Extended Audio Sample

Download The Amateur Marriage: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Amateur Marriage: A Novel, by Anne Tyler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,525 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Tyler Narrator: Blair Brown Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $17.95 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

From the inimitable Anne Tyler, a rich and compelling novel about a mismatched marriage—and its consequences, spanning three generations.

They seemed like the perfect couple—young, good-looking, made for each other. The moment Pauline, a stranger to the Polish Eastern Avenue neighborhood of Baltimore (though she lived only twenty minutes away), walked into his mother’s grocery store, Michael was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervor, they are propelled into a hasty wedding. But they never should have married.

Pauline, impulsive, impractical, tumbles hit-or-miss through life; Michael, plodding, cautious, judgmental, proceeds deliberately. While other young marrieds, equally ignorant at the start, seemed to grow more seasoned, Pauline and Michael remain amateurs. In time their foolish quarrels take their toll. Even when they find themselves, almost thirty years later, loving, instant parents to a little grandson named Pagan, whom they rescue from Haight-Ashbury, they still cannot bridge their deep-rooted differences. Flighty Pauline clings to the notion that the rifts can always be patched. To the unyielding Michael, they become unbearable.

From the sound of the cash register in the old grocery to the counterculture jargon of the sixties, from the miniskirts to the multilayered apparel of later years, Anne Tyler captures the evocative nuances of everyday life during these decades with such telling precision that every page brings smiles of recognition. Throughout, as each of the competing voices bears witness, we are drawn ever more fully into the complex entanglements of family life in this wise, embracing, and deeply perceptive novel.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “[Her] writing is beautifully accurate, more often than not with a glinting vein of humor.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “She evokes the entire sweep of [a marriage] with uncommon delicacy and dignity…[She] gives us the feeling of being inside Michael and Pauline Anton’s marriage.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “This ‘wickedly good’ author has come to represent the best of today’s American literature…She is an exquisite chronicler of the everyday…Her characters are at once infuriating and endearing, conservative yet quietly eccentric.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Her command of what will move a story forward and engross a reader is faultless.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “She expertly explores the perils of marriage…Wise and observant…She has the uncanny ability to expose the most confusing contradictions of love.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Unlike many writers treading similar ground, Tyler does not sneer at such domestic heartache, nor does she infuse it with gothic doom. Instead, she depicts Michael and Pauline’s marriage with simple realism.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Tyler straddles expertly the line between commercial and literary fiction, so that her characters and their circumstances appeal for the widest possible audience. She has keen sense of both humor and pathos, and when to employ the right one in the right measure. Her characters are thoroughly three-dimensional. They are our own families; they are ourselves; and it is our own desperate desire to understand the people we love, as well as the people who hurt us and whom we hurt, that keeps us reading with fervor.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A rich and satisfying addition to the author’s distinguished body of work.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Tyler is an unsurpassed commentator on the subtle entanglements of relationships.”

    Harper’s Bazaar

  • “With piercing psychology, gentle humor, and poignant understanding of how deeply people who can love each other hurt each other, Ms. Tyler sets her story against quick evocative sketches of the decades as they pass…At the top of her craft, not a jot pretentious, she continues to write about real people with real problems in language anyone can understand.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “It is Tyler’s particular genius to capture life at its most mundane, then redeem it with a poignant humanity; to reveal the callousness of her characters, then peel back the layers to where the feelings lurk…Tyler has once again shown us our limits, along with our capacity for transcending them.”

    St. Petersburg Times

  • “A wonderful character study illustrating the problems that, to some degree, afflict every marriage…Tyler’s genuine story appears seamless as it progresses over a period of sixty years. The author possesses that rare ability to capture the essence of human disappointment, and combines disparate characters with an ordinary subject, propelling it with wry humor and impassioned feelings.”

    Desert Morning News

  • “Yes, Tyler intuitively understands the middle class’ Norman Rockwell ideal, but she doesn’t share it; rather, she has a masterful ability to make it bleed…The range and power of this novel should not only please Tyler’s immense readership but also awaken us to the collective excellency of her career.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “So smart, so sensitive, so readable and engaging.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • One of the 2004New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michele Bond | 2/12/2014

    " As she always does, Anne paints a lovely portrait of quirky Baltimore characters, and leads us into their lives. I love her books because she writes about places that I recognize, and I nearly always find myself in at least part of the story. This one did not disappoint! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tim | 2/7/2014

    " Classic Anne Tyler. Not her best but well worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Polliwog | 2/2/2014

    " Well written but generally quite depressing. I had the vague feeling I'd read it before--I probably have. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Susan Campbell | 1/31/2014

    " Almost as good as Breathing Lessons, which won a Pulitzer. I urge friends to curl up with anything by Anne Tyler. "

  • > Show 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