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Extended Audio Sample The Death Instinct, by Jed Rubenfeld Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,368 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jed Rubenfeld Narrator: Kerry Shale Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A spellbinding literary thriller about terror, war, greed, and the darkest secrets of the human soul, by the author of the million-copy bestseller, The Interpretation of Murder

September 16, 1920. Under a clear blue September sky, a quarter ton of explosives is detonated in a deadly attack on Wall Street. Fear comes to the streets of New York. Witnessing the blast are war veteran Stratham Younger, his friend James Littlemore of the New York Police Department, and beautiful French radiochemist Colette Rousseau. A series of inexplicable attacks on Colette, a secret buried in her past, and a mysterious trail of evidence lead Younger, Littlemore, and Rousseau on a thrilling international and psychological journey from Paris to Prague, from the Vienna home of Dr. Sigmund Freud to the corridors of power in Washington, DC, and ultimately to the hidden depths of our most savage instincts. As the seemingly disjointed pieces of Younger and Littlemore’s investigations come together, the two uncover the shocking truth about the bombing—a truth that threatens to shake their world to its foundations.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This novel is great…The Death Instinct is that rare combo platter: a blast to read…and hefty enough to stay with you. There’s a steady beat of intrigue and confusion and explanations you wouldn’t have guessed.”

    New York Times

  • “Intelligent, absorbing, and provocative.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A deadly terrorist attack rocks downtown Manhattan in September…1920. Rubenfeld’s gripping novel revolves around the real-life Wall Street bombing and will have you enthralled.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Brilliantly concocted and more than just a little eerie. The fictional and actual events surrounding the 1920 bombing are as relevant today as they were nearly a century ago.”

    USA Today

  • “Rubenfeld’s debut, The Interpretation of Murder, proved his skillful use of historical detail to create a compelling tale of psychological suspense. He’s only gotten better.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Jed Rubenfeld delivers a soul-searching narrative with complex and memorable characters. Not only is The Death Instinct a suspenseful story that pulls readers into its political and scientific intrigue, it is also a provocative meditation on the psychological and emotional ripple effects of war and terrorism.”

    Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club and The Last Dickens

  • “In The Death Instinct, Jed Rubenfeld masterfully weaves a sweeping story that moves from New York City to Paris to Vienna and back, illuminating with shocking and harrowing clarity the aftershock effects of the Great War on an entire generation. Anyone with a taste for mystery, political intrigue, and love in desperate circumstances will devour this enthralling novel.”

    Katherine Howe, New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

  • The Death Instinct is a terrifically smart, tumbling rollercoaster of a novel, full of mysterious twists and turns, murders, conspiracies, dreams of revenge, and ultimately a very human redemption. Beginning with one of the great unsolved crimes in American history, the 1920 bombing of Wall Street, author Jed Rubenfeld takes the reader on a fast-forward journey through the politics and police work, science and psychoanalysis of the of the early nineteenth century. The characters are so well realized, the conspiracies so wonderfully twisted, and the rendering of time and place so well done that readers will find the story hard to put down and harder to forget.”

    Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

  • “A well-crafted story, skillfully told, with more twists than a pig’s tail, and a lot more entertaining.”

    Anne Perry, New York Times bestselling author of the Thomas Pitt and William Monk novels

  • Selected for the February 2011 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Entertainment Weekly “Must Read”

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alicia | 2/17/2014

    " Cinematic writing, real-life mystery, engaging investigators (professional and amateur), and some very interesting war and scientific history. Fast and engaging historical fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eli | 2/13/2014

    " Rubenfeld does a good job of mixing fact & fiction. I look forward to his next creation. Again, thanks for F for introducing me to Rubenfeld! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tony | 2/8/2014

    " Good stuff, clever and intriguing. Full of twist and turns. How I envy the Yale law undergrads. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mark Levine | 2/1/2014

    " Lenghty & informative.Are any means acceptable for the desired results?Every novel set in Vienna in the early 20th century involves Freud and anti-semitism and discussions of such. "

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