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Download The Book of Jonas Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Book of Jonas Audiobook, by Stephen Dau Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (733 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Dau Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2012 ISBN: 9781452675978
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An exceptional debut novel about a young Muslim war orphan whose family is killed in a military operation gone wrong and the American soldier to whom his fate—and survival—is bound

Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant United States military operation in an unnamed Muslim country. With the help of an international relief organization, he is sent to America, where he struggles to assimilate—foster family, school, a first love. Eventually he tells a court-mandated counselor and therapist about a US soldier, Christopher Henderson, responsible for saving his life on the tragic night in question.

Christopher’s mother, Rose, has dedicated her life to finding out what really happened to her son, who disappeared after the raid in which Jonas’ village was destroyed. When Jonas meets Rose, a shocking and painful secret gradually surfaces from the past and builds to a shattering conclusion that haunts long after the final sentence. Told in spare, evocative prose, The Book of Jonas is about memory, about the terrible choices made during war, and about what happens when foreign disaster appears at our own doorstep. It is a rare and virtuosic novel from an exciting new writer to watch.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With its spare prose and nuanced plot that loops back and forth chronologically, Dau’s first novel is an absolutely compelling account of the damage done to all sides by armed conflict. An essential addition to the literature of war.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Dau’s novel offers deeply resonating truths about war and culture, about family and loss that only art can reveal. A literary tour de force.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Narrator Simon Vance brings the brittle and tremulous text into a heartbreaking, blooming presence.”

    Library Journal (starred) Audio Review

  • “Intriguing characters reveal the effects of war on both victim and victimizer, and raise important questions about the emotional implications of modern warfare.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Simon Vance infuses urgency into the sparse prose and gripping events…He delivers the narration at a rapid pace that mimics the turbulent thoughts of the main character as well as the unfolding of elements of the plot.”

    AudioFile

  • “A sobering and accomplished read meant to prick the conscience; highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 The Loopy Librarian | 2/1/2014

    " The Book of Jonas is an elegantly written book that stimulates thought and emotion while challenging conventional viewpoints on war and religion. While I didn't necessarily agree with the actions or beliefs of the main characters, I was fascinated and empathetic. The sparse prose and short chapters meant no word was wasted and the story moved quickly between past and present and various points of view. I was profoundly moved by this engrossing book that packed a powerful punch in nearly poetic fashion. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marie Rossi | 1/22/2014

    " Couldn't get note rested enough to complete it. Pretty slow moving . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Schaffer | 1/19/2014

    " I listened to this book on round trip between Waterloo, Iowa and Chicago, Illinois. What an enjoyable drive! The Book of Jonas tells the story of a war refugee from the middle east. The story is a mix of memories from Jonas' youth, events of the war, and his struggle to cope in the US. It is brilliantly writen. The author knows just what to leave out, if that makes sense. He gives clues, but lets the reader put the puzzle together. It would be a wonderful discussion book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam Gardow | 1/13/2014

    " Heartbreaking look at war through the eyes of a Muslim teen and a young GI after a village is mistakenly targeted and innocents are killed. This is one of my favorite new books!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather Carpenter | 1/4/2014

    " Interesting literary style! A book that combines events with an exploration of memory and the mind. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 12/16/2013

    " This was a good book. It had some confusing parts and a little hard to follow at the beginning, but once you get into it, it starts making sense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Ann | 12/15/2013

    " 5+ stars, amazing storytelling! two points of view told, from a Muslim teen and an American soldier...will leave you with much to think about once you have finished "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Faith | 12/11/2013

    " Sparse and deep but not very entertaining. I listened to the audiobook. Might have been a better read for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 12/8/2013

    " Awesome. In every way, this is my kind of book. Short chapters, vignettes really, that swirl about and yet connect the events and characters in awakened ways. Highly recommended! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Cavosie | 12/4/2013

    " This is why I read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayle Burns | 6/28/2013

    " I liked it. Probably closer to 4 stars, but there's other books (for example, What is the What) that do it better, so I had to knock it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 5/25/2013

    " i loved this book. very moving, beautiful story and yet very sad also. hard to stop thinking about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 3/29/2013

    " A great debut novel by a very talented writer. Was very impressed and look forward to reading more from Dau. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/20/2013

    " A worthy read, Afghan kid sees family wiped out, comes to America, self destructs because he can't work through something he did, eventually achieves some sort of resolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mercedes | 1/1/2013

    " It was a pretty good story, but I thought it lingered a bit on setting up Jonas's present world instead of the emotional struggle going on inside of him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy M | 12/4/2012

    " Beautifully written with a powerful anti-war story, this is a book that will make you think & stay with you long after you finish the last page. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy Moffett | 9/27/2012

    " Although it was a serious subject, this was a quick read, and enjoyable. I didn't find the characters or the story especially memorable. Not bad. Not wonderful OK. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shana | 8/26/2012

    " This novel didn't captivate me at all. The storyline had the potential to go places but instead fell flat, and the character of the soldier wasn't developed enough for me to get a sense of who he was. I finished this novel and felt annoyed more than anything. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam Graham | 3/16/2012

    " Pretty dark, very pertinent themes to the current world situation. "

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About the Author
Author Stephen Dau

Stephen Dau worked for ten years in postwar reconstruction and international development prior to studying creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and Bennington, where he received an MFA. His work has appeared in McSweeny’s, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on MSNBC, and elsewhere. The Book of Jonas is his first novel. Originally from western Pennsylvania, he currently resides in Brussels.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.