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Download Life: An Exploded Diagram Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Life: An Exploded Diagram, by Mal Peet Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (743 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mal Peet Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet ignites an epic tale of young love against the dramatic backdrop of the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Can love survive a lifetime? When working-class Clem Ackroyd falls for Frankie Mortimer, the gorgeous daughter of a wealthy local landowner, he has no hope that it can. After all, the world teeters on the brink of war, and bombs could rain down any minute over the bleak English countryside—just as they did seventeen years ago as his mother, pregnant with him, tended her garden. This time, Clem may not survive. Told in cinematic style by acclaimed writer Mal Peet, this brilliant coming-of-age novel is a gripping family portrait that interweaves the stories of three generations and the terrifying crises that de? ne them. With its urgent sense of history, sweeping emotion, and winning young narrator, Mal Peet's latest is an unforgettable, timely exploration of life during wartime.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Peet creates an explosive world where love is frowned upon and the past has bloody teeth and bad breath. It’s a world that demands deep examination and thought, and Peet has done a splendid job of creating it.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This is mesmerizing through the sheer force and liveliness of its prose, as well as its unpredictable, inexorable plot. Peet’s gift for imagery makes the novel fizz with the intensity of an adolescent’s heightened perceptions—in which everything is alive, and even boredom is an all-engrossing activity. Place, period, and adolescent passion all come through with exuberant feeling and humor; Peet’s subtle, literary play with narrative voice, style, and chronology make this a satisfyingly sophisticated teen novel. Outstanding.”

    Horn Book (starred review)

  • “Sophisticated teens and adults will appreciate this subtle yet powerful exposition of the far-reaching implications of war.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Teen Fiction 2011 for Teens
  • Selected for the Winter 2011 Kids' Indie Next List: Teens
  • A 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book
  • A 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Heather Perkinson | 2/16/2014

    " This is a brilliantly written book that deftly weaves together the strands of a plot that includes a love affair between two teenagers living in rural England and the tumultuous events of the Cold War in the early late 50s and early 60s. Readers are drawn down into the history and culture of the setting through an introduction that delves into the gritty pasts of their families and then lifted back up again by the luminous and gently humorous story of the young couple's romance. Several elements conspire to keep you hanging on every word. The two kids have much to lose by being together, and their assignations are fraught with danger and desperation. The hopelessness and impossibility of their relationship echoes the climate in which they are living and ultimately allows the author to turn the story into a sort of allegory about war. But don't read it for the message, read it just to get to know and experience the greatly flawed but entirely lovable protagonist, Clem Ackroyd, who tells the story as an adult remembering his past. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Christie | 2/11/2014

    " There's a lot here that wants to be liked. I enjoyed the characters, the plot is interesting. I didn't read far enough to know how the whole thing was connected to the Cuban Missile Crisis. I gave up on the book after the history lesson that tried to be written in Clem's voice about 188 pages in. For the whole of those 188 pages, I have no idea why a teenager would be interested in reading this book. I kept wondering, Why is this YA? What did me in (besides a fairly slow pace) was the narrative voice. About a 1/3 of the book is first person by an adult Clem and the rest third person. It didn't work for me even a little. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jen Bellomo | 2/2/2014

    " A fabulous coming of age story, with the angst of first love juxtaposed against the Cuban Missile Crisis. A great read for all ages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tamsyn | 1/27/2014

    " I enjoyed this story set in England in the 1950s and 60s, a coming-of-age story of a boy with a twist. "

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