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Download Dreamland Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Dreamland, by Kevin Baker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (776 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kevin Baker Narrator: John Rubinstein Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The City of Fire Trilogy Release Date:
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This is Dreamland, a uniquely fierce and magical tale that delivers both a sweeping chronicle of America at the turn of the century and an intimate, heart-wrenching portrait of the lives of its denizens. Among the thousands of immigrants who arrive in New York harbor is an Eastern European stowaway called Kid Twist, who soon earns his keep as an enforcer for the ruthless gangster Gyp the Blood. Soon though, Kid brutally splits with Gyp, leaving him bleeding from a shovel wound to the head in a rancid basement on the Lower East Side. His life now in jeopardy, Kid flees to Brooklyn, finding asylum with a Coney Island carny known as Trick the Dwarf.

While hiding out, Kid meets young Esther Abramowitz, a shirtwaist seamstress who labors under inhumane conditions. As their love affair blossoms, Esther emerges from quiet shop worker to foot soldier in the burgeoning labor movement. Changed by love, Kid, too, is no longer the ruthless scavenger he once was, as he prepares for an electrifying showdown with the vengeful Gyp the Blood.

Kevin Baker's deftly imagined blend of meticulous historical research and assured narrative invention recreates a world bursting at the seams, a world of freak shows, cataclysmic exhibitions, mad dwarves, and bathing beauties. In prose that is at once ferocious and breathtakingly lyrical, Dreamland weaves a richly layered tapestry that captures perfectly the emotional and psychological essence of the American experience at the dawn of a new age.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A wild amusement park ride…Historical fiction at its most entertaining.” 

    New York Times

  • Dreamland is terrific fun.” 

    New York Times Book Review 

  • “An epic recreation of an era…A boisterous, rollicking carnival.”


  • “A Dickensian epic…Meticulously researched and filled with passages of intoxicating, dreamlike frenzy.” 

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Large, knowing, teeming with ambition and personality.” 

    Gentlemen’s Quarterly 

  • “Compelling…Dreamland is a wild ride…Paced like a police thriller.” 

    USA Today

  • “Remarkable…Original…Mingles real and fictional characters in an American fin-de-siecle swirl.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This is literature and history at its finest.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Mesmerizing…Dreamland tells us a great deal about what it means to be American.”

    Washington Post

  • “A sexy, dreamy romance.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Brilliantly imagined and assiduously researched.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “At once instructive and great good fun to read. A high-spirited and knowing saga of...an extravagant and surreal age.” 

    Boston Globe

  • “This novel entertains us, and it also makes us think.” 

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A populist masterpiece.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Masterful and moving, this novel can transform a reader’s relationship with our history.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A New York Times Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ruth | 2/11/2014

    " Another instance where choosing a random book at the library paid off! I have recently watched PBS' documentary on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and it was fascinating to read a fictional account of a young Jewish girl's experiences working there. Her story is interwoven with several others in New York City shortly after the turn of the century and I was quickly sucked into the book. The only storyline that I just didn't get and didn't understand it's relevance was that of Freud & Co.'s visit to New York. There is also a glossary of Yiddish/Irish/turn-of-the-century gang speak that I didn't know was there until I was half-way through - it was really helpful and I wish I had realized it from the beginning. That aside, this was a really good read and apparently it is part of a trilogy, so I will shortly be seeking out the second installment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brian Wagner | 2/7/2014

    " Favorite book of the year. I love the mix on real history with a fictional story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kristin | 2/2/2014

    " my least favorite of the nyc trilogy-this one taking place during the turn of the century and focusing in on the iconic Coney Island--freak shows, roller coasters, and more! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Susan | 2/1/2014

    " I am also still reading this one... about halfway through. This paperback made my tactile test. Paper, flexibility, fonts-wise. Oh and it's a pretty great read too. "

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