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The Gunners: A Novel Audiobook, by Rebecca Kauffman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Rebecca Kauffman Narrator: Michael David Axtell Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2018 ISBN: 9781538539262
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Following on her wonderfully received first novel, Another Place You’ve Never Been, called “mesmerizing,” “powerful,” and “gorgeous,” by critics all over the country, Rebecca Kauffman returns with Mikey Callahan, a thirty-year-old who is suffering from the clouded vision of macular degeneration. He struggles to establish human connections―even his emotional life is a blur.

As the novel begins, he is reconnecting with “the Gunners,” his group of childhood friends, after one of their members has committed suicide. Sally had distanced herself from all of them before ending her life, and she died harboring secrets about the group and its individuals. Mikey especially needs to confront dark secrets about his own past and his father. How much of this darkness accounts for the emotional stupor Mikey is suffering from as he reaches his maturity? And can the Gunners, prompted by Sally’s death, find their way to a new day? The core of this adventure, made by Mikey, Alice, Lynn, Jimmy, and Sam, becomes a search for the core of truth, friendship, and forgiveness.

A quietly startling, beautiful book, The Gunners engages us with vividly unforgettable characters and advances Rebecca Kauffman’s place as one of the most important young writers of her generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Michael David Axtell’s narration is truly wonderful, bringing life to Kauffman’s beautiful, unflinching look at friendship, betrayal, love, and forgiveness…Delivering believable characters with human failings and strengths, Axtell gives each person’s story immediacy and makes each motive understandable. As new revelations unfold, Axtell’s superb narration adds credibility to Kauffman’s exploration of the complexities of the human heart. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Like an intimate hangout session, dashed with suspense and a few extra layers of emotional beauty.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “This engrossing book’s suspense lies not just in what will happen but in what already has…gracefully pivoting between past and present.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Kauffman has done something remarkable with The Gunners...She’s made spending time with [her characters] not just tolerable but delightful…There’s so much generosity and spirit and humor shared by whatever characters are on the page at any given time that I was always happy to accompany them.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This story examines how the secrets held and harbored by friends, and the defining relationships of childhood and adolescence, never fully leave us.”


  • “This tender story explores the secrets we carry from the past.”

    Real Simple

  • “If it’s rare for a contemporary literary novelist to address emotion so bluntly…[or] to write novels with morals or messages, but The Gunners has one. It’s clear, though not easy: Accept your emotions. Feel them bluntly, plainly. Allow yourself to flinch.”


  • “Perceptive, funny, and endearing…This remarkable novel is just as satisfying and provides readers with an entire cast of characters who will feel like old friends upon finishing.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A little bit like The Big Chill, Kauffman’s quiet and deep second novel reconciles the responsibilities we carry and the secrets we keep with the outsize pleasure of being known and loved by a chosen family.”


  • “Kauffman has created vivid and compelling characters struggling with what is in some ways the most universal dilemma: how to grow up…In fluid prose, Kauffman lays bare the lessons of youth and truth. A layered and loving bildungsroman of friendship.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • The Gunners explores what it means to have people crawl into your heart and settle in for a lifetime. In this lovely, truthful novel…Kauffman strips enduring love of all its usual romantic costumery, and shows us how it actually works.”

    Martha Woodroof, author of Small Blessings

  • “A meditation on friendship, that least examined, most mysterious form of love, perhaps more sacred for its incompleteness, for the ways we can never fool ourselves completely into believing we truly know one another.”

    Rufi Thorpe, author of Dear Fang, with Love

  • “I recommend you read every single thing Rebecca Kauffman writes—start with this beautiful novel, and start now.”

    Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

  • A Time Out New York Pick of the Month
  • A Real Simple Pick of Best Books of 2018 So Far
  • An Entertainment Weekly “Must Read” selection
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A Harper’s Bazaar Pick of Upcoming Books
  • An Esquire Magazine Pick of Best Books of 2018 (So Far)
  • A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection
  • A Chicago Review of Books Pick of Best New Books of March
  • A Refinery29 Pick of Books We Can't Wait to Read
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Rebecca Kauffman received her BA in classical violin performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She later attended New York University, where she received her MFA in creative writing.

About the Narrator

Michael David Axtell is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.