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Extended Audio Sample In the Unlikely Event: A Novel, by Judy Blume Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.33 out of 52.33 out of 52.33 out of 52.33 out of 52.33 out of 5 2.33 (3 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Judy Blume Narrator: Kathleen McInerney Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When a series of passenger airplanes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey, within a three-month period in 1951 to 1952, Judy Blume was a teenager. “These events have lingered in my mind ever since,” says Blume. “It was a crazy time. We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified.”

Against this background, Blume uses her imagination to bring us the lives of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, who are profoundly affected by these events, either directly or indirectly. But life goes on, and Blume digs deep into her characters—we see them coping not only with grief but with first love, estranged parents, difficult friendships, familial obligations, divorce, career ambitions, a grandparent’s love, a widower’s hope, and everything in between.

In the Unlikely Event is filled with the same warmth and authenticity that have won Blume the hearts and minds of readers of all generations.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • In the Unlikely Event gives us everything that Blume is known (and beloved) for—the fierce, fraught nature of young relationships, the comfort and confines of cultural identity, the messiness and joys of the body—and takes it to a new level. This novel is her most ambitious to date, and she lives up to its reach with her characteristic frankness, compassion, and charm. Gayle Brandeis, The San Francisco Chronicle
  • Judy Blume isn’t just revered, she’s revolutionary. . . . The novel moves with momentum, told in short chapter bursts, newspaper reports and even scripted dialogue. . . . Blume nails every 1950s detail, from the refinished basements with wet bars and knotty-pine walls to Elizabeth Taylor haircuts and mentions of Bogart and Bacall. . . . Blume, whose fiction for adults has the same emotional immediacy as her books for children, makes us feel the pure shock and wonder of living. Caroline Leavitt, The New York Times Book Review
  • Comfort reading at its most soothing, the turn of its pages like sitting down with a beloved, long-lost friend. Lucy Scholes, The Independent(U.K.)
  • Characteristically accessible, frequently charming, and always deeply human. Publishers Weekly
  • “An ambitious book that combines adult experience with the sweet familiarity of Blume’s writing for and about younger people. . . . The novel rivals Tolstoy or Ferrante in its number of characters, families, and stories, and it feels not just believable but like a regular preteen-style Judy Blume page-turner, emotionally resonant and down-to-earth at once. . . . It’s also the experience of being in Blume’s authoritative hands, reading a dramatic story about daily life told in a funny, orderly, honest style. Blume is always kind to her readers; the suffering her characters experience feels real but never cruel, never melodramatic. . .  . [Her books are] deftly crafted, and she’s done the hard work for us. . . . Reading In the Unlikely Event is like reconnecting with a long-lost friend. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker
  • Judy Blume is back—and on her game! . . . A deftly written story that captures a town coping with loss and the sudden fame that horrible tragedy brings. You won’t want to turn the last page. Kim Hubbard,People Magazine
  • Will appeal to loyal fans as well as new readers. . . . In Miri, Blume deftly exposes the inner life of a teenager girl during the 1950s—and not the sanitized version so often portrayed. In the Unlikely Event integrates Blume’s acclaimed observation of the teenage experience with intimate knowledge of an unusual series of events, making it a page-turner with cross-generational appeal. Meganne Fabrega, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • Quite simply, extraordinary. Viv Groskop, The Guardian (U.K.)
  • [In the Unlikely Event] does not disappoint. . . . Blume’s great gift is [her] personal touch; her unflinching but reassuring voice—that of a no-nonsense big sister who gives it to you straight, then gives you a hug—characterizes her adult novels as distinctly as it does her YA output. Emily Simon, Buffalo News
  • Blume creates characters who are real and sympathetic. Amanda St. Amand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Satisfying, heartfelt. . . Delivers on the warm nostalgia that we remember from Blume’s earlier books. . . It is her signature unparalleled ability to capture the innermost lives of teenagers that makes In the Unlikely Event vintage Judy Blume. Melissa M. Firman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • The details of the time and place ring true, and so do the feelings of the characters. Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch
  • Excellent and satisfying. . . Has all the elements of Blume’s best books: the complex relationships between friends and family members, the straight talk and lack of shame about sex, and, most of all, the compassionate insight into the pleasures and pains of growing up. Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader
  • Vividly rendered. . .  Blume deftly demonstrates just how different the personal fallout from tragedy can turn out to be. . . . As Blume proves over and over again not just in In the Unlikely Event but in all of her fiction, life does go on in spite of hardship. We love. We lose. We fail. We may fall. But the lucky ones, we try our best to endure. Alexis Burling,The Oregonian
  • Blume, in clear and forthright storytelling, creates realistic characters searching for happiness while dodging the obstacles placed in their way. She does it with a compassionate understanding of life’s setbacks and the power we all have to survive and move on. Carol Memmott,Chicago Tribune
  • Has [Judy Blume’s] signature warm, personal touch. Megan O’Grady, Vogue.com
  • It’s Judy Blume and, therefore, it’s gold. . . . Despite tragedy at its core, [In the Unlikely Event] soars. Jacqueline Cutler, Newark Star Ledger
  • A heartfelt novel intended to be heartwarming. In that it fully succeeds. Sherryl Connelly, New York Daily News
  • “There is no surprise that [In the Unlikely Event] is smoothly written, and its story compelling. The setting—the early 1950s—is especially well realized. . . A new Blume novel will always be big news. Michael Cart, Booklist (starred review)
  • “A deftly written story that captures a town coping with loss and the sudden fame that horrible tragedy brings. You won’t want to turn the last page.”

    People

  • “Has [Judy Blume’s] signature warm, personal touch.”

    Vogue

  • “Combines adult experience with the sweet familiarity of Blume’s writing for and about younger people…It feels not just believable but like a regular preteen-style Judy Blume page-turner, emotionally resonant and down-to-earth at once…A dramatic story about daily life told in a funny, orderly, honest style…Reading In the Unlikely Event is like reconnecting with a long-lost friend.”

    New Yorker

  • “Blume has threaded these lives together in an essential way and given every one of them importance…Blume, whose fiction for adults has the same emotional immediacy as her books for children, makes us feel the pure shock and wonder of living, the ways we get through catastrophe—and the ways we fail.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[In the Unlikely Event] is smoothly written, and its story compelling. The setting—the early 1950s—is especially well realized.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Richly evocative of the era and filled with Blume’s typically memorable characters, this is a compelling look at how life goes on after tragedy.”

    BookPage

  • “Maintaining her knack for personal detail, Blume mixes Miri’s familiar coming-of-age melodrama with an exploration of how disasters test character, alter relationships, and reveal undercurrents of a seemingly simple world…Her novel is characteristically accessible, frequently charming, and always deeply human.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Nostalgic details of life in the early ’50s abound…This book will be welcomed by any Blume fan who can handle three real tragedies and a few four-letter words.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Kathleen McInerney creates a vibrant audio version of the interlocked lives, families, and generations in Judy Blume’s arresting, sometimes harrowing, new novel…Well matched with Blume’s narrative control, McInerney’s vocal technique is marvelously flexible, distinguishing with easy shifts of tone a nine-year-old girl from a fifteen-year-old, not to mention men from women and the midde-aged from the elderly. Together, they make this powerfully imagined, intricately plotted story unforgettable.”

    AudioFile

  • A BookPage Top Pick for June 2015 in Historical Fiction
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Top Shelf Pick for Summer 2015
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of 9 Hot Beach Reads You’ll Remember All Summer
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for June 2015
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A June 2015 LibraryReads Pick
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