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Junk: A Play Audiobook, by Ayad Akhtar Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Ayad Akhtar Narrator: Michael Crouch Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2017 ISBN: 9781478915881
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*Now on Broadway at Lincoln Center starring Steven Pasquale*

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced, a fast-paced economic thriller that exposes the financial deal making behind the mergers and acquisitions boom of the 1980s.

Set in 1985, Junk tells the story of Robert Merkin, resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell. Hailed as "America's Alchemist," his proclamation that "debt is an asset" has propelled him to a dizzying level of success. By orchestrating the takeover of a massive steel manufacturer, Merkin intends to do the "deal of the decade," the one that will rewrite all the rules. Working on his broadest canvas to date, Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar chronicles the lives of men and women engaged in financial civil war: insatiable investors, threatened workers, killer lawyers, skeptical journalists, and ambitious federal prosecutors. Although it's set 40 years in the past, this is a play about the world we live in right now; a world in which money became the only thing of real value.
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Quotes & Awards

  • [A] Shakespearean history play of spiraling national consequence. New York Times
  • Maybe, someday, we can live down the 1980s. But not any day soon, if Ayad Akhtar has anything to do with it Variety
  • It's a modern Shakespeare history war play....We don't have kings and queens in America. What we have are super successful Wall Street tycoons.—Steven Pasquale, actor
  • A massively ambitious play. It succeeds magnificently on many levels, and it should head to Broadway where it will be not only close to Wall Street, but even more accessible to those many in the public with a growing fascination in finance, economics, and social policy. Brad Auerbach, Forbes
  • JUNK unfolds like a big, blockbuster novel-lots of twists and turns, and goods and evils (okay, mostly evils). It's an epic seduction, in fact, that involves everyone in the piece. At the same time, the playwright underpins the antics with serious themes and key questions. Jeff Smith, San Diego Reader
  • With 17 characters, JUNK is bigger in scale than Mr. Akhtar's previous plays, but it bears his signatures-it is fast, funny, ruthless and dark. Michael Sokolove, New York Times
  • Forget about all the TV pundits and op-ed columnists droning on about America's problems. Playwright Ayad Akhtar is the diagnostician the nation needs to interpret its faltering health.... In JUNK: THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEBT, his thrilling new play...Akhtar takes on the equally explosive subjects of modern finance and the new religion of money. And once again he provides an unflinchingly candid cross section of attitudes and positions in which our sympathies and antipathies keep shifting along lines that are too complex to be straightforwardly ideological.... What's most impressive about JUNK is the brilliant way Akhtar crunches the social, political and economic data of this greedy new world, a precursor to the way we live today. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times
  • Whip-smart.... An intimate, accessible tale on an epic canvas.... Akhtar writes crackling, rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue like David Mamet, but it's infused with Shakespearean scope and pop-culture references. There are nods to the Bard's Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and history plays, lines from the Bible and the 1987 film Wall Street and the freewheeling exuberance of The Wolf of Wall Street. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune

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About the Author

Ayad Akhtar is an American-born, first generation Pakistani American from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds degrees in theater from Brown University and in directing from the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University, where he won multiple awards for his work. He is the author of numerous screenplays and was star and cowriter of The War Within, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and an International Press Academy Satellite Award for Best Picture—Drama.

About the Narrator

Gore Vidal (1925–2012), winner of the National Book Award, wrote numerous novels, short stories, plays, and essays, as well as nonfiction.