, the man signs up as a census taker for a mysterious governmental bureau and leaves town with his son.

Traveling into the country, through towns named only by ascending letters of the alphabet, the man and his son encounter a wide range of human experience. While some townspeople welcome them into their homes, others who bear the physical brand of past censuses on their ribs are wary of their presence. When they press toward the edges of civilization, the landscape grows wilder, and the towns grow farther apart and more blighted by industrial decay. As they approach “Z,” the man must confront a series of questions: What is the purpose of the census? Is he complicit in its mission? And just how will he learn to say good-bye to his son?

Mysterious and evocative, Census is a novel about free will, grief, the power of memory, and the ferocity of parental love, from one of our most captivating young writers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrator Chris Ciulla uses the gentle tone of a person telling a folktale in this allegorical story…Ciulla’s easygoing narration style carries a tone of acceptance that highlights Ball’s poetic prose and brings home the fact that no one can love a brother more than his own brother. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • Census is a vital testament to selfless love, a psalm to commonplace miracles, and a mysterious evolving metaphor. So kind, it aches.”

    David Mitchell, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Ball’s poignant dedication to his late older brother Adam, who had Down syndrome, adds yet another layer of complexity to this surreal and powerful story….grounded by the most enduring theme of familial love.”

    Esquire

  • “An intensely moving and dazzlingly imagined journey…A devastatingly powerful call for understanding and compassion.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Focusing on how to protect our own after we are gone in the face of ignorance, cruelty, and disregard, this work combines a travel adventure with a meditation on human kindness to create a deeply perceptive work of essential truths. Highly recommended for all readers.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Mysterious, mesmerizing, and insightful…Ball’s mind-bending, gorgeously well told, and profoundly moving fable celebrates a father’s love for his son, whose quintessence is to inspire people to be their better selves.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An ethereal meditation on love, the duty of a caretaker, and mortality.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2018
  • A Boston Globe Pick of Most Anticipated Upcoming Books
  • A Huffington Post Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2018
  • A Southern Living Magazine Pick of 2018's Most Anticipated Books

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About the Author

Jesse Ball is the author of several novels, including A Cure for Suicide, which was long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award. He won the 2008 Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize, and his verse has been included in the Best American Poetry series. He was a finalist for the 2015 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and a 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2017 he was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. He is on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About the Narrator

Chris Andrew Ciulla, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a credited actor, host, voice actor, producer, boxing commentator/analyst, and radio personality. In addition to frequent film, television, and on-camera commercial work, he has voiced characters for the popular video game titles Fallout 4 and Mafia III and can be heard in national commercial campaigns. A versatile performer with over fifteen years of experience, he has dedicated his life to entertaining people.