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Extended Audio Sample The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,497 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Mawer Narrator: Jefferson Mays Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Simon Mawer’s The Glass Room brilliantly evokes six decades of Eastern European history, beginning in 1930s Czechoslovakia.


Jewish newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer build their dream home, and despite the low hum of the German war machine reverberating through the land, the two look forward to a life of promise. But as war becomes inevitable, their lives are transformed in profound ways.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Glass Room works so effectively because Mawer embeds…provocative aesthetic and moral issues in a war-torn adventure story that’s eerily erotic and tremendously exciting…[a] gorgeous novel.”

    Washington Post

  • “A stirring historical novel.”

    New Yorker

  • “An old-fashioned, beautifully constructed novel of history, passion, and ideas.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A saga of a family and a nation at war…Mawer moves with grace among multiple points of view and establishes sympathy for characters with competing interests.”


  • “[The Glass Room is] a thing of extraordinary beauty and symmetry…A novel of ideas, yet strongly propelled by plot and characterised by an almost dreamlike simplicity of telling. Comparisons with the work of Michael Frayn would not be misplaced, and there are occasional moments of illuminating brilliance.”

    Guardian (UK)

  • “In Mawer’s hands [The Glass Room] becomes a means for exploring the way people’s hopes for the future become part of their history. This he does beautifully.”

    Times Literary Supplement

  • “Mawer creates a passionately detailed portrait of individuals struggling to snatch order and happiness from frightening, irrational times.”

    Sunday Telegraph (UK)

  • “Engrossing…Mawer explores his themes with a subtle intelligence. A novel of ideas, but one driven by character and story.”

    Literary Review

  • “Mawer’s perfect pacing clinches a wholly enjoyable and moving read.”


  • The Glass Room’s poetic success is to remind us of two great gilt-edged ironies: that whatever is held to be the height of modernity is already en route to the museum, and that even ‘cold’ art is the embodiment of its maker’s passion—one that can prove contagious.”

    Financial Times

  • “Simon Mawer’s grasp of period and place achieves what all great novels must: the creation of an utterly absorbing world the reader can scarcely bear to leave. Exciting, profoundly affecting, and altogether wonderful.”

    Daily Mail

  • “A carefully constructed book, beautifully written.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2009 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2009 Economist Best Book
  • A 2009 Financial Times Best Book of the Year
  • A 2009 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brigitte | 2/19/2014

    " plot driven. compelling characters. set around WWII (broadly) which is a period of interest for me. perfect summer reading. "

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

    " A little slow getting started...then starts to pick up. ...still reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sharon Swartz | 2/9/2014

    " The house was a main character in this book. Made me want to see it someday. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lenore Lampert | 1/17/2014

    " enjoyed this story centerd in chezoslovakia before during and after world war II. the title comes from the house that is built by the protoganists family before the war and is based on a true all-glass house located in the general areaa. "

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