Extended Audio Sample

Download Reservation Road Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Reservation Road Audiobook, by John Burnham Schwartz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,341 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Burnham Schwartz Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781415937907
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 riveting novel of feeling and suspense in which grief and punishment become tragically intertwined.

At the close of a beautiful summer day near the quiet Connecticut town where they live, the Learner family—Ethan and Grace, their children, Josh and Emma—stop at a gas station on their way home from a concert. Josh Learner, lost in a ten-year-old’s private world, is standing at the edge of the road when a car comes racing around the bend. He is hit and instantly killed. The car speeds away.

From this moment forward, Reservation Road becomes a harrowing countdown to the confrontation between two very different men. The hit-and-run driver is a small-town lawyer named Dwight Arno, a man in desperate need of a second chance. Dwight is also the father of a ten-year-old boy, who was asleep in the car the night Josh Learner was killed. Now Dwight must decide whether to run from his crime or to pay the price for what he did. Ethan Learner, a respected professor of literature at a small New England college, has seen his orderly world shattered in a single moment, yet persists in the belief that he can find the unknown man who killed his son. Behind their stories are those of eight-year-old Emma, who can't stop thinking her brother's death was her fault, and of Grace, who must find the strength to keep herself and her family together, and to be the mother Emma so badly needs.

In a gripping narrative woven from the voices of Ethan, Dwight, and Grace, Reservation Road tells the story of two ordinary families facing an extraordinary crisis—a book that reads like a thriller but opens up a world rich with psychological nuance and emotional wisdom. Reservation Road explores the terrain of grief even as it astonishes with unexpected redemption: powerful and wrenching and impossible to put down.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BKOT_000874

Quotes & Awards

  • This is a shattering book, imagined with startling emotional precision and generosity. And though it begins in catastrophe, Reservation Road turns out to be a kind of map of connectedness: Touch a child here and the whole world trembles out of orbit; everyone bleeds; finally, perhaps, after great pain, everyone heals. John Burnham Schwartz is awfully young to own this much wisdom, but there it is, on every page. Rosellen Brown
  • A powerful and affecting novel...haunting...highly suspenseful...compelling to read. Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
  • Spellbinding...a haunting tale Booklist
  • A poignant thriller...quietly breathtaking...a suspenseful literary novel Betsey Osborne, Vanity Fair
  • A pleasure to read. Suspense is redefined here... Sandra Scofield, Newsday
  • A lovely book, full of life and feeling Peter Matthiessen
  • One of those rare--very rare--novels that you don't so much read as inhabit...But it's the novel's conclusion, as perfect as it is sudden, shocking and completely unexpected, that will stick in your memory. Tom Dehaven, Entertainment Weekly
  • A beautiful novel. An important novel David Bowman, New York Observer
  • Both a beautiful, wrenching story of redemption, and a novel of exquisite suspense Anne Lamott
  • A first-rate work of fiction disguised as a page-turning thriller David Halberstam
  • An unexpected pleasure...It will leave the reader entranced as well as moved. Erica Noonan, Boston Herald
  • A non-stop read...a wonderful writer Ward Just
  • A triumph of form, pacing and power...character-driven as it is, it reads like a thrille, swift and complete. Kit Reed, New York Times Book Review
  • It possesses a conclusion of such power that it would be a literary crime to reveal it. Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 2/9/2014

    " A simple accident and a boy is dead. It is the consequences this book explores. It is heartbreaking and sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chien-ying | 2/7/2014

    " A realistic character study of how people deal with loss and tragedy. Hearbreaking and touching, this is one of my favorite books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 2/4/2014

    " I enjoyed this book while at the same time finding it completely depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margarita | 1/29/2014

    " This was a taut thriller involving family dynamics. It was one of those "life as we know it can change in the blink of an eye" novels which I just love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 1/23/2014

    " What kind of an ending was that?! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathi Derevan | 12/29/2013

    " This is a haunting and beautiful story; it keeps seeping into my mind days after putting it down. The characters don't want o stay on the page, they keep appearing here and there throughout the day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dennis | 12/27/2013

    " It felt like something written by a good creative writing student -- interesting, but a bit amateur. I bet this will be one of the rare times when the movie is better than the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 12/27/2013

    " What a tender, beautiful, and sad story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 12/9/2013

    " Someone below noted that this book was neither horrible nor fantastic, that it "just was." Seems a fairly spot-on review. There was nothing particularly wrong with the book, but nothing that quickens the pulse in remembering it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edijkelly Salvatore | 11/30/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, though I found the mother's character to be underdeveloped and some of the father's behavior to be a little difficult to believe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Salma S. Rammeya | 11/17/2013

    " I've Learned that a human being is a mass of emotions, contrasting, yet combined and related. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandy Neal | 10/6/2013

    " I found this book very depressing but maybe I just read it at the wrong time in my life. Well-written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 9/4/2013

    " Well written book exploring the aftermath of a hit and run. Characters are true and the author communicates their feelings, anger and heartbreak realistically. I will definately see the movies when it comes out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 8/19/2013

    " This was pretty upsetting subject matter but well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Milad | 3/30/2013

    " Great book, especially liked that the author shed light on Dwight's condition, the hit and run driver, kind of contradicting the popular emotionally driven view that these people are heartless monsters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/18/2012

    " This is not a new book. The sequel, "Northwest Corner", just came out so I had to read "Reservation Road" first. I have a one word review... Stunning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 1/1/2012

    " This is an ok read. The book was far better than the movie! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karl Vadaszffy | 12/19/2011

    " Possibly the most moving novel I've ever read. A journey into the lives of parents after tragedy strikes. A stunning achievement, with lyrical prose but also some elements of a cutting thriller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry Saunders | 8/3/2011

    " Very good book. The story of a child and a hit-and-run accident from the perspectives of the child's father, his mother, and the hit-and-run driver. I might have changed up the ending a bit, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 7/10/2011

    " The first book of two. Harrowing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adria | 4/27/2011

    " 3.5 stars...good, depressing book about grief following a tragic loss. Told through three characters voices, the author does a good job of putting you in each of their minds. Read it in one day.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 12/21/2010

    " Sad,depressing and didn't like the ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 9/23/2010

    " 5 out of 5...This book made me cry so much... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 7/18/2010

    " I listened to this book on tape a long time ago and was reminded of it while reading another Burnham Schwartz novel. I remember it as a haunting story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derek | 2/9/2010

    " This was an excellent book but it really made me feel for the family's loss, so strongly that I kind of wished that I wasn't reading it as I kept on turning the pages. Very powerful emotionally. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 2/4/2010

    " grief & guilt of shakespearean proportions!! A riveting dark tale, wonderfully told. I appreciated having 3 separate voices on this CD book. "

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
JOHN BURNHAM SCHWARTZ is the author of the novels Claire Marvel, Bicycle Days, and Reservation Road, which was made into a motion picture based on his screenplay, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, and Jennifer Connelly. His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages, and his writing has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times and The New Yorker. He lives with his wife and their son in Brooklyn, New York.