Extended Audio Sample

Download Strivers Row: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Strivers Row: A Novel Audiobook, by Kevin Baker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (160 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kevin Baker Narrator: Thomas Penny Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The City of Fire Trilogy Release Date: February 2006 ISBN: 9780061134975
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 0 votes

Summer 1943. Harlem is a never-ending carnival in the second year of the war. Yet underneath the glitter, its black residents remain second-class citizens, and the neighborhood is a tinderbox, waiting for a match.

Along these restless streets, two very different young men will cross paths. Their chance encounter will change both of their lives, and presage the battle for civil rights that is to come. Malcolm Little is a naive, cocky, troubled teenager and not yet the iconic civil rights leader Malcolm X. The Rev. Jonah Dove is the minister of one of Harlem's greatest churches, and lives in the blocks known as Strivers Row. Their lives intersect when Malcolm rescues Jonah and his wife from a group of drunken white soldiers. For Jonah, it is a crowning indignity that brings on a crisis of faith. But Malcolm, haunted by his own past, temporarily forgets the incident and plunges ecstatically into the nightlife of Harlem -- yet he finds it hollow at the core. Lonely and confused, he starts to have odd dreams and visions -- the beginning of a religious conversion that will overthrow his whole world.

As race riots break out across the homefront, and Harlem slides toward the brink, Jonah and Malcolm must confront their own demons. Their next meeting, in the midst of turmoil, will lead them both to make fateful choices, for themselves and for their people.

Completing his "City of Fire" trilogy, master storyteller Kevin Baker has once again woven an epic tale set against the panoramic backdrop of a vanished New York. Bold and exciting, evocative and unique, Strivers Row sets a new standard for modern historical fiction.

Download and start listening now!

add3

Quotes & Awards

  • “Baker plunges audaciously into the world of Harlem in the early 1940s…fresh and new.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Daring…[Baker is] the best writer of historical fiction currently practicing.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Ambitious, at times transcendent…brings to vibrant life a notable chapter in New York City history.” 

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Transporting…Baker’s evocation of old Harlem is intoxicating and jam-packed with colorful details.” 

    Washington Post MediaMix

  • “An ambitious, cinematic tale. Kevin Baker is a rare talent.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Ambitious [and] well-researched.”

    USA Today

  • “A grand historical drama…captivating…the novel comes fully alive, rife with possibilities.”  

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “Genius…sprawling, chaotic, noisy, and intriguing as its setting, New York City.”

    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

  • “The novel is daring in capturing the mood and history of New York’s blacks, particularly since the author is white…Baker melds fact and fiction to paint a vibrant portrait of pre-civil rights America. The period details, the descriptions of Jonah’s ‘passing’ in white locales, and Baker’s incisive depiction of racism’s psychological damage stand out…Strivers Row captures a Harlem whose glitter masked its racial violence.”  

    Bookmarks magazine

  • “Engaging...[Baker] thoroughly captures the figures and micropolitical climate of wartime Harlem.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Masterful...succeeds on every level…Baker’s kaleidoscopic evocation of Harlem…bursts from every page.”

    BookPage

  • “In Penny’s deep, melodic tones we hear and imagine the cacophony of riots; the sad, syrupy comfort of jazz; the mournful pipe organ of religious doubt…The book is crammed with surprising facts. A lively education given passionate voice.”   

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mark Feltskog | 12/26/2013

    " I read it because the publisher left copy on every doorstep along Strivers Row. With due respect to the author, who seems like a good guy, this is simply dismal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Fellowes | 12/14/2013

    " A fun historical fiction of Harlem when it was first great "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scrabbleme | 12/6/2013

    " vivid fictional tale of malcolm little (later malcolm x) as a young con man/drug dealer in harlem in 40s. much is based on fact. well written, engaging tale, taught me a lot about culture of harlem in this time. also, is part 3 of trilogy about nyc, and now i want to read the rest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana Gardner | 9/18/2012

    " Great story. Loved the detail. Historical fiction at its finest! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 11/3/2011

    " This book brought me into a world i don't know and made use of some characters that I could believe. Passing as white when one was an African American required some art. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vassilios Bayiokos | 6/24/2011

    " I could not connect with this book at all. Maybe I need an audio version of it because the use of slang seems forced. It also takes too many liberties with established real life characters that we know so much about. This just didn't happen for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 12/14/2010

    " This was a good one I thought. It's a story of WWII-era Harlem and uses a fictional version of a young Malcolm X and a black preacher who considers passing for white. I thought the characters were richly drawn, the story moved along and made me curious to read the other books by this author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 10/13/2010

    " i'm really into books about nyc and i love baker's "city on fire" trilogy. this may have been my least favorite of the three, but i pretty much swallowed them all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 9/22/2010

    " Good story, the sequel to the other two Baker books about this neighborhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 9/6/2010

    " I did not find this as good as Paradise Alley, a book I thought was fantastic, but I still found it interesting and well written. Kevin Baker seems to capture the Black American condition extremely well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 10/5/2009

    " This was a good one I thought. It's a story of WWII-era Harlem and uses a fictional version of a young Malcolm X and a black preacher who considers passing for white. I thought the characters were richly drawn, the story moved along and made me curious to read the other books by this author. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mark | 8/27/2009

    " I read it because the publisher left copy on every doorstep along Strivers Row. With due respect to the author, who seems like a good guy, this is simply dismal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 1/15/2009

    " Good story, the sequel to the other two Baker books about this neighborhood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scrabbleme | 7/3/2008

    " vivid fictional tale of malcolm little (later malcolm x) as a young con man/drug dealer in harlem in 40s. much is based on fact. well written, engaging tale, taught me a lot about culture of harlem in this time. also, is part 3 of trilogy about nyc, and now i want to read the rest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 6/21/2008

    " A fun historical fiction of Harlem when it was first great "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 11/29/2007

    " i'm really into books about nyc and i love baker's "city on fire" trilogy. this may have been my least favorite of the three, but i pretty much swallowed them all. "

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

Kevin Baker is the bestselling author of the novels Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Sometimes You See It Coming. He is a columnist for American Heritage magazine and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Harper’s, and other periodicals. He lives in New York City with his wife, the writer Ellen Abrams, and their cat, Stella.

About the Narrator

Thomas Penny is an audiobook narrator whose readings include The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, Fighting for America by Christopher Moore, and Forged by Fire by Sharon M. Draper, among others.