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Extended Audio Sample Leaving the Atocha Station Audiobook, by Ben Lerner Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 5 4.20 (5 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ben Lerner Narrator: Ben Lerner Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9781611204353
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Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self and his relationship to art. What is actual when our experiences are mediated by language, technology, medication, and the arts? Is poetry an essential art form, or merely a screen for the reader’s projections? Instead of following the dictates of his fellowship, Adam’s “research” becomes a meditation on the possibility of the genuine in the arts and beyond: are his relationships with the people he meets in Spain as fraudulent as he fears his poems are? A witness to the 2004 Madrid train bombings and their aftermath, does he participate in historic events or merely watch them pass him by?

In prose that veers between the comic and tragic, the self-contemptuous and the inspired, Leaving the Atocha Station is a portrait of the artist as a young man in an age of Google searches, pharmaceuticals, and spectacle.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hilarious and cracklingly intelligent.”

    Jonathan Franzen

  • “A subtle, sinuous, and very funny first novel.”

    New Yorker

  • “A marvelous novel, not least because of the magical way that it reverses the postmodernist spell, transmuting a fraudulent figure into a fully dimensional and compelling character.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A noteworthy debut…Lerner succeeds in drawing out the problems inherent in art, expectation, and communication.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Finalist for the 2011 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction
  • One of Newsweek's Top 100 Books in 2011
  • A 2011 Boston Globe Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2011 Guardian Best Book of the Year for Fiction
  • Finalist for the 2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Magda | 10/31/2011

    " I didn't like it. I expected more, having read the reviews. It's a pitty cause it has a nice idea, and some art references quite interesting. But that kind of everyday language with a smarty kind of way and a lack of a convincing plot is NOT my style. What a pitty... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 9/9/2011

    " Madrid, weirdly, is exactly like this. Even if you're not on tranquilizers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 8/5/2011

    " This little book is filled with moments of excellence. This novel will take its rightful place next to Lerner's three poetry collections whose words and phrases haunt me daily. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 7/27/2011

    " I won this book in a good reads contest. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ctb | 7/25/2011

    " Moving. I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads. Thank you. "

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About the Author
Author Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas. He is the author of three books of poetry The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and the recipient of a 2010–2011 Howard Foundation Fellowship. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie.