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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (956 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Guterson Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A sweeping, propulsive, darkly humorous new novel by the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: a story of destiny, desire, and destruction that reimagines Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex for our own era.

In Seattle in 1962, Walter Cousins, a mild-mannered actuary—“a guy who weighs risk for a living”—takes a risk of his own, and makes the biggest error of his life. He sleeps with Diane Burroughs, the sexy, not-quite-legal British au pair who’s taking care of his children for the summer. Diane gets pregnant and leaves their baby on a doorstep, but not before turning the tables on Walter and setting in motion a tragedy of epic proportions. Their orphaned child, adopted by an adoring family and named Edward Aaron King, grows up to become a billionaire Internet tycoon and an international celebrity—the “King of Search”—who unknowingly, but inexorably, hurtles through life toward a fate he may have no power to shape.

An instant classic—David Guterson’s most daring and dazzling novel yet—that brings a contemporary urgency to one of the greatest stories of all time.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sweeping…[Guterson’s] portraits of humanity are real, and exceedingly enjoyable to read.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A special pleasure will be experienced by those who can appreciate how the old elements have been modernized. Oedipus may not have been Guterson’s to begin with, but by the end, readers will have no doubts that Ed King is a creation entirely his own.”

    BookPage

  • “[A] transcendently dark and dazzling book.”

    Seattle Times

  • “Guterson keeps the novel winningly good-natured and almost farcical, all the better to teach timeless lessons about hubris, ambition, and the consequences of long-ago sins.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “[An] engrossing, constantly twisting retelling of Oedipus Rex…Darkly funny.”

    Huffington Post

  • “How would a modern man go about killing his father and marrying his mother, just like Sophocles’ Oedipus? Guterson’s vivid recreation…is a study in outsized avarice and arrogance. Exuberantly rambunctious, Guterson’s bold pondering of the Greek classic is a fiendishly tantalizing romp.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Selected for the November 2011 Indie Next List
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, October 2011
  • A 2011 Seattle Times Best Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sharon Zink | 2/20/2014

    " A clever take on Oedipus the King. I didn't realize what was happening in that regard at least until the second half of the book. David Guterson is a good writer, and I want to read more by him. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cerealflakes | 2/8/2014

    " I enjoyed this book at the beginning, but it was really getting grating by the mid point. This book is based on the Oedipal story, so they story line is basically known from the start. Add to that a bunch of unlikable characters and unbelievable coincidences, and you have a book with not much going for it. As a resident of Seattle, I was also distracted by the author using real places in the book. I also wondered why he made up the name of the kids' middle school, but not the names of anything else. Minor, I know, but when he's using the real names of everything else, it did make me curious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kristen | 2/6/2014

    " This is the first of Guterson's books I've read, no doubt picked up because of a magazine book review. While the story of Oedipus Rex is one worth telling, as lessons about pride and hubris are always needed, I'm not sure I was convinced that this re-telling was worth my time. The characters, intentionally soulless, are interesting, though perhaps too flawed. Neither main character has a redeeming quality, per se. Additionally, the language tends to be long on exposition and short on dialogue. While this works in classic literature sometimes, not so much in its modern iteration. Props for trying, but its hard to twist a sensational Greek tragedy and still have it be relevant and coherent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lynn Shurden | 2/1/2014

    " What did I think? Gutterson always gives a twist to a story. Although I realized early on where this story line was headed, I continued to read, nevertheless. All I can say after thinking about this after finishing the book, it still makes me question some things! How plausible is it that in the metropolitan area of Seattle that mother and son would "hook up" as they did? Oh, I suppose anything can happen! But as any good book does, I'm still thinking about it - life happens! "

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