Leaving the Sea: Stories Audiobook, by Ben Marcus Play Audiobook Sample

Leaving the Sea: Stories Audiobook

Leaving the Sea: Stories Audiobook, by Ben Marcus Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Brian Hutchison, George Guidall, Andrew Garman, Brian Hutchinson, various narrators Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc. Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.33 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: January 2014 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781490605197

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

57:56 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

02:13 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

29:46 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Ben Marcus: > View All...

Publisher Description

From one of the most innovative and vital writers of his generation, an extraordinary collection of stories that showcases his gifts-- and his range-- as never before. In the hilarious, lacerating " I Can Say Many Nice Things," a washed-up writer toying with infidelity leads a creative writing workshop on board a cruise ship. In the dystopian " Rollingwood," a divorced father struggles to take care of his ill infant, as his ex-wife and colleagues try to render him irrelevant. In " Watching Mysteries with My Mother," a son meditates on his mother' s mortality, hoping to stave off her death for as long as he sits by her side. And in the title story, told in a single breathtaking sentence, we watch as the narrator' s marriage and his sanity unravel, drawing him to the brink of suicide. As the collection progresses, we move from more traditional narratives into the experimental work that has made Ben Marcus a groundbreaking master of the short form. In these otherworldly landscapes, characters resort to extreme survival strategies to navigate the terrors of adulthood, one opting to live in a lightless cave and another methodically setting out to recover total childhood innocence; an automaton discovers love and has to reinvent language to accommodate it; filial loyalty is seen as a dangerous weakness that must be drilled away; and the distance from a cubicle to the office coffee cart is refigured as an existential wasteland, requiring heroic effort. In these piercing, brilliantly observed investigations into human vulnerability and failure, it is often the most absurd and alien predicaments that capture the deepest truths. Surreal and tender, terrifying and life-affirming, Leaving the Sea is the work of an utterly unique writer at the height of his powers.

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“Ben Marcus is one of my favorite writers on the planet, and I am in awe of his latest collection. Marcus’s fiction is unrivaled in its strangeness, beauty, and transformative power. A Marcus story is clinically proven to quadruple the vision of your inner eye, enlarge your heart ten sizes, and give you lucid dreams. In Leaving the Sea, Ben Marcus has collected fifteen wise, extraordinarily moving, funny and frightening tales. They spelunk into deep cave systems of love and treachery, dynamite new horizons of storytelling possibility. Nobody has the stylistic and imaginative range of Marcus. Anyone fortunate enough to read Leaving the Sea will feel as though she is making a leap into uncharted zones of insight and emotion.” 

— Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia 


  • “Marcus’s stories are nothing if not intense. They are opaque, elliptical. They go on, Beckett-like. Each finds its own form on its own terms. He’s always looking for a new way to tell an old story. As he has written elsewhere, stories ‘seek personal residence within a reader.’ They should take over the reader’s imagination, as these do.”

    — Shelf Awareness
  • “Brilliant, unsettling…Unmatched in his imagining of the human form…Marcus articulates every grade of the uncanny, with masterful attention to the twisted vortices of language…Hilarious and ingenious.”

    — Booklist (starred review)
  • “Exhilarating…A peculiar, funny, original analysis of the human psyche and modern language…A very strong collection.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “Mind-bending…Boundary-pushing…Fifteen tales of modern anxiety that display Marcus’ range…Marcus has mastered a bitterly comic tone and a level of psychological insight that make the characters more than repositories of middle-age rage…At once smart, claustrophobic, and comic.”

    — Kirkus


  • A 2014 New York Times Editor’s Choice

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About Ben Marcus

Ben Marcus is the author of The Flame Alphabet, Notable American Women, The Father Costume, and The Age of Wire and String. His writing has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Salon, McSweeney’s, the Paris Review, Harper’s, and others. He is the editor of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and has served as the guest editor of Guernica magazine. He is a 2009 recipient of a grant for Innovative Literature from the Creative Capital Foundation and has also received the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, the Whiting Writers Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. Marcus is a former professor at Brown University and is now a faculty member at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

About the Narrators

Brian Hutchison is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and a professional theater actor who has appeared in numerous Broadway, off Broadway, and regional plays.

George Guidall, winner of more than eighty AudioFile Earphones Awards, has won three of the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for lifetime achievement/ During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,700 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. His forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.

Andrew Garman is a television, film, and voice actor. His acting credits include the film Julie & Julia and appearances the television series Law & Order, Mercy, and Conviction. Among his audiobook narrations are Arcadia by Lauren Groff, Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette, and Love Is a Canoe by Ben Schrank, among others.

Brian Hutchinson is a stage, film, and television actor. He has appeared in several Broadway and off-Broadway plays, and his acting credits include the films Vino Veritas, Love and Other Drugs, and Sudden Death. He lives in New York City.

Dan Bittner is an actor and voice talent and winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards for audio narration. He has starred on stage and on the screen, in movies such as Men in Black, Adventureland, and the Producers: The Movie Musical. He has also appeared onstage as Macbeth and Sherlock Holmes in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.