Extended Audio Sample

Download Love and Other Impossible Pursuits Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, by Ayelet Waldman
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,107 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ayelet Waldman Narrator: Susan Denaker Publisher: Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN:
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 0 votes

With wry candor and tender humor, acclaimed novelist Ayelet Waldman has crafted a strikingly beautiful novel for our time, tackling the absurdities of modern life and reminding us why we love some people no matter what.

For Emilia Greenleaf, life is by turns a comedy of errors and an emotional minefield. Yes, she's a Harvard Law grad who married her soulmate. Yes, they live in elegant comfort on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But with her one-and-only, Jack, came a stepson, a know-it-all preschooler named William who has become her number one responsibility every Wednesday afternoon. With William, Emilia encounters a number of impossible pursuits, such as the pursuit of cab drivers who speed away when they see William's industrial-strength car seat and the pursuit of lactose-free, strawberry-flavored, patisserie-quality cupcakes, despite the fact that William's allergy is a figment of his over-protective mother's imagination.

As much as Emilia wants to find common ground with William, she becomes completely preoccupied when she loses her newborn daughter. After this, the sight of any child brings her to tears, and Wednesdays with William are almost impossible. When his unceasing questions turn to the baby's death, Emilia is at a total loss. Doesn't anyone understand that self-pity is a full-time job? Ironically, it is only through her blundering attempts to bond with William that she finally heals herself and learns what family really means.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000771

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marti | 2/20/2014

    " Due to a rather unsympathetic main character this book is not as good as Waldman's "Daughter's Keeper." Still worth reading. I see Waldman has gone back to nonfiction ("Bad Mommy") but I hope she has not completely given up on fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendra | 2/15/2014

    " I'm giving this four stars instead of three because even when characters and the writing got tiresome, I didn't want to put it down. I found myself being moved by unexpected moments -- some spelled out in detail and others implied in a lovely way. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katrinka | 2/13/2014

    " By the end of the second chapter, I was done with this book due too much foul language and crudeness. No thanks! There are too many truly creative and good things out there to waste my time with such filth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 2/10/2014

    " I loved this book, couldn't put it down - read it in one day flat. I haven't read anything quite like it in a very long time. It's one of those that you get really frustrated and annoyed with the main character, but at the same time totally understand and sympathize with why she does what she does. However, the sole reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because of the author's pretentious overuse of "big"/obscure words. I consider myself well-educated, and well-read with a firm grasp of the English language and an above average vocabulary. However, I visited dictionary.com far more often during the course of this book than I think I have in all my years since high school combined. (Some of my favorites - subcutaneous, braggadocio, lugubrious, hydrocephalic, sybarite, self-aggrandizement.) I get it - Ms. Waldman and her characters are highly intellingent beings, I just wish she didn't feel the need to make her audience feel quite so inferior. That said, I plan to read "Red Hook Road" next, which has come highly recommended. I hope the same trend is not present in that work, as I doubt I'd be able to tolerate anything further from her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivannah | 2/4/2014

    " Oh my, what a delightful read. I SO love this one. I took a chance on it, and was so happy that I did. It's a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 1/24/2014

    " Finding oneself, finding love, redemption...lofty themes and more daunting when one considers they surround the loss of an infant daughter for the central character. I could not put this book down because I found that character saying things and doing things that were so honest and real and destructive at times that my life was on hold until I learned what happened. A five year old boy, her step son, was beautifully (and accurately) developed, a reminder of divorce's often devastating consequences for children; his personality and voice grabbed me immediately and held me to the last page. Central Park appears in this book almost as another character and serves as an interesting metaphor. In the end, the book left me thinking about the work relationships, especially marriage and families, require and the layers that need to be considered over time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lilly G | 1/22/2014

    " For a book that is distinctly *not* plot-driven, I flew through this. I found Emilia's narrative voice compelling in that she's completely imperfect and petty and self-centered, but she's also fun and observant and sarcastic. So it's a fun ride watching her dish it out to her know-it-all 5 year old stepson. The writing was tight and for the 3 days I was reading this, I was immersed. Which is all I require to call a book a good read (pun intended). Great weekend read, if a bit dark for light reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 1/17/2014

    " After reading Michael Chabon's recent essays (and I loved Mysteries of Pittsburgh), I was curious about his wife, who he mentions a lot in his essays and is the author of this book. While I think she can string a good sentence together, I didn't really relate to the issues of motherhood, nor the NYC snottiness (it takes place on the Upper West Side) inherent in this plot. The sweet, simple ending, however, redeemed it all for me and I was left with a good feeling about the book (and the wife). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 1/17/2014

    " Great book, even though I really disliked the main character -- kept wanting to smack her for how she treated the equally obnoxious child. So, a very good author can weave a compelling story even with characters you don't care for. Hmm. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri Pickett | 1/3/2014

    " This one was okay. Normally love Waldman but this one was lacking that something special. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Val | 1/3/2014

    " A bit like We Need To Talk About Kevin in the sort of can't connect way, but nowhere nearly as dark. Has a somewhat too successful ending but a very engaging read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaethe | 12/16/2013

    " So sad, and touching. While I can't quite imagine loving a man, but disliking his child, Waldman can, and explains it all beautifully. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andie Long | 12/15/2013

    " The blurb on the back read as if would be a humerous book and it was actually quite sad. Also the story got lost between pages of descriptive prose. Not my scene really overall, though enjoyed it in places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea R | 12/5/2013

    " It took me a few chapters to get into it but then I read the last piece at a break neck pass. Very real characters, to me a plausible story with the end result of a lot of tears. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 6/18/2013

    " This was a really good read, and not so predictable in some ways, neither of which I expected. Also, I don't remember liking a book with such a seriously flawed protagonist for a long time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi Sparta | 5/13/2013

    " Enjoyable reading, another great woman author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 4/25/2013

    " Really like Waldman's writing style and this one did not disappoint. Good layered novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Krissy | 12/3/2012

    " went on a bit too long, and I didn't find main character very likable... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sbedjfink | 9/23/2012

    " Absorbing light summer reading. 3.5 stars. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lis | 12/8/2011

    " An interesting book about relationships and step-children. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Celia | 9/8/2011

    " I knew I liked this author when I read Daughter's Keeper. This book was pretty good. It centered on the main character's miscarriage experience and her dislike for her step son. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 7/5/2011

    " Waldman is so smart and funny. A good read and a heartwarming story--told with great wit and insight into complicated families. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Moira | 6/29/2011

    " I think some people will either love or hate this character, but no matter how you feel I think it's an interesting read. This woman is going through a lot and while I didn't always agree with the way she acted I wanted to follow her journey. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara | 6/22/2011

    " Emotional story of grief and forgiveness and how love sneak up on you and heal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayle | 6/11/2011

    " I really liked this book and flew right through it. It's really more of a 3.5 star star. Very good chick lit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mila | 6/11/2011

    " Realistic narrator (I see many critics and readers split on how well they can tolerate her), and the character of William, her stepson, is fantastic. Believable, yet with a fairytale quality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 6/9/2011

    " The story of a husband and wife, his ex-wife, and his son/her step-son. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 5/25/2011

    " One of my favourite books in 2006/2007. Worth every page. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrea | 5/21/2011

    " The blurb on the back read as if would be a humerous book and it was actually quite sad. Also the story got lost between pages of descriptive prose. Not my scene really overall, though enjoyed it in places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana Lynn | 5/4/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. I had seen the movie and then when I saw it was a book it went on my to read list immediately. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 4/23/2011

    " This was a really good read, and not so predictable in some ways, neither of which I expected. Also, I don't remember liking a book with such a seriously flawed protagonist for a long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heleni | 4/7/2011

    " Great book with amazing characters. You'll fall in love with the protagonist in spite of her egocentric and self-indulgent tendencies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 4/2/2011

    " The story was pretty depressing and the grammatical errors made my head explode....... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 3/24/2011

    " I think I liked this book even though I spent most of it wanting to smack the tar out of the narrator. That goes to show how well written it was because I ended up not putting it down even though I thought she was an immature, insensitive, and narcissistic. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations