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Extended Audio Sample Innocence: A Novel Audiobook, by Jane Mendelsohn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (361 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Mendelsohn Narrator: Emily Schirner Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2005 ISBN: 9781596005815
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An electrifying follow-up to her bestselling I Was Amelia Earhart, Jane Mendelsohn's Innocence is a modern gothic coming-of-age story, a devastating X-ray of American culture, and a piercing exploration of a teenage girl growing up in New York City. Narrated with incisive wit by fourteen-year-old Becket, the novel traces her relationship with her widowed father, her encounters with the intimidating Beautiful Girls at school, her attraction to the mysterious and dangerous school nurse, her attachment to the raffish Tobey, and a series of devastating nightmares that threaten Becket's life as she moves from girl to woman. Mendelsohn has written an allegory about the precarious state of the American teenager in a culture that sucks the life force out of its young, who are nurtured by the movies and fantasy and narcissism rather than by values such as honesty and love. This is a world as startingly original and hauntingly familiar as our dreams, where the line between fantasy and reality, between sanity and insanity, is razor-thin. Playful, frightening, profound, and gripping, Innocence is the rare thing - a page turner with the depth of poetry and the immediacy of cinema. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Cosentino | 1/26/2014

    " Very odd. Quite well written, but very odd. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 1/7/2014

    " Loved this dark fairy tale, a coming-of-age tale for the conflicted modern girl who has hard time believing what she sees right in front of her because it's not really of the normal world. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 12/30/2013

    " Is there a possibility for negative stars? I got about halfway through this book, which isn't saying much because there is more blank space than written word in the hardcover edition. I did not like the style of writing and couldn't get used to it. For example, quotations were not used to let you know that someone was speaking, instead they were just mixed in with everything else. Plus I didn't like the main character. This read more like a B movie instead of a book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 12/22/2013

    " really weird book. but a super fast read. it kept me interested because i wasn't quite sure what was going on, and i kept thinking that if i read a little more it would clarify everything. it kind of did. but like i said very weird "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abigail Amon | 12/17/2013

    " Very mind-boggling. Very interesting. Even I had to pause every once in a while to take note of certain phrases I found meaningful or, believe it or not, relevant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dian Rachmawati | 12/10/2013

    " A light reading you will love. It is quite dark and that is what I love about this book. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Sammis | 12/10/2013

    " Sort of like Rosemary's Baby "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 W.B. | 9/29/2013

    " I thought this was fun, even though I felt a guilty pleasure as the book seemed designed to cultivate an adolescent or very young adult audience...sexy in that sick way.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Madeline | 9/2/2013

    " I read this book very quickly in the hopes of getting an explanation as to what exactly was happening. I decided in the end that the girl was schizophrenic. It was a very strange read. I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 8/19/2013

    " Interesting construction with a mix of past and present tense. I also like the way Mendelsohn uses white space to break up a page of prose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 8/2/2013

    " Read this when I was younger and the amazing way it was written still stays with me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JJ | 8/1/2013

    " Simply amazing, and unlike any fantasy book I've ever read. It kept me captivated the whole time. This is not your typical vampires in high school book, it's really really good. The writing style is very poetic and beautiful. I'm really looking forward to watching the movie adaption of this one!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucian | 7/25/2013

    " It was better the first time I read it in 2000. This time I wasn't captivated at all. I'm sure I was rooting for the bad guys too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 7/13/2013

    " Perfect reading for a women's studies class... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 'Chele | 6/16/2013

    " A girl transfers to a new school. The nurse marries her dad. The nurse turns our to be a vampire. Lots of blood, killing to make look like a suicide. Girl "wins" in the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 J.M. | 4/23/2013

    " Eh, just can't get into it. It's a shame, too, as I liked her other novel (I Was Amelia Earhart). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vani | 4/2/2013

    " I didn't like it...that's all i have to say. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tasha | 1/27/2013

    " This book gave me the creeps, and not in a 'I'm scared' sort of way, more like a, holy shit, this story is physically sickening kind of way. It made my skin crawl with revulsion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie Pietro | 8/25/2012

    " Any book that opens with a wet girl asking for sex you know has to be good. Different, chilling, and sad. With relationship between the girl and the mother was so hard to picture. Very wonderful read. Dont pass this book up! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ctroskoph | 3/6/2012

    " This is one of the most confusing books I have ever read; however, with that being said, I loved it. Medelsohn makes teen-age angst, depression, suicide and the spiralling into madness lyrically beautiful. The commentary of current culture is also insightful. It is a book to read over and over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridgett | 10/23/2010

    " I love this book! It is very strange but I really related to the protagonist's fears. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 8/6/2010

    " Interesting, fast read. A little strange at times. I REALLY wish I had read this when it first came out instead of now. I might have enjoyed it more were the culture not so obsessed with a similar topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ctroskoph | 8/6/2010

    " This is one of the most confusing books I have ever read; however, with that being said, I loved it. Medelsohn makes teen-age angst, depression, suicide and the spiralling into madness lyrically beautiful. The commentary of current culture is also insightful. It is a book to read over and over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 5/31/2010

    " Interesting, fast read. A little strange at times. I REALLY wish I had read this when it first came out instead of now. I might have enjoyed it more were the culture not so obsessed with a similar topic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 3/22/2010

    " Any book that opens with a wet girl asking for sex you know has to be good. Different, chilling, and sad. With relationship between the girl and the mother was so hard to picture. Very wonderful read. Dont pass this book up! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy | 1/23/2010

    " Really really scary and disturbing. I bought this book from a flea market for $2 and what a find! I was drawn to the whole 'is she insane or is this scary thing really happening??' idea. Well-played, and I'm still not altogether sure what the answer is, but i really liked this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/3/2010

    " Really fast read. Lovely imagery. Creepy stepmother who's a vampire. What's not to love? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Madeline | 10/16/2009

    " I read this book very quickly in the hopes of getting an explanation as to what exactly was happening. I decided in the end that the girl was schizophrenic. It was a very strange read. I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 k2 | 8/12/2009

    " When I look back over my Books Read notes, I marked that this one was a facinating, albeit quick, read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 'Chele | 6/27/2009

    " A girl transfers to a new school. The nurse marries her dad. The nurse turns our to be a vampire. Lots of blood, killing to make look like a suicide. Girl "wins" in the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lucian | 4/21/2009

    " It was better the first time I read it in 2000. This time I wasn't captivated at all. I'm sure I was rooting for the bad guys too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 12/17/2008

    " really weird book. but a super fast read. it kept me interested because i wasn't quite sure what was going on, and i kept thinking that if i read a little more it would clarify everything. it kind of did. but like i said very weird "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/4/2008

    " Perfect reading for a women's studies class... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey | 11/29/2008

    " The imagery used in this novel is phenomenal. I was a little confused at first over what was real and what wasn't, but once I hit about page 10, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend it to just about anyone. Very pretty language inside. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridgett | 9/26/2008

    " I love this book! It is very strange but I really related to the protagonist's fears. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 8/16/2008

    " Also a very strange book. I couldn't tell if the girl was absolutely crazy or if the book was actually supposed to be about vampires. Very weird. Not a book that I would normally read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee | 8/14/2008

    " A light reading you will love. It is quite dark and that is what I love about this book. :) "

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About the Author
Author Jane MendelsohnJane Mendelsohn was born in New York City, July 4, 1965. She was graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Yale University in 1987, and attended Yale Law School for one year before beginning a career as a writer/journalist.