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Extended Audio Sample The Ha-Ha: A Novel, by Dave King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,997 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dave King Narrator: Terry Kinney Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Howard Kapostash has not spoken in 30 years. Ever since a severe blow to the head during his days in the Army, words unravel in his mouth and letters on the page make no sense at all. Because of his extremely limited communication abilities, a small repertory of gestures and simple sounds, most people think he is disturbed. No one understands that Howard is still the same man he was before enlisting, still awed by the beauty of a landscape, still pining for his high school sweetheart, Sylvia.Now Sylvia is a single mom with troubles of her own, and she needs Howard's help. She is being hauled into a drug rehab program and she asks Howard to care for her 9-year-old son, Ryan. The presence of this nervous, resourceful boy in Howard's life transforms him utterly. With a child's happiness at stake, communication takes on a fresh urgency, and the routine that Howard has evolved over the years, designed specifically to minimize the agony of human contact, suddenly feels restrictive and even dangerous. Forced out of his groove, Howard finds unexpected delights (in baseball, in work, in meals with his housemates). His home comes alive with the joys, sorrows, and love of a real family. But these changes also open Howard to the risks of loss and to the rage he has spent a lifetime suppressing.

Written with a luminous simplicity and grace, The Ha-Ha follows Howard down his difficult path to a new life. It is a deeply moving and unforgettable story about the cost of war and the infinite worth of human connection.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dave King vividly connects us to a character whose own connections to the outside world are almost nonexistent.”

    Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel

  • The Ha-Ha is a merry, serious inquiry into how love is given and accepted by memorable characters.”

    Frederick Busch, author of The Night Inspector

  • The Ha-Ha is an immense pleasure.”

    Nicholas Christopher, author of A Trip to the Stars

  • “A skillful debut with several surprises.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “King offers a deeply genuine performance of this subtle yet affecting novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The writing is excellent, and King creates tender, complex characters on different paths to recovery.”

    Bookmarks magazine

  • “The reader is drawn into Howie’s world and roots for him with every first step he takes.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dawn | 2/16/2014

    " Poignant without being overly sentimental. It's about a vietnam war veteran, but the war is not really a central theme of the book - rather, it's the life-changing injury the vet receives after being on the ground only a few days. I like the irony of the only story-telling voice in the book being a man who cannot speak or write. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Barbara | 1/25/2014

    " I loved this book. It was touching and heartbreaking in the best way. The characters were very well-done - especially the main character. I look forward to reading more from Dave King. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Barb | 1/20/2014

    " Intriguing novel about a man who can communicate in language other than by writing. And yet, his relationships were varied and deep. A novel of hope "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Christine | 12/10/2013

    " An interesting premise (based on a man who cannot speak), but got really borning since there is hardly any dialogue. "

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About the Author

Dave King holds a BFA in painting and film from Cooper Union and an MFA in writing from Columbia University. He has been published in Paris Review and Big City Lit and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in New York.