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Download The Book of Speculation: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Book of Speculation: A Novel, by Erika Swyler 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: Erika Swyler Narrator: Ari Fliakos Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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I came across this book at auction as part of a larger lot I purchased on speculation. The damage renders it useless to me, but a name inside it led me to believe it might be of interest to you or your family.

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off to join the circus six years ago.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things—including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned—always on July 24, which is only weeks away.

As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he stop it in time to save Enola? The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An exquisite tapestry…Swyler’s prose is so polished and elegant it reads effortlessly, even as her distinct voice shines through.”

    Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author

  • “While a book whose narrative hinges on drowning might not seem like a great beach read, Swyler’s debut effort, redolent of salty ocean air, is just that…Its clever plot—fueled by a musty book and a powerful set of tarot cards—and Swyler’s wonderful descriptions keep the pages swimming along.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Mermaids, tarot card readers, a wild man, and other carnival characters work their literary magic in this debut novel…packed with fresh, unexpected marvels.”


  • Swyler has written an engrossing literary tale-spinner with an assurance rarely mastered in debut novels, allowing a well-placed detail or a lyrical phrase to paint a character or sketch even as she builds tension like a pro.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Narrator Ari Fliakos has complete control over this tale of magical realism as he underplays the drama and makes the outlandish seem plausible…Fliakos delivers the present-day sections with a tone of resignation. Simon is an exhausted man, strained almost to the breaking point, and his sighs are frequent. The people of the menagerie are big and bold and brassy. Fliakos’ performance enhances a terrific book. Listeners will enjoy letting him guide them through the surreal elements of Swyler’s story.”


  • “[A] rich and inventive tale.”


  • The Book of Speculation is a luscious experience—dark, sweet, and wild.”

    Katherine Dunn, bestselling author of Geek Love

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for June 2015
  • A BookPage Top Pick for July 2015 in Debut Fiction
  • A June 2015 LibraryReads Pick
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick for Best Fiction of 2015
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