Foregone: A Novel Audiobook, by Russell Banks Play Audiobook Sample

Foregone: A Novel Audiobook

Foregone: A Novel Audiobook, by Russell Banks Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Stephen Mendel Publisher: HarperAudio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.63 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: March 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780063036789

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

57:50 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

21 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

21:59 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Russell Banks: > View All...

Publisher Description

A searing novel about memory, abandonment, and betrayal from the acclaimed and bestselling Russell Banks 

"During a career stretching almost half a century, Russell Banks has published an extraordinary collection of brave, morally imperative novels. . . . In this complex and powerful novel, we come face to face with the excruciating allure of redemption."

At the center of Foregone is famed Canadian American leftist documentary filmmaker Leonard Fife, one of sixty thousand draft evaders and deserters who fled to Canada to avoid serving in Vietnam. Fife, now in his late seventies, is dying of cancer in Montreal and has agreed to a final interview in which he is determined to bare all his secrets at last, to demythologize his mythologized life. The interview is filmed by his acolyte and ex–star student, Malcolm MacLeod, in the presence of Fife’s wife and alongside Malcolm’s producer, cinematographer, and sound technician, all of whom have long admired Fife but who must now absorb the meaning of his astonishing, dark confession.

Imaginatively structured around Fife’s secret memories and alternating between the experiences of the characters who are filming his confession, the novel challenges our assumptions and understanding about a significant lost chapter in American history and the nature of memory itself. Russell Banks gives us a daring and resonant work about the scope of one man’s mysterious life, revealed through the fragments of his recovered past.

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“As he is dying, the narrative shifts subtly between what he is saying and thinking, and what he is hearing from the people around him. [Narrator] Mendel keeps us just enough off balance that we can share the doubts of Fife’s wife and the film crew trying to interview him…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

— AudioFile 


  • “A character, a novel and a writer determined not to go gentle into that good night.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “Banks carefully layers the strata of a life, showing that the past is always more ambiguous than we think.”

    — New Yorker
  • “Banks considers with profound intent the verity of memory, the mercurial nature of the self, and how little we actually know about ourselves and others.”

    — Booklist (starred review)


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick

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About Russell Banks

Russell Banks (1940-2023), twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, was one of America’s most prestigious fiction writers. Two of his novels, The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction, have been made into award-winning films. He was a member of the International Parliament of Writers and former New York State Author and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996. He was a past president of the International Parliament of Writers. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature.

About Stephen Mendel

Stephen Mendel was educated in Montreal, Canada, graduated from Bishop’s University with a BA in drama, and immediately began working in theater. Film and TV roles soon followed. He moved to Los Angeles, where he had roles in the CBS TV series Night Heat. He subsequently went on to guest star on numerous television shows and appear in many feature films. A master of accents and dialects, he narrates audiobooks and performs voice work in animation, narration, video games, and radio and television commercials.