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Download The Book of Speculation: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Book of Speculation: A Novel Audiobook, 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: Katherine Kellgren, David Pittu, Ari Fliakos Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2015 ISBN: 9781427261441
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"Dazzling...[a] quirky, raucous, and bewitching family saga." --Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

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 six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon's doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. 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 get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola?

In the tradition of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler's moving debut 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.”

    Oprah.com

  • 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.”

    AudioFile

  • “[A] rich and inventive tale.”

    BookPage

  • 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
  • Among longlisted titles for Amazon.com Best Books of the Year, 2015
  • Among longlisted titles for Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year, 2015
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About the Author

Erika Swyler is a graduate of New York University. Her short fiction has appeared in WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Litro, Anderbo.com, and elsewhere. Her writing is featured in the anthology Colonial Comics, and her work as a playwright has received note from the Jane Chambers Award. Born and raised on Long Island’s North Shore, Erika learned to swim before she could walk, and happily spent all her money at traveling carnivals. Erika recently moved from Brooklyn back to her hometown, which inspired the setting of the book. The Book of Speculation is her debut novel.

About the Narrators

Katherine Kellgren has appeared onstage in London, New York, and Frankfurt. Her work includes the role of Laura in a regional production of The Glass Menagerie and appearances on Comedy Central. She is an Audie Award and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator of audiobooks and has also received the Peabody Award.

David Pittu is an American actor known primarily for his work on the New York stage, in both plays and musicals. He is also a writer and director and a member of the Atlantic Theater Company. He has twice been nominated for a Tony Award.

Ari Fliakos is a voice talent and television actor. His audiobook narrations have earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2014 he won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration.