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Extended Audio Sample Stardust: A Novel Audiobook, by Joseph Kanon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (386 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Kanon Narrator: Boyd Gaines Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9780743597944
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THE ACCLAIMED, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
THE GOOD GERMAN AND LOS ALAMOS RETURNS
WITH HIS MOST ABSORBING AND ACCOMPLISHED
NOVEL YET -- A MESMERIZING TALE OF HOLLYWOOD,
POSTWAR POLITICAL INTRIGUE, AND ONE MAN'S
DETERMINATION TO LEARN THE TRUTH
ABOUT HIS BROTHER'S DEATH.


Hollywood, 1945. Ben Collier has just arrived from wartorn Europe to find that his brother, Daniel, has died in mysterious circumstances. Why would a man with a beautiful wife, a successful career in the movies, and a heroic past choose to kill himself?

Determined to uncover the truth, Ben enters the maze of the studio system and the uneasy world beneath the glossy shine of the movie business. For this is the moment when politics and the dream factories are beginning to collide as Communist witch hunts render the biggest stars and star makers vulnerable. Even here, where the devastation of Europe seems no more real than a painted movie set, the war casts long and dangerous shadows. When Ben learns troubling facts about his own family's past, he is caught in the middle of a web of deception that shakes his moral foundation to its core.

Rich with atmosphere and period detail, Stardust flawlessly blends fact and fiction into a haunting thriller evoking both the glory days of the movies and the emergence of a dark strain of American political life. It brilliantly proves why Joseph Kanon has been hailed as the "heir apparent to Graham Greene" (The Boston Globe). Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Spectacular in every way...wonderfully imagined, wonderfully written, an urgent personal mystery set against the sweep of glamorous and sinister history. Joseph Kanon owns this corner of the literary landscape and it's a joy to see him reassert his title with such emphatic authority. Lee Child
  • “Spectacular in every way...wonderfully imagined, wonderfully written, an urgent personal mystery set against the sweep of glamorous and sinister history. Joseph Kanon owns this corner of the literary landscape.”

    Lee Child

  • The new Joe Kanon is one of the best, Stardust is the perfect combination of intrigue and accurate history brought to life. Alan Furst
  • Stardust is sensational! No one writes period fiction with the same style and suspense - not to mention substance - as Joseph Kanon. A terrific read. Scott Turow
  • Stardust is sensational! No one writes period fiction with the same style and suspense—not to mention substance—as Joseph Kanon. A terrific read.”

    Scott Turow

  • Stardust is the perfect combination of intrigue and accurate history brought to life.”

    Alan Furst

  • “This may sound like a basic thriller formula, but Kanon operates with an intelligence that briskly evokes the atmosphere of a vanished era… Kanon, a romantic at heart, makes the case that in the end honest labor, not malicious conniving, creates the magic of the movies.”

    New York Times

  • “Delectable stuff.”

    Washington Post

  • “James Ellroy fans will find a lot to like in this gritty look at post-WWII Hollywood...Kanon perfectly balances action and introspection.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Atmospheric [and] character-driven...Time and place are...vividly evoked, and the writing is...strong.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A terrific read...an intelligent and engaging historical mystery.”

    Bookmarks magazine

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vicki | 2/18/2014

    " I really liked his book, The Good German, so was looking forward to this one. I just could never get into it. I finished, but really never felt connected to any of the characters or the plot line. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 1/15/2014

    " Kanon is a wonderful writer (Los AlamosThe Good German). He takes a large subject -- here, Hollywood, 1945 -- breaks it into fine points and makes you an insider. Of course, there's a murder and a mystery, but I love the sense of place and time, and how alive the characters are. A great style book for writers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elli | 1/7/2014

    " The espionage is domestic although it involves emigrants, underhanded, could remind one of the McCarthy era. The characters are all involved in the movie industry, and many of them were world war 2 refugees. It was for me, the usual Joseph Kanon; about 750 pages and I had trouble putting it down. Starts with the hero looking into the supposed suicide of his brother, but the twists and turns are many. Characters are real and some of them are wonderful. All are very human. "

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

    " Another very good book. The plot gets very involved and a bit confusing at times, but for the most part a very thought-provoking book. Even with the liberties that were taken, it is eye-opening to think about what happened during that period in history. He's a terrific author! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eric Mann | 12/30/2013

    " Did not enjoy this book, some parts felt familiar to Joseph Kanon style but I simply could not envision the characters, the world and the tale that Kanon created. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 NuevoRain | 11/26/2013

    " Interesting coverage of post-WWII Hollywood, and pre-HUAC trials. Different insider Hollywood take. I had DIFFICULTY getting through, but it may have been me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Tack | 10/18/2013

    " 3.5 stars. Enjoyed the setting and themes of this story set in 1940s Hollywood after WWII. A mystery that takes place amid the big studio politics and communist blacklisting of the era. The book is a little choppy and drags in places, but I would still recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 9/18/2013

    " I am less than one hundred pages from the end and frankly I don't care about the story anymore. Typically not a good sign. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 8/15/2013

    " The Good German was much more to my tastes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Luci | 5/6/2013

    " It was a good "film noir" type of book. I felt like I needed a little bit more knowledge of that particular time in American history, and some parts felt a little bit rushed, but all in all, if you like Hollywood and the 1940s, you will probably enjoy this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve Shilstone | 1/13/2013

    " Hollywood '40s murders, movies and Commie witch hunt. Tangle of threads too much for me at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rayrumtum | 10/20/2012

    " An excellent book by Kanon who once again delves into the morally murky post World War II world. If you like mysteries and/or spy stories, I recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 10/6/2012

    " Three and a half stars rounded up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Faith | 12/15/2011

    " This was a mystery that combined elements of the golden age of movies as well as Nazis and spies. Although I mostly enjoyed it, it was hard for me to follow at times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauri | 7/9/2011

    " Too much detail, so I couldn't get into it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard Johnson | 5/1/2011

    " excellent evocation of post-war Hollywood politics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvia | 4/10/2011

    " Interesting detective approach - almost entirely composed of the detective adjusting his patterns of thinking to match those of his murdered brother, in the absense of physical evidence. Unfortunately, I figured out who the murderer was long before the book ended - and I'm a dummy at mysteries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tabetha | 3/8/2011

    " I found this novel very interesting and would have given it a 35 if I could have. The setting is after World War II and has the Hollywood glamour and the behind the scene murder mystery. It moves a little slow but it is very captivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florence | 2/4/2011

    " Hollywood after WWII. Congress has begun the witch hunts for Communists as Ben Collier, the primary character, arrives for his brother's funeral. The death is suspicious. Does a good job with the atmosphere around the Communist witch hunts with an interesting story line. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bonnie | 2/2/2011

    " Interesting story that gives you an idea what it might have been like during the McCarthy era, but ultimately it's not interesting enough for me to recommend. Just ok. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 1/3/2011

    " 3.5 stars. Enjoyed the setting and themes of this story set in 1940s Hollywood after WWII. A mystery that takes place amid the big studio politics and communist blacklisting of the era. The book is a little choppy and drags in places, but I would still recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adele | 10/16/2010

    " Not perfect, but engrossing and thought-provoking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/5/2010

    " This would have been much better with more character definition. I couldn't remember who most of the players were so it ended up not being very interesting to find out how the plot resolved. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 NuevoRain | 8/16/2010

    " Interesting coverage of post-WWII Hollywood, and pre-HUAC trials. Different insider Hollywood take. I had DIFFICULTY getting through, but it may have been me. "

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About the Author

Joseph Kanon is the Edgar Award–winning author of Leaving Berlin, Istanbul Passage, Los Alamos, The Prodigal Spy, Alibi, Stardust, and The Good German, which was made into a major motion picture starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett.

About the Narrator

Boyd Gaines’ many film credits include Second Best, I’m Not Rappaport, Heartbreak Ridge, Fame, and Porky’s. He’s won two Tony Awards for performances in the The Heidi Chronicles and the musical She Loves Me. On television he’s appeared in A Woman Called Jackie, A Son’s Promise, and in the popular series One Day at a Time. He has won six AudioFile Earphones Awards.