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Download Half a Life: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Half a Life: A Memoir, by Darin Strauss Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,209 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Darin Strauss Narrator: Darin Strauss Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad’s Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play mini-golf. Then a classmate swerved in front of his car, and the collision resulted in her death.

With piercing insight and stark prose, Darin Strauss leads us on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey—graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lyrical and haunting.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Elegant, painful, stunningly honest . . . huge [and] heartbreaking.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Darin Strauss has spent a good part of his adult life reliving, regretting and reflecting on a single, split-second incident. Half a Life is a starkly honest account of that fateful moment and his life thereafter . . . penetrating, thought-provoking.”

    Washington Post

  • “A book that inspires admiration, sentence by sentence…This is a memoir in its finest form, a fully imagined and bittersweet book that transcends a single misstep.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Painfully raw and beautifully written.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A remarkable, beyond-brave memoir.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
  • A 2010 NPR Best Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ellen | 2/16/2014

    " Just as he was graduating high school, Darin Strauss' life was irreparably changed by an automobile accident. Physically unharmed, and by all accounts blameless, his view of self was changed to "after" and the weight of the accident colored every friendship and relationship for the succeeding 20 years. His frank discussion is painful. One wonders how different his situation would have been in the current era of instant news and googling for every piece of data. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amy Bradley | 2/12/2014

    " On the cover, Carrie Fisher says "A story of hope and what it means to be human" and I agree. The author describes his writing as blunt and jumpy chapter and verse and I agree; however, that sometimes made the reading harder. I would recommend the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tina Schumann | 2/10/2014

    " Unsentimental,insightful read about surviving a tragic accident in early life and learning to live with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sheila Kearns | 1/15/2014

    " I thought it was very interesting hearing his side of things, you generally only hear the victim's family and friends side of things. I don't think too many people stop and consider what a tragedy like this can do to someone who didn't really do anything wrong. He wasn't drinking or doing drugs he was just driving his friends and himself to have a day of fun, and then in one single moment his entire life had changed forever through no real fault of his own. Just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I found it to be a good insight into how certain moments can chage your life and who you are forever. "

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