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Extended Audio Sample Cleaning Nabokov’s House, by Leslie Daniels Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (704 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leslie Daniels Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Blending bittersweet humor and defiant originality, this stunning debut about a woman rediscovering herself after a divorce explores the heartbreaking and sometimes funny aspects of the mess called love.

Barb Barrett has inadequate skills for relationships. In particular, she cannot follow her husband’s instructions. Because of this character “flaw,” she falls through the safety net of her lousy marriage, losing custody of her children and her home as she plummets. Guided only by her intense inner life, and a questionable business plan, Barb is determined to reinvent herself. She moves into a house once occupied by the literary genius Vladimir Nabokov, author of the notorious Lolita. She discovers what could be Nabokov’s last unpublished manuscript and from there begins a painful yet joyous journey that is deliciously romantic, both darkly comic and wise.

Introducing a dazzling new voice in fiction, Cleaning Nabokov’s House will enchant women’s fiction lovers with an accessible and engaging voice they will come to cherish.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Cleaning Nabokov’s House is original and compelling, the sort of book that keeps a reader on her toes—wildly funny one minute and profoundly sober the next. The protagonist is delightful, the plot a marvelous weave of sex, food, money, and motherhood. Every page a joy.”

    Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

  • “The pleasures of the novel unfold in a series of tantalizing, laugh-out-loud twists. The portrayals are as heartrending as the writing is dead-on funny, and the storytelling is both quirky and captivating. I was swept along like a trout in a clear stream. Bravo.”

    Janet Fitch, New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander

  • “In spite of its odd title, this is a wonderfully original, charming, and funny novel about what to do when your world has turned upside down, and how to get through a long cold rural winter by opening a house of ill repute.”

    Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • “In Barbara, Leslie Daniels has created a character to root for.”

    Los Angeles Times

  •  “Daniels accesses some new territory while still giving readers what they want when they want in a light, semi-literary romantic comedy…Authentic, often devastating depictions of a mother missing her children…raise this book above the rest.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Vladimir Nabokov, a small town’s sex trade, and a mother’s fight to win back her children don’t often have much to do with one another. But in Cleaning Nabokov’s House they do—and brilliantly so. There is not a false note or flat phrase anywhere in this surprising, moving, sexy, and very, very funny book. Leslie Daniels has written one of those rare tales that makes you wish you could meet all of the characters for tea—and makes you regret that they exist only in the author’s imagination. But what an extraordinary imagination it is.”

    Jeffrey Kluger, author of Apollo 13

  • “Literature and Letters meet the oldest profession at the hand of one of the most hysterical narrators to come along in ages. Cleaning Nabokov's House is an epic comedy told in an epic new voice.”

    Holiday Reinhorn, author of Big Cats

  • “Daniels is warmly funny and audacious in this shrewd and saucy mix of family drama, gender discord, sexual healing, and high literature; a raucous yet sensitive tale of one quirky woman’s struggle to overcome the lowest of low self-esteem to get motherhood and love right.”

    Booklist

  • “Daniels writes her story with refreshingly eccentric twists, holding readers’ interest…Her characters live and breathe, and the humor, energy, wit, and edgy look at small-town mores make this a delightful read. It will appeal to fiction readers, especially women.”

    Library Journal

  • “Daniels’ writing is slick and her characters richly detailed, and even when it dips into sheer goofiness, it's still a pleasure to read.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Barb is fine company—blunt, mordantly funny, with a winning combination of ruthlessness and warmth.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A spare, humorous, and heart-wrenching story.”

    PublishersMarketplace.com

  • Selected for the March 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Melissa Lee-tammeus | 2/2/2014

    " Thought this would be a fun chick lit style book that I could read while waiting to pick up my kid at school. I like the style of writing - quick and to the point. But I quickly found out I don't like the main character, at all. I also found out I know nothing about Nabokov and wasn't interested enough to find out. Again, may be worth the read, if you can get past the blase' attitude of a mother who has lost her kids and the short, clipped sentences that at first I thought were supposed to be cute and funny but now just seem inappropriate and out of place. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bunny | 1/30/2014

    " It was hard to get into this book at first, but then when it really started to flow together I liked it. This isn't a wow it was great book but it was good. But the whole book seemed to center around the fictional book she found in the walls about Babe Ruth, but at the end of the story that really had no closure. Its as if the writer got distracted or had a deadline coming too fast and had to put a happy ending on it way too fast. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Gayle | 1/25/2014

    " The writing was all over the place. Great idea, but too disjointed for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Tim | 1/21/2014

    " Started strong, but really lost focus as the story progressed (or didn't). I was hoping for more. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author

Leslie Daniels’ stories have appeared in Ploughshares, the Missouri Review, the Florida Review, Gulf Coast, the Santa Monica Review, and the New Ohio Review. The Shooting Gallery in New York City produced her one-act play. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and for the Best of the Associated Writing Programs. In 2005 she became the fiction editor for the Green Mountains Review. In 2010 she relinquished that gig to focus on other projects.