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Extended Audio Sample Girl in Landscape Audiobook, by Jonathan Lethem Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,766 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Lethem Narrator: David Aaron Baker Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2007 ISBN: 9780739357248
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One the irrepressibly inventive Jonathan Lethem could weld science fiction and the Western into a mesmerizing novel of exploration and otherness, sexual awakening and loss. At the age of 13 Pella Marsh loses her mother and her home on the scorched husk that is planet Earth. Her sorrowing family emigrates to the Planet of the Archbuilders, whose mysterious inhabitants have names like Lonely Dumptruck and Hiding Kneeland a civilization that and frightens their human visitors.

On this new world, spikily independent Pella becomes as uneasy envoy between two species. And at the same time is unwilling drawn to a violent loner who embodies all the paranoid machismo of the frontier ethic. Combining the tragic grandeur of John Ford’s The Searchers and the sexual tension of Lolita and transporting them to a planet light years, Girl in Landscape is a tour de force.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Lethem is opening up blue sky for American fiction. Village Voice
  • Complex, scary and finally moving. Atlanta Journal & Constitution
  • One of the most original voices among younger American novelists....Jonathan Lethem's imagination [is]...marvelously fertile. Newsday

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 2/15/2014

    " Great atmosphere, plot could have been a bit deeper. But in the spirit of many westerns, it stands for what it is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Granieri | 2/9/2014

    " Jonathan Lethem's Girl in Landscape tells the coming of age tale of Pella Marsh, a thirteen year old girl who must leave earth to follow her father to the planet of the Archbuilders. Girl in Landscape is a delightful read that has obvious undertones and influence from Nabokov's Lolita. A science fiction piece that has a little bit of everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Keyishian | 2/5/2014

    " Leave it to Jonathan Lethem to create a science-fiction world that feels like an old Western by way of the Bowery Boys. I sank effortlessly into this mysterious, distant world, a ghost-town of a planet just starting to be inhabited by humans escaping a sun-parched Earth. Though he sketches details elegantly the story of 13-year-old Pella and her increasingly fractured family, adrift in a new frontier, was more important than the nitty-gritty of space travel -- I was frustrated by a few holes in the story that were never quite filled in. But all in all, this was an intoxicating read, satisfying, and I'm very sad it's over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 alissa | 1/29/2014

    " This was like being 15 and reading Ursula K. Leguin for the first time. And for that reason alone, I was in love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis Gallagher | 1/20/2014

    " Another interesting Science Fiction book. It explores the changes that a girl undergoes after arriving on a new planet and her transformations into creatures that are native to the planet, which she uses to spy on the settlers of the planet. It deals with ancestry's effect on people a lot. It is also a coming of age story for the main character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 1/12/2014

    " Again, I love you Jonathan Lethem. I had dreams about this book and the household deer. Where do you come up with this stuff? I want to get inside your head and hang out for a few days. This time the book struck me as more poignant and sad, but I still imagine that being a household deer is the great way to live, or at least a great way to play. The way Pella Marsh is written is exquisite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Birgit | 12/31/2013

    " This had been on my nightstand for year (maybe two) and I finally picked it up (because another long hardcover book, think Sawtelle, was just too daunting at this time). Science fiction is not usually my cup of tea but I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. Very eerie yet powerful images. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Manns | 12/31/2013

    " An enjoyable read. I struggled with this author's Fortress of Solitude, but this 'sci-fi western' set on a distant planet where settlers try to live amongst the ruins of an ancient civilisation was much more to my liking. The characters, especially the main protagonist Pella Marsh, were believable and there were some nice touches, such as the tiny household deer. Probably not up there with the classics of the genre but I'd recommend it to any SF fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 12/27/2013

    " Futuristic fantasy with a teenage heroine. He does a perfect job. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 8/16/2013

    " Very deep sci-fi/western/new york story. Highly recommend this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/5/2013

    " kind of liked it, kind of didn't. about a girl who moves to a new planet with her family after her mother's death... and about her self discovery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 6/2/2013

    " It's been a few years since I've read this book (at least three, mind you), so this "review" will be concise until I re-read it: creepy, unsettling, and engorged with vivid imagery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 5/15/2013

    " Space Western version of little house on the prairie, coming of age story. Oh with weird Aliens that find the english language poetic and choose names like "Dump Truck". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karl | 4/17/2013

    " Engrossing, the kind of thing you'll burn through in one sitting. The ending falls a little flat, I think, but maybe I just didn't want it to be finished so soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anndee | 2/11/2013

    " Wonderfully weird. Nice to finish something in less than a week. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara | 10/29/2012

    " household-deer and a man named Efram. reminded me a lot of The Sparrow. quite lovely. abrupt ending, like most modern fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 8/12/2012

    " Interesting concept, but the book felt a little flat to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cameron | 7/9/2012

    " not such a great book, but very creative to combine the western and the sci-fi genres. if I knew more about either maybe i would have thought it genuis. actually, the most interesting part is watching lethem find his style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neal Kerrigan | 12/30/2011

    " It was at times gruesomely descriptive. Lethem has the style of Vonnegut or Bradbury, and loves, the sci fi / comic book genre, but goes about it in the form a truly talented novelist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom gayheart | 7/16/2011

    " This is a young adult sci fi novel. I have read better, but the descriptions of the "aliens" and of the alien planet are excellent. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 girlwithglasses | 4/28/2011

    " I enjoyed the writing style and scifi aspects, but the "plot"--or lack thereof--left me cold. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 3/8/2011

    " Space Western version of little house on the prairie, coming of age story. Oh with weird Aliens that find the english language poetic and choose names like "Dump Truck". "

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About the Author
Author Jonathan LethemJonathan Lethem is the author of five novels, including Gun, With Occasion Music, and Girl in Landscape. His most recent, Motherless Brooklyn, was named Novel of the Year by Esquire and won The National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award. He is also the author of the story collection, The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye and the novella This Shape We’re In. He edited The Vintage Book of Amnesia, guest-edited The Year’s Best Music Writing 2002, and was the founding fiction editor of Fence Magazine. His writings have appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, McSweeney’s, and many other periodicals. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
About the Narrator

David Aaron Baker is a voice and film actor and award-winning narrator. He has earned six AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration.