Download Euphoria: A Novel Audiobook

Euphoria: A Novel Audiobook, by Lily King Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lily King Narrator: Simon Vance, Xe Sands Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2014 ISBN: 9781483010144
3.83 out of 53.83 out of 53.83 out of 53.83 out of 53.83 out of 5 3.83 (2 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $19.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the ’30s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and ultimately, their lives.

English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers’ deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell’s poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby—the artistic, female-dominated Tam—he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control.

Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “There are some novels that take you by the hand with their lovely prose alone; there are those that pull you in with sensual renderings of time and place and a compelling story; and there are still others that seduce you solely with their subject matter. But it is a rare novel indeed that does all of the above at once and with complete artistic mastery. Yet this is precisely what Lily King has done in her stunningly passionate and gorgeously written Euphoria. It is simply one of the finest novels I’ve read in years, and it puts Lily King firmly in the top rank of our most accomplished novelists.”

    Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Fresh, brilliantly structured, and fully imagined, this novel radically transforms a story we might have known, as outsiders—but now experience, through Lily King’s great gifts, as if we’d lived it.”

    Andrea Barrett, National Book Award–winning author

  • “With Euphoria, Lily King gives us a searing and absolutely mesmerizing glimpse into 1930’s New Guinea, a world as savage and fascinating as Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, where obsessions rise to a feverish pitch and three dangerously entangled anthropologists will never be the same again. Jaw-droppingly, heart-stoppingly beautiful. I loved this book.”

    Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author

  • “I have come to expect Lily King’s nuanced explorations of the human heart, but in this novel she pulled me in to the exotic world of a woman anthropologist working with undiscovered tribes in 1930s New Guinea and I was totally captivated. Euphoria is a great book!”

    Karl Marlantes, New York Times bestselling author

  • Euphoria is at once romantic, exotic, informative, and entertaining.”

    Reader’s Digest

  • “Enthralling…From Conrad to Kingsolver, the misdeeds of Westerners have inspired their own literary subgenre, and in King’s insightful, romantic addition, the work of novelist and anthropologist find resonant parallel: In the beauty and cruelty of others, we discover our own.”


  • “It’s smart and steamy, and like the best historical fiction, it made me want to read about Mead.”

    USA Today

  • Euphoria is a meticulously researched homage to Mead’s restless mind and a considered portrait of Western anthropology in its primitivist heyday. It’s also a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace—a love triangle in extremis…The steam the book emits is as much intellectual as erotic…and King’s signal achievement may be to have created satisfying drama out of a quest for interpretive insight…Exquisite.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “It’s refreshing to see the world’s most famous anthropologist brought down to human scale and placed at the center of this svelte new book…King keeps the novel focused tightly on her three scientists, which makes the glimpses we catch of their New Guinea subjects all the more arresting…Although King has always written coolly about intense emotions, here she captures the amber of one man’s exquisite longing for a woman who changed the way we look at ourselves.”

    Washington Post

  • “If I tell you that Euphoria is a novel loosely based on the life of the anthropologist Margaret Mead, your eyes will start to glaze over. Well, they shouldn’t—not when the novel is as wonderful as this one. It’s both romantic and intelligent…Sparks of the emotional and sexual kind fly, but what’s even more interesting is the portrait of a growing friendship based at least partly on philosophy and attitudes toward ‘primitive’ cultures…This is the best kind of historical novel—the kind that sent me running to read more about its real-life inspiration.”, editorial review

  • “King builds an intense, seductive, sexual, and intellectual tension among the three [anthropogists]: This taut, fraught triangulation is the novel’s driving force. There are so many exhilarating elements to savor in Euphoria. It moves fast. It’s grit-in-your-teeth sensuous. The New Guinean bush and its peoples—their concerns, their ordeals—confront us with fierce, tangible exactness, with dignity and wit…It’s a brave, glorious set piece. By the end of Euphoria, this reader sighed with wistful satisfaction, wishing the book would go on. Brava to Lily King.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Masterful…A thrilling and beautifully composed novel…A great novelist is like an anthropologist, examining what humans do by habit and custom. King excels in creating vignettes from Nell’s fieldwork as well as from the bitter conversation of the three love-torn collaborators, making the familiar strange and the strange acceptable. This is a riveting and provocative novel, absolutely first rate.”

    Seattle Times

  • “The love lives and expeditions of controversial anthropologists Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson are fictionalized and richly reimagined in New England Book Award winner King’s meaty and entrancing fourth book…While the love triangle sections do turn pages (Innuendo! Jealousy! Betrayal!), King’s immersive prose takes center stage. The fascinating descriptions of tribal customs and rituals, paired with snippets of Nell’s journals—as well as the characters’ insatiable appetites for scientific discovery—all contribute to a thrilling read that, at its end, does indeed feel like ‘the briefest, purest euphoria.’”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “In a perfect marriage of words and voice, narrators Simon Vance and Xe Sands join author Lily King to produce an extraordinary audiobook experience…Delivering the alternating chapters of Mead’s stand-in, American Nell Stone, and Englishman Andrew Bankson, Sands and Vance perform the stupendous feat of creating memorable versions of the same characters. Their performances offer nuanced interpretations of the different personalities and echo, but do not copy, each other’s approach. Also, each uses a unique narrative pace that enhances the listener’s understanding of this unforgettable tale. Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Inspired by an event in the life of Margaret Mead, this novel tells the story of three young anthropologists in 1930s New Guinea…This three-way relationship is complex and involving, but even more fascinating is the depiction of three anthropologists with three entirely diverse ways of studying another culture.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “King changes the names (and the outcome) in this atmospheric romantic fiction set in New Guinea and clearly based on anthropologist Margaret Mead’s relationship with her second and third husbands…A small gem, disturbing and haunting.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Set between the First and Second World Wars, the story is loosely based on events in the life of Margaret Mead. There are fascinating looks into other cultures and how they are studied and the sacrifices and dangers that go along with it. This is a powerful story, at once gritty, sensuous, and captivating.”


  • “I’m always happy to read Lily King, and I particularly enjoyed reading Euphoria.”

    Ann Beattie, author of Chilly Scenes of Winter

  • “Lily King delves into the intellectual flights and passions of three anthropologists—as complex, rivalrous, and brutal as any of the cultures they study. Euphoria is a brilliantly written book.”

    Alice Greenway, Los Angeles Times Award–winning author

  • “Adventure and romance, danger and knowledge, desire and desolation: these are a few of my favorite things. And, exquisitely braided, they form the core of Euphoria…This passionate and thrilling new novel reminds us that all our mores are fictions, that culture itself is only a story we tell ourselves. And what a harrowing tale Lily King weaves from these threads. I’m left breathless, excited, ready to wander and explore, a little afraid, enamored, enlightened.”

    Bill Roorbach, author of Life among Giants

  • “This audio version, read by Simon Vance and Xe Sands, may well become my favorite audio of 2015…The narrators make this intense, emotionally charged tale of desire and depair, both physical and intellectural, even more vivid.”

    BookPage (audio review)

  • Selected for the June 2014 Indie Next List
  • A 2014 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2014 New England Book Award for Fiction
  • A USA Today Notable Book for Summer Reads
  • One of O Magazine’s Ten Titles to Pick Up Now
  • A 2014 Reader’s Digest Pick for Summer Reading List
  • A Marie Claire Magazine Pick for 2014 Beach Reads
  • A National Geographic Pick for Summer Reading Lists
  • A Boston Globe Pick for Summer Reading
  • A St. Louis Post-Dispatch Pick for Summer Road Trips
  • Winner of the 2014 Kirkus Prize for Fiction
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014
  • One of the New York Magazine Top 10 Books of 2014
  • A New York Times Best Book of 2014
  • An Amazon Best Book of 2014
  • A 2014 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • Nominated for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Best Literary Fiction Narration
  • A BookPage Top Pick, February 2015
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A BookPage Top Pick of Audiobooks for June 2015
  • A Voice Arts Award Nominee
  • A Pop Sugar Pick for 9 Audiobooks to Listen to on Your Next Long Roadtrip

Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
Write a Review

About the Author

Lily King’s first novel, The Pleasing Hour, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her second book, The English Teacher, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award. Father of the Rain was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year, and winner of the 2010 New England Book Award for Fiction. Lily lives with her family in Maine.

About the Narrators

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.

Xe Sands has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance, and visual art, including recordings of the Nightwalkers series from Jaquelyn Frank. She has received several honors, including AudioFile Earphones Awards and a coveted Audie Award, and she was named Favorite Debut Romance Narrator of 2011 in the Romance Audiobooks poll.