Download The Book of Madness and Cures: A Novel Audiobook

The Book of Madness and Cures: A Novel Audiobook, by Regina O’Melveny Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Regina O’Melveny Narrator: Katherine Kellgren Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9781611136180
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (920 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Dr. Gabriella Mondini, a strong-willed, young Venetian woman, has followed her father in the path of medicine. She possesses a singleminded passion for the art of physick, even though, in 1590, the male-dominated establishment is reluctant to accept a woman doctor. So when her father disappears on a mysterious journey, Gabriella's own status in the Venetian medical society is threatened. Her father has left clues--beautiful, thoughtful, sometimes torrid, and often enigmatic letters from his travels as he researches his vast encyclopedia, The Book of Diseases.

After ten years of missing his kindness, insight, and guidance, Gabriella decides to set off on a quest to find him--a daunting journey that will take her through great university cities, centers of medicine, and remote villages across Europe. Despite setbacks, wary strangers, and the menaces of the road, the young doctor bravely follows the clues to her lost father, all while taking notes on maladies and treating the ill to supplement her own work.

Gorgeous and brilliantly written, and filled with details about science, medicine, food, and madness, THE BOOK OF MADNESS AND CURES is an unforgettable debut. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Poet O’Melveny’s debut fiction is like a lyrical composite creature—part father/daughter epistolary novel, part aristocratic diary, part adventurer’s travelogue, and part compendium of allegorical diseases…Readers will be delighted by O’Melveny’s whimsical embellishments.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An elegant portrait of a resolute woman who practices medicine in sixteenth-century Venice…The writing is superb, particularly when the author describes…exotic locales and ancient superstitions. The book will especially attract readers who enjoy female­centered historical novels whose plots are not driven by romance.”

    Library Journal

  • “A darkly whimsical first novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Every new chapter brings a new adventure and a new piece of the puzzle.”

    Washington Independent Review of Books

  • Selected for the April 2012 Indie Next List

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Regina | 2/14/2014

    " I love the Italian history, and history in general. Very interested characters, although not entirely captivating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Theresa | 2/14/2014

    " Well, think this one might have been just a bit too deep for me. Although I could understand some of the things the main character did, I didn't agree with most. The ending kind of left me hanging, although I'm not sure how it should have ended. Was a different read for me though, so I guess that is good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/7/2014

    " A meandering story of a faithful daughter searching for her father. Beautifully written, with an old map of Europe at the beginning. I am a sucker for old maps. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sinistmer | 2/7/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book! The description is amazing and vivid--O'Melveny is really good at getting me to picture the settings. It was nice to read something with a historical setting that wasn't necessairly a romance! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ronna | 1/25/2014

    " Ever author has something in mind when they write a story. Every reader gets something from that story. For me, the story about the main characters in the 1500's was really interesting, but the rest of the story read like 'ONE FLEW OVER THE COOCOE'S NEST' for me. Psychotic or schizophrenic ramblings with mythical cures. Eat from the wall and disappear---dream about something and end up someplace else----butterflies doing ?what?. Think I'm too literal about medical and psychological issues to really appreciate those parts of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Frances | 1/19/2014

    " I wanted to like the book more than I did. The main character just seemed flat and whiney. The descriptions of various countries, cities and medieval medicine were interesting though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 4cats | 12/29/2013

    " this just didn't work for me at all. Sad as it sounds like it could be great but the prose and the characterization seemed weak. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Greta | 12/21/2013

    " I could only make myself read 30 pages. One of the most poorly conceived and written books I've picked up in a long time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/11/2013

    " This one takes place in 1580s. It follows the travels of Gabriella, a doctor in Venice at that time. She's searching for her father and goes through Germany, Hollant, Scotia, Gaul and more. She encounters the customs to do with women and women as doctors in each country. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynn | 10/18/2013

    " I was really disappointed in this book. It had been well reviewed, but I'm not sure why. It seemed like medieval research dressed up with the thinnest of plots. A big disappointment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ineke | 6/29/2013

    " Wanted to like this book more than I actually did. :( for me, I think she meandered too long; I could no longer believe that she would go to such lengths for her father. The diseases perplexed me. We're they meant to be metaphors? Or actual "diseases" a doctor of her era would diagnose? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Char | 2/3/2013

    " I really wanted to like it, but it just didn't capture my attention like I had hoped. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 1/20/2013

    " I recieved this book in the mail and I love it!! I just had to give it five stars. The very beginning just pulled me in and I couldn't stop reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 11/16/2012

    " Interesting story but told in a very disjointed way. The ending was very choppy too. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/8/2012

    " Did not finish -- such a promising story, marred by uneven writing and interruptions. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 9/10/2012

    " A wonderful premise but so poorly executed. And booooooring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Starr | 8/25/2012

    " This is a smart and encouraging book it makes lots of sense it is smart i am repeating because it is hard to explain such a good book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lera | 8/14/2012

    " Beautifully written, but I simply grew bored with the content. I feel guilty about it. "

About the Author

Regina O’Melveny’s poetry has been published widely in literary journals, garnering several prizes. She grew up at the edge of pungent chaparral in La Mesa, California, and chose to enroll at Callison College—a school of international studies at the University of the Pacific—almost solely based upon the fact that the second year would be spent in India. Thus began her many extended travels that would later inspire The Book of Madness and Cures, her first novel. She lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

About the Narrator

Katherine Kellgren (1969–2018), narrator and actress, appeared onstage in London, New York, and Frankfurt, including in the role of Laura in a regional production of The Glass Menagerie and appearances on Comedy Central. In recognition of her mastery of audiobook narration, she received many honors, including the prestigious Audie Awards, with four for best female narrator; the Odyssey Award; Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award; dozens of AudioFile magazine Earphones Awards; an AudioFile Golden Voice Award; Booklist Voice of Choice award; and acclaim from press and listener reviews.