Prep: A Novel Audiobook, by Curtis Sittenfeld Play Audiobook Sample

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Prep: A Novel Audiobook, by Curtis Sittenfeld Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Curtis Sittenfeld Narrator: Jorjeana Marie Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Length: Release Date: September 2019 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780593171493

Publisher Description

An insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition.

Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.

As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of—and, ultimately, a participant in—their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.

Ultimately, Lee’s experiences—complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant—coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.

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Quotes

  • Prep does something considerable in the realm of discussing class in American culture. The ethnography on adolescence is done in pitch-perfect detail. Stunning and lucid.

    - Matthew Klam, author of Sam the Cat
  • Funny, excruciatingly honest, improbably sexy, and studded with hard-won, eccentric wisdom about high school, heartbreak, and social privilege. One of the most impressive debut novels in recent memory.

    - Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and Election
  • Curtis Sittenfeld is a young writer with a crazy amount of talent. Her sharp and economical prose reminds us of Joan Didion and Tobias Wolff. Like them, she has a sly and potent wit, which cuts unexpectedly–but often–through the placid surface of her prose. Her voice is strong and clear, her moral compass steady; I’d believe anything she told me.

    - Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
  • Speaking in a voice as authentic as Salinger’s Holden Caulfield and McCullers’ Mick Kelly, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Lee Fiora tells unsugared truths about adolescence, alienation, and the sociology of privilege. Prep’s every sentence rings true. Sittenfeld is a rising star.

    - Wally Lamb, author of She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True
  • In her deeply involving first novel, Curtis Sittenfeld invites us inside the fearsome echo chamber of adolescent self-consciousness. But Prep is more than a coming of age story—it’s a study of social class in America, and Sittenfeld renders it with astonishing deftness and clarity.

    - Jennifer Egan, author of Look at Me
  • Sittenfeld ensconces the reader deep in the world of the Ault School and the churning mind of Lee Fiora (a teenager as complex and nuanced as those of Salinger), capturing every vicissitude of her life with the precision of a brilliant documentary and the delicacy and strength of a poem.

    - Thisbe Nissen, author of Osprey Island
  • Open Prep and you’ll travel back in time: Sittenfeld’s novel is funny, smart, poignant, and tightly woven together, with a very appealing sense of melancholy.

    - Jill A. Davis, author of Girls’ Poker Night

Customer Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " It had a weak ending but I still enjoyed it. "

    - Kirsten, 2/20/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I'm so glad I read this book. "

    - Emily, 2/19/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " My memory of this book is a strong feeling of discomfort... but at least it left an impression, right? "

    - Lindsey, 2/3/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This is a book that I enjoyed when I originally read it, but was also a story that stayed with me. Years after last closing their covers, many books I've liked have gone somewhere into the lagoon of forgotten stories. This is not one of them. I remember details and themes from throughout the book.Perhaps it's in the same vein as how I remember high school and college. This book brings to life memories of adolescence and navigating new environments and social circles. The protagonist accomplishes her goal of going to prep school only to find living the reality of attending a private school challenging. I love the curve of the story, how she judges and misjudges people. It communicates the doubts and total certainties of adolescence as well as the wisdom of looking back at her school years through older eyes. "

    - Carla, 2/2/2014
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Prep certainly captured a hyper-self aware but low self esteemed world. Every passing glance, possible place to sit, and spoken word is judged by whether or not others would deem it worthy. All too true, but I didn't come to really care about anyone. "

    - Ms., 2/2/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I only picked up this book at the library 'coz I remember JL's review of it and how much she'd enjoyed it. It was a good easy read, with a strong narrative voice about a phase of life which most of us would identify with - coming to terms with ourselves and who we are. "

    - Wanrong, 2/2/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " A very articulate description of how a teenage girl might feel, reason or behave in each situation as the story unfolds itself - shamelessly realistic and vivid that it made be blush in embarrassement or frown in frustration for the protagonist! "

    - Shanee, 1/10/2014
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " I can't remember as much about this book because it was so long ago, but I do remember not particularly enjoying it and almost quitting on it before the end a couple times because I was so disinterested. "

    - Chantel, 12/16/2013
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Two words: cheese or fish. One of two books I have hidden from my daughters. Read in 2006 or so. "

    - Cynthia, 11/15/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " captures all the emotions, stress, struggles, and of course stupidity of adolescence and high school so accurately. very well written! "

    - Jasmine, 10/19/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " By far the best thing I have read in ages. "

    - Maria, 10/10/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I absolutely loved this book when I read it during my late high school years...it struck a chord with me and cut me to the core with the emotions and narrations of the main character. I just got her, and I thought the story was, most of the time, heartbreaking. "

    - Shannon, 10/5/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Reminds me of certain prep schools I know... "

    - Kathleen, 9/18/2013
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " I tried liking this book. I just don't think Mr. Sittenfeld captured the right voice for a teenage girl. "

    - Linda, 4/16/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I'd probably give it three and a half stars, but closer to three than four (three and a quarter?). The writing was pretty solid, but yikes, the protagonist was such a wet blanket that it made me wish the story was being told by someone else. "

    - Andrea, 4/3/2013
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Not thrilled...couldn't connect with main character. "

    - Jobiska, 2/22/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I liked this book. I could relate to Lee's painful self-awareness in high school. And prep school wasn't even in the realm of possibility for me so I found the setting interesting. "

    - Lynanne, 9/12/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I really like Curtis Sittenfield's characterisation. Brought back memories of teenage angst which was intensified by her portrayal of an east coast American boarding school. A captivating and atmospheric read. "

    - Nickyfagan, 7/19/2012
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " I read a third of this book and had to put it aside. I was bored being inside this girl's head. I found her extreme neurosis tiring and not engaging. "

    - Magenta, 1/12/2012
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " My favorite kind of novel! "

    - Hannah, 10/4/2011
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " I found the book to be uninteresting. I did not finish it. "

    - Camille, 10/3/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " There seem to have been a lot of people who really hated this book, but I loved it. Sure nothing actually happens but she captures the teenage mindset brilliantly and I spent the book cringing at my own teenage memories of humiliations, insecurities, boy troubles and faux pas. "

    - Carey, 7/16/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I had to read this for an online class. It started off great but was over long, and some of the bits in the middle were down right dull. If you want to learn about character creation and narrative voice, it's not a bad place to start however. "

    - Kamsin, 6/23/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This book really hit home with me as it is about a midwest girl going away to eastern boarding school. "

    - Brita, 6/21/2011
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Bloody awful. This book could've been so much more than it was, but the constant whining of the main character made me want to reach through the pages and smack the crap out of her. "

    - Monique, 6/17/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Curtis's writing style is interesting and it immediately drew me in. The book had me laughing and struggling to keep tears from my eyes. Definitely read! "

    - Nikki, 6/9/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I read this book during a time in my life that created a perfect storm for me. After I read it, I immediately went back and reread it. "

    - Shannon, 6/3/2011

About the Author

Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of several New York Times bestselling works. Her short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Washington Post magazine, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories. Her nonfiction has been published in the New York Times, Atlantic, Time, and Glamour and have been broadcast on public radio’s This American Life. She is a graduate of Stanford and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

About the Narrator

Jorjeana Marie has worked extensively as an actress, comedian, writer, and audiobook narrator. Her narrations have earned her several Earphones Awards. She has performed in hundreds of commercials and starred in the pilot Listen to Grandpa, Andy Ling with Elliott Gould. She is a stand-up comic who has opened for Richard Lewis, Louie Anderson, and Kathleen Madigan. Her video game credits include Final Fantasy, Crackdown 2, and Star Guardians. She loves reading so much it gets her into trouble.