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Extended Audio Sample The Betrayers: A Novel Audiobook, by David  Bezmozgis Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Bezmozgis Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9781478981138
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A compact saga of love, duty, family, and sacrifice from a rising star in fiction

These incandescent pages give us one fraught, momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a Soviet Jewish dissident who now finds himself a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the settlements in the West Bank, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior, and the besieged couple escapes to Yalta, the faded Crimean resort of Kotler’s youth. There, shockingly, Kotler comes face-to-face with the former friend whose denunciation sent him to the Gulag almost forty years earlier.

In a whirling twenty-four hours, Kotler must face the ultimate reckoning, both with those who have betrayed him and with those whom he has betrayed, including a teenage daughter, a son facing his own moral dilemma in the Israeli army, and the wife who once campaigned to secure his freedom and stood by him through so much.

Stubborn, wry, and self-knowing, Baruch Kotler is one of the great creations of contemporary fiction. An aging man grasping for a final passion, he is drawn inexorably into a crucible that is both personal and biblical in scope.

In prose that is elegant, sly, precise, and devastating in its awareness of the human heart, David Bezmozgis has rendered a story for the ages, an inquest into the nature of fate and consequence, love and forgiveness. The Betrayers is a high-wire act, a powerful tale of morality and sacrifice that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Even a novel as short as this has to make thousands of decisions; that Bezmozgis made so many so smartly [it] feels like a small miracle. The Betrayers can serve as a master class for fledgling writers, and an inspiration for any reader”

    New York Times Book Review

  • This unforgettable novel squanders no words in its brilliant, deft depictions of love, of memory, of compassion-and, ultimately, despite its title, of loyalty."
  • -Edith Pearlman, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award for Binocular Vision
  • The Betrayers presents us with the novel-as-scalpel, a brilliant dissection of lives formed and deformed by tyranny, temptation, and the demands of conscience. Just when we think we've arrived at the heart of the story's moral complexity, Bezmozgis cuts again and lays bare yet another layer. It's harrowing, but also thrilling, to see our nature revealed with such unflinching precision. This outstanding novel not only shows Bezmozgis at the top of his form, but also definitively establishes him as one of the foremost writers of his generation."
  • --Ben Fountain, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and LA Times Book Prize and finalist for the National Book Award for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
  • In this taut, fierce, forensically insightful novel, David Bezmozgis explores the frictions between goodness and kindness, public and private virtue, forgiveness and forgetting. Compulsive and profound. A. D. Miller, finalist for the Man Booker Award for Snowdrops
  • The Betrayers is a moral thriller in the tradition of Bernard Malamud, but the generosity, grace, and wisdom of the writing belong entirely to David Bezmozgis. The magic of fiction is that it makes the reader care deeply about imaginary strangers, and Bezmozgis is a magician. Aleksandar Hemon
  • Dazzling, hilarious, and hugely compassionate narratives [written with] freshness and precision ... Readers will find themselves laughing out loud, then gasping as Bezmozgis brings these fictions to the searing, startling, and perfectly pitched conclusions that remind us that, as Babel said, 'no iron can stab the heart so powerfully as a period put in exactly in the right place.' Francine Prose, People
  • Scary good...Not a line or note in the book rings false. Esquire
  • Extraordinary...[Recalls] the work of Babel, Roth, Saul Bellow, and so many others. Yet Bezmozgis makes these characters, and the state of marginality itself, uniquely his. This hysterical, merciless, yet open-hearted excavation of a Jewish family in the process of assimilating gives his literary predecessors a run for their money. Daniel Schifrin, Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • Self-assured, elegant, and perceptive. . . [Bezmozgis] has created an unflinchingly honest, evenhanded and multilayered retelling of the Jewish immigrant story that steadfastly refuses to sentimentalize or malign the Old World or the New. Sholem Aleichem might well feel proud. And perhaps so too might Philip Roth and Leonard Michaels. Adam Langer, New York Times
  • Thought-provoking . . . powerfully realized, absorbing, and old-fashioned in satisfying ways. Boston Globe
  • Bezmozgis overturns our cliched expectations of immigrant idealism . . . Strikingly, he never pretends that his confused, self-interested characters are admirable, virtuous or even likable, but he respects them nonetheless. His book pays tribute to their tenacity and to their sometimes accidental courage . . . Bezmozgis laces even his darkest humor with pathos. While his depictions don't flatter his subjects, they honor them by conveying each person's individual history, motivations and truth. Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review
  • “Now that Philip Roth has finished his life’s work, let us turn our attention to David Bezmozgis. His bravery and style are off the charts and The Betrayers is his finest, slyest, most robust work yet.”

    Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author

  • “This unforgettable novel squanders no words in its brilliant, deft depictions of love, of memory, of compassion—and, ultimately, despite its title, of loyalty.”

    Edith Pearlman, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Binocular Vision

  • "The Betrayers presents us with the novel-as-scalpel, a brilliant dissection of lives formed and deformed by tyranny, temptation, and the demands of conscience. Just when we think we’ve arrived at the heart of the story’s moral complexity, Bezmozgis cuts again and lays bare yet another layer. It’s harrowing, but also thrilling, to see our nature revealed with such unflinching precision. This outstanding novel not only shows Bezmozgis at the top of his form, but also definitively establishes him as one of the foremost writers of his generation.”

    Ben Fountain, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

  • "The Betrayers is a moral thriller in the tradition of Bernard Malamud, but the generosity, grace, and wisdom of the writing belong entirely to David Bezmozgis. The magic of fiction is that it makes the reader care deeply about imaginary strangers, and Bezmozgis is a magician.”

    Aleksandar Hemon, author of The Lazarus Project, New York magazine’s #1 book of 2008

  • “Philosophical, provocative and nervy—an interior novel that manages to encompass a breadth of issues.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “In this taut, vigorous, and fast-flowing tale of an unexpected encounter between two old enemies in Crimea…Bezmozgis’ dialogue has the ringing clarity of a play, while his characters’ churning thoughts address dilemmas of marriage and family relationships and the hidden predicaments that make judging others such a perilous undertaking. Nearly everyone is a betrayer in some way in Bezmozgis’ wise, transfixing, and annealing novel of humor and pathos in which today’s personal and political paradoxes embody the archetypal conflicts of humankind.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A beautifully written exploration of the role fate can play in the finer distinctions between a heroic life and a villainous one…Bezmozgis’s novel feels vast, its pages heavy with the complicated debts we owe one another, which are impossible to leave behind.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • "The Betrayers is a work of high moral seriousness dispatched with a gripping elegance that recalls some of our finest mid-century writers. Bezmozgis’s story of fallen saints and redeemed outcasts is, to put it plainly, the work of a great writer.”

    Joshua Ferris, author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, September 2014
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About the Author
David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973. His first book, Natasha and Other Stories, won a regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a 2004 New York Times Notable Book. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. In 2010, he was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40.”
About the Narrator

Christopher Lane is an award-winning actor, director, and narrator. He is a three-time winner of the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration and recipient of ten AudioFile Earphones Awards.