Extended Audio Sample

Download Perfect: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Perfect: A Novel Audiobook, by Rachel Joyce Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Joyce Narrator: Paul Rhys Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2014 ISBN: 9780804164153
Regular Price: $20.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $17.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

A spellbinding novel that will resonate with readers of Mark Haddon, Louise Erdrich, and John Irving, Perfect tells the story of a young boy who is thrown into the murky, difficult realities of the adult world with far-reaching consequences.

Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three of them leave home, driving into a dense summer fog, the morning takes an unmistakable turn. In one terrible moment, something happens, something completely unexpected and at odds with life as Byron understands it. While his mother seems not to have noticed, eleven-year-old Byron understands that from now on nothing can be the same.
 
What happened and who is to blame? Over the days and weeks that follow, Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Unable to trust his parents, he confides in his best friend, James, and together they concoct a plan. . . .
 
As she did in her debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce has imagined bewitching characters who find their ordinary lives unexpectedly thrown into chaos, who learn that there are times when children must become parents to their parents, and who discover that in confronting the hard truths about their pasts, they will forge unexpected relationships that have profound and surprising impacts. Brimming with love, forgiveness, and redemption, Perfect will cement Rachel Joyce’s reputation as one of fiction’s brightest talents.

Praise for Perfect
 
“Touching, eccentric . . . Joyce does an inviting job of setting up these mysterious circumstances, and of drawing Byron’s magical closeness with Diana.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Tiimes
 
“Haunting . . . compelling.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“[Joyce] triumphantly returns with Perfect. . . . As Joyce probes the souls of Diana, Byron and Jim, she reveals—slowly and deliberately, as if peeling back a delicate onion skin—the connection between the two stories, creating a poignant, searching tale.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
Perfect touches on class, mental illness, and the ways a psyche is formed or broken. It has the tenor of a horror film, and yet at the end, in some kind of contortionist trick, the narrative unfolds into an unexpected burst of redemption. [Verdict:] Buy It.”New York
 
“Joyce’s dark, quiet follow-up to her successful debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, could easily become a book club favorite. . . . Perfect is the kind of book that blossoms under thoughtful examination, its slow tendencies redeemed by moments of loveliness and insight. However sad, Joyce’s messages—about the limitations of time and control, the failures of adults and the fears of children, and our responsibility for our own imprisonment and freedom—have a gentle ring of truth to them.”The Washington Post
 
“There is a poignancy to Joyce’s narrative that makes for her most memorable writing.”—NPR’s All Things Considered


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

b4la

Quotes & Awards

  • Beautifully written . . . Joyce showed an incredible sensitivity and understanding when she wrote about the impact of mental illness in Harold Fry, and that talent shines even brighter now that she’s devoting more space to the subject. . . . Joyce is great at building tension, with her prose managing to give huge weight to a menacing comment or a small mistake. The A.V. Club
  • Perfect is a poignant and powerful book, rich with empathy and charged with beautiful, atmospheric writing. Tana French,  author of In the Woods and Broken Harbor
  • [Rachel] Joyce, showing the same talent for adroit plot development seen in the bestselling The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, brings both narrative strands together in a shocking, redemptive denouement. Publishers Weekly
     
  • [Perfect’s] unputdownable factor . . . lies in its exploration of so many multilayered emotions. There is the unbreakable bond between mother and son, the fear of not belonging . . . and how love can offer redemption. London Evening Standard
  • Perfect is a poignant and powerful book, rich with empathy and charged with beautiful, atmospheric writing.”

    Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of Broken Harbor

  • Touching, eccentric . . . Joyce does an inviting job of setting up these mysterious circumstances, and of drawing Byron’s magical closeness with Diana. Janet Maslin, The New York Tiimes
     
  • Haunting . . . compelling. Minneapolis Star Tribune
     
  • [Joyce] triumphantly returns with Perfect. . . . As Joyce probes the souls of Diana, Byron and Jim, she reveals—slowly and deliberately, as if peeling back a delicate onion skin—the connection between the two stories, creating a poignant, searching tale. O: The Oprah Magazine
     
  • Perfect touches on class, mental illness, and the ways a psyche is formed or broken. It has the tenor of a horror film, and yet at the end, in some kind of contortionist trick, the narrative unfolds into an unexpected burst of redemption. [Verdict:] Buy It. New York
     
  • Joyce’s dark, quiet follow-up to her successful debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, could easily become a book club favorite. . . . Perfect is the kind of book that blossoms under thoughtful examination, its slow tendencies redeemed by moments of loveliness and insight. However sad, Joyce’s messages—about the limitations of time and control, the failures of adults and the fears of children, and our responsibility for our own imprisonment and freedom—have a gentle ring of truth to them. The Washington Post
  • There is a poignancy to Joyce’s narrative that makes for her most memorable writing. NPR’s All Things Considered
     
  • “[Perfect’s] unputdownable factor…lies in its exploration of so many multilayered emotions. There is the unbreakable bond between mother and son, the fear of not belonging…and how love can offer redemption.”

    London Evening Standard

  • “In alternating chapters…two stories set forty years apart frame Joyce’s exquisitely played novel of tragedy and mental illness and the kind of wrenching courage unique to those who suffer from the latter and yet battle to overcome it. As in her brilliant debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Joyce stuns with her beautifully realized characters and the unexpected convergence of her two tales.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “[Rachel] Joyce, showing the same talent for adroit plot development seen in the bestselling The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, brings both narrative strands together in a shocking, redemptive denouement.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, January 2014
  • One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014: Editors' Pick
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
About the Author
Author Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce has written over twenty original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and has created major adaptations for the Classic series and Woman’s Hour, as well as a TV drama adaptation for BBC2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for Best Radio Play. Joyce moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theater and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, and The Royal Court and Cheek by Jowl. She lives in Gloucestershire with her family.