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Extended Audio Sample Centuries of June: A Novel Audiobook, by Keith Donohue Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (17 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Keith Donohue Narrator: Mark Bramhall Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9780307932624
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Set in the bathroom of an old house just before dawn on a night in June, Centuries of June is a black comedy about a man attempting to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head. But he keeps getting interrupted by a series of suspects—eight women lying in the bedroom just down the hall. Each woman tells a story drawn from five centuries of American myth and legend in a wild medley of styles and voices.

Keith Donohue has been praised for his vivid imagination and for evoking “the otherworldly with humor and the ordinary with wonder” (Audrey Niffenegger). Centuries of June is a romp through history, a madcap murder mystery, an existential ghost story, and a stunning tour de force at once ingenious, sexy, inspiring, and ultimately deeply moving.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "Part ghost story, part psychological mystery and part vaudeville show. Think Scheherazade by way of “Tristram Shandy” by way of “The Sixth Sense. Washington Post

  • A tour de force in its mastery of styles, the book also has moments of high silliness—though toward the end Donohue weaves the threads of plot together in a surprising and affecting way. Kirkus Reviews
  • "Donohue's faultless eye for character and keen sense of humor keeps what could easily become a muddled mess pristine, with members of his quorum shining individually but also acting as cogs in the larger story's machinery. There are moments when the reader is left to wonder how things can possibly come together, but it's worthwhile to trust Donohue's narrators as they lead this puzzling and greatly satisfying trip. Publishers Weekly
  • “Donohue’s polished prose holds the story together and offers a more than satisfying ending. Booklist
  • “VERDICT: Donohue’s tour de force blends aspects of time travel and reincarnation genres into a witty whole. With a touch of David Mitchell and Audrey Niffenegger, but a witty style uniquely the author’s own, this novel about a clueless man, who may in some future life get it right, is a pleasure to read. Library Journal
  • “[T]he product here is uniquely Donohue, and the craft seamless in the spinning of an absorbing skein of yarns in a marvelous display of voice weaving together to form a single tapestry: a “parti-colored utterance” (to quote Annie Dillard) unfolding about love, mortality, men and women, memory, family, and the fundamental force of storytelling. Buffalo News

  • “Donohue’s faultless eye for character and keen sense of humor keeps what could easily become a muddled mess pristine, with members of his quorum shining individually but also acting as cogs in the larger story’s machinery. There are moments when the reader is left to wonder how things can possibly come together, but it’s worthwhile to trust Donohue’s narrators as they lead this puzzling and greatly satisfying trip.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Donohue’s polished prose holds the story together and offers a more than satisfying ending.”

    Booklist

  • “A tour de force in its mastery of styles, the book also has moments of high silliness—though toward the end Donohue weaves the threads of plot together in a surprising and affecting way.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jules | 2/12/2014

    " This aptly titled novel, Centuries of June, is an ambitious and surreal dreamscape of adventures through time. In a style that resembles bedtime stories for grown ups this historical fiction spans over 500 years and is filled with wonderfully colorful characters you will fear, loath, admire and love. Remarkably, the story takes place all across America yet somehow never actually leaves the bathroom of the main character's house. The author has an impressively visual writing style that makes the story come to life as if you were watching it all happen before you. He takes the unbelievable and makes you a believer and will keeping you guessing up until the very twisted end. This book is a fun read that I would highly recommend to any reader with an adventurous mind. Most appropriately this book is to be released just in time for June. Happily, I was able to read an advanced copy through the First Reads program. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 2/1/2014

    " This is really more of a 2.5. There were parts that I really enjoyed, but I was just not interested in other parts. I was expecting something different, based on the description. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 1/23/2014

    " Interesting concept, really underwhelming ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica Moore | 1/14/2014

    " very interesting, I enjoyed the womens stories, but I thought the end was a bit disappointing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 1/9/2014

    " Enjoyed this book as well as the others I have read by this author. He is a good writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janine | 1/6/2014

    " This was on my local library's list of funniest books. There are some good stories woven (very) loosely together, but it's not funny ha-ha or funny strange either, if you ask me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheron | 12/22/2013

    " Still tryin gto figure out the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pauline | 12/16/2013

    " Found this a little difficult to follow but stayed with it to see where it was going. I thought that there would have been a larger moral or something to tie all of the stories together and there sort of was one but not as cohesive as I thought. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candice | 12/15/2013

    " Fascinating tale of reincarnation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 11/29/2013

    " Meh. Interesting, but not overly compelling. A little too on the dreamy/weird side for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tania | 11/9/2013

    " This happens to be my 17th book for 2012 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb Armer | 6/26/2013

    " One of the oddest books I've ever read, can't say I enjoyed it much, a bit of a muddle. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 5/8/2013

    " This book is beautifully written, but I became bored with the book, basically eight individual stories of wronged woman loosely connected. I loved Donohue's first two books and I'm sure some will love this one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 12/15/2012

    " Disappointing since I am a fan on Donohue's other novels. It was very hard to stay interested in the womens' stories since I felt there was very little character development. I just didn't care about anyone in this novel. No one had enough substance to merit my full attention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 3/9/2012

    " I found the author's writing style captivating. This is not the type of book I usually read (won on a giveaway), but I liked it more than I thought I would based on the description provided. Didn't end how I wanted, but most books don't. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annie | 6/2/2011

    " This book would have been better as short stories for each woman. I still have no idea why the narrator was having dreams (?) about the women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 3/30/2011

    " I found the author's writing style captivating. This is not the type of book I usually read (won on a giveaway), but I liked it more than I thought I would based on the description provided. Didn't end how I wanted, but most books don't. "

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About the Author
Author Keith DonohueKeith Donohue is an American novelist, the author of the national bestseller The Stolen Child
and Angels of Destruction. He also has written reviews for the Washington Post. Donohue has a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in modern Irish literature and wrote the introduction to the Complete Novels of Flann O’Brien. For a dozen years he worked for the National Endowment for the Arts and now works at another federal agency. He lives in Maryland near Washington, DC.
About the Narrator

Mark Bramhall has won eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.