Extended Audio Sample

Download Hikikomori and the Rental Sister Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Hikikomori and the Rental Sister Audiobook, by Jeff Backhaus Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (309 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeff Backhaus Narrator: Stephen Bowlby Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781611749199
Regular Price: $20.97 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Thomas, devastated by a tragedy, has cloistered himself in his bedroom and shut out the world. His wife, Silke, lives in the next room but they no longer share their lives. Desperate for one last chance, Silke hires a young Japanese woman attuned to hi Download and start listening now!

BK_HIGH_000694

Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] strange and tender debut novel…His writing, which is as clear and direct as flowing water, convincingly portrays the deepening connection between Thomas and Megumi.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “One remarkable debut.”

    Toronto Star

  • “Written deeply, cleanly, sparely, and gently, like fingers playing over the strings of a harp.”

    St. Louis Post Dispatch

  • “Required reading.”

    New York Post

  • “A mesmerizing debut at once sorrowful, intimate, and optimistic…Told in crisp and lyrical prose and a nontraditional narrative that shifts between first- and third-person, Backhaus’s novel is courageous and spare, an enthralling success.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[A] quiet but poignant exploration of loneliness and self-discovery.”

    USA Today

  • Selected for the January 2013 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 2/14/2014

    " this was lovely, so strange and touching. i cringed a little at the descriptions of sex from a woman's point of view (by the male author) but it was a great book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 2/9/2014

    " Maybe this happens in Japan, but the premise was too unbelievable for an american man. If Silke was this dynamic career woman, as the author implies, she would never have put up with Thomas' shenanigans. If it had been me, I would have committed him. I only finished the book to find out who the winner was. (If you can call Thomas a prize) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgana | 1/24/2014

    " Beautiful, taut and almost impossible for me to put down. Maybe just a tiny smidgen of hackneyed language in the final chapters and their arc, but it would be churlish to complain. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kris Marasca | 1/23/2014

    " Boring. None of the characters had any life to them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 1/20/2014

    " I REALLY enjoyed this book! Author has great style. It is one of those stories that makes you think about how events out of our control can change our lives and how when you meet people on the street you just never know what they are dealing with and for me a reminder to try and always show compassion and not judge. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pik Tompkins | 1/17/2014

    " What a waste of 3 hours of my life. One of the lightest, sketch-like, unsatisfying, and at times cloying (in its perpetuation of "inscrutable Asians") books I have read. Like a sitcom, or a "sit-tragedy". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teawench | 1/11/2014

    " This was a nice, quick read. It's one of those books that seems like there's nothing going on but there's really quite a bit happening. You only learn as much about the characters that you need. Which is nice. Not a lot of details to bog things down or get forgotten. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/10/2014

    " Sweet and sad, beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/3/2013

    " Beautifully written, character of Megumi intriguing, interesting premise, quietly tender "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 11/17/2013

    " Thomas withdraws to his room following the death of his son. The wife hires a Japanese woman to help draw him out. Different sort of story, but interesting. A quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith Coley | 11/15/2013

    " Poetic short novel. Sometimes claustrophobic but that adds to the plot. Like one of the main characters Megumi, we observe a Japanese drama played out on a Manhattan stage. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jerry Peace | 10/5/2013

    " Second half dynamic. Best line- "...maybe you just pretend and pretend, little by little, until it's real." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keri | 9/2/2013

    " Love, love, love this book! Once started, I couldn't stop until I finished the entire book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Asha | 8/24/2013

    " This book took me through a gamut of emotions. I didn't like these emotions and yet I couldn't put the book down. Definitely a must read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 7/11/2013

    " I enjoyed this novel tremendously. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn RW | 5/28/2013

    " the most beautifully written book I've read in a long time "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 1/20/2013

    " Tearful & joyful at the same time. I so love Japanese characters. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Jeff Backhaus has been a cook, an art director, and a professional pilot. He lived and worked in Korea and now lives in New York.

About the Narrator

Stephen Bowlby has worked as a professional voice actor for more than forty years. His experience spans animation, character work, commercials, and narration. He has read numerous audiobooks throughout his career, including titles by Harold Robbins, Stuart M. Kaminsky, John Sculley, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.