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Download Queen of the Underworld: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Queen of the Underworld: A Novel Audiobook, by Gail Godwin Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.3 out of 52.3 out of 52.3 out of 52.3 out of 52.3 out of 5 2.30 (10 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gail Godwin Narrator: Carrington MacDuffie Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781415931677
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Here at last is the eagerly awaited new novel from New York Times bestselling author Gail Godwin. Queen of the Underworld is sweeping and sultry literary fiction, featuring a memorable young heroine and engaging characters whose intimate dramas interconnect with hers.
In the summer of 1959, as Castro clamps down on Cuba and its first wave of exiles flees to the States to wait out what they hope to be his short-lived reign, Emma Gant, fresh out of college, begins her career as a reporter. Her fierce ambition and belief in herself are set against the stories swirling around her, both at the newspaper office and in her downtown Miami hotel, which is filling up with refugees.
Emma’s avid curiosity about life thrives amid the tropical charms and intrigues of Miami. While toiling at the news desk, she plans the fictional stories she will write in her spare time. She spends her nights getting to know the Cuban families in her hotel–and rendezvousing with her married lover, Paul Nightingale, owner of a private Miami Beach club.
As Emma experiences the historical events enveloping the city, she trains her perceptive eye on the people surrounding her: a newfound Cuban friend who joins the covert anti-Castro training brigade, a gambling racketeer who poses a grave threat to Paul, and a former madam, still in her twenties, who becomes both Emma’s obsession and her alter ego. Emma’s life, like a complicated dance that keeps sweeping her off her balance, is suddenly filled with divided loyalties, shady dealings, romantic and professional setbacks, and, throughout, her adamant determination to avoid “usurpation” by others and remain the protagonist of her own quest.


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Quotes & Awards

  • Queen of the Underworld will be a delight to [Godwin’s] many admirers for whom The Odd Woman and A Mother and Two Daughters remain luminous in memory, like old, dear friends. Here is the irresistibly readable Godwin voice, tender and sardonic, warmly romantic and unflinchingly funny. Godwin’s new heroine Emma Gant is as alive on the page as any ‘fictitious’ character has a right to be and when Emma takes leave of us, as she does in the startling ending of Queen of the Underworld, we miss her, and can’t help but hope that her adventures in Florida at the time of the Cuban Revolution will be continued. Joyce Carol Oates
  • Gail Godwin’s excellent new novel seems to me to be a muted tragedy about a soul inside the body of a modern woman navigating through the terra incognita of modern times. Kurt Vonnegut
  • Here is a wonderfully engaging story that explores the growth of a young woman beginning her career as a journalist. The inner workings of Emma’s life are gracefully presented and marvelously mingled with the workings of the outer world; the combination provides a universe in which the reader is glad to reside. Elizabeth Strout

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 ReAnna | 4/23/2011

    " I shall start a new book today.....A journey of reading this Summer has begun too. There is a theme to all my books.....I to want to take journey's while I am on my journey, of self discovery. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 3/19/2011

    " This book was so interesting 3/4 of the way through and then it took a strange turn and ended so abruptly. I felt cheated... I enjoyed the young journalist Emma. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terri | 3/5/2011

    " Not one of Gail Godwin's best efforts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karin | 12/26/2010

    " The story of a newly graduated journalist and her first few weeks of her first job in late 50s Miami. I found the main character engaging if a bit irratating. The setting is fascinating. The Queen of the Underworld is very reminiscent of one of Godwin's much earlier novels The Odd Woman. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rachel | 3/17/2010

    " Blah. So boring. And I found the protagonist irritating and naive. The naïveté is part of the point, but it never gets replaced by experience, and I doubt I was supposed to think she was such a pill. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Barb | 11/12/2009

    " I felt like I was reading a cartoon - Brenda Starr! Cub Reporter! If it wasn't a book group pick I would have put it down like I did the first time I picked it up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shana | 10/22/2009

    " Enjoyed the historical context - Miami, Cuba - but what happened to the ending? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 9/16/2009

    " Love Gail Godwin; not enough closure here. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherrey | 8/14/2009

    " Godwin disappointed me in this book. I've enjoyed so many others, but this one lacked good character development and the story line, at least for me, fizzled. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arlene | 5/24/2009

    " Just finished this. Really good. A young reporter goes to her first assignment for the Miami Star right after Fidel Castro takes land from the american and cuban landowners. "

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About the Author
Author Gail Godwin

Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award finalist and the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, Violet Clay, Father Melancholy’s Daughter, Evensong, The Good Husband, and Evenings at Five. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer: Journals, 1961–1963, the first of two volumes, edited by Rob Neufeld. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants for both fiction and libretto writing, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has written libretti for ten musical works with the composer Robert Starer. She lives in Woodstock, New York.

About the Narrator

Carrington MacDuffie is a voice actor and recording artist who has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, received numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards, and has been a frequent finalist for the Audie Award, including for her original audiobook, Many Things Invisible. Alongside her narration work, she has released a new album of original songs, Only an Angel.