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Download The Heaven of Animals: Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Heaven of Animals: Stories Audiobook, by David James Poissant 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: David James Poissant Narrator: Susan Bennett, Peter Jay Fernandez, Ken Marks, Richard Poe, Scott Sowers Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781490613888
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In this masterful debut, an award-winning writer and first-rate storyteller explores the tenuous bonds of family—fathers and sons, husbands and wives—as they are tested by the sometimes brutal power of love. In each of the stories in this remarkable collection, David James Poissant delivers a moving portrayal of a relationship in turmoil.

His strikingly true-to-life characters have reached a precipice, chased there by troubles of their own making. Some stand frightened, some ready to fight. Some seek atonement, others the atonement that is owed them. But, brought to the brink, each must make a choice: leap, or look away. Lee Martin writes that Poissant forces us “to face the people we are when we’ re alone in the dark,” and, from the two men racing to save the life of a sick alligator in “Lizard Man” to the girl helping her boyfriend face his greatest fears in “The End of Aaron,” from a son grieving his father in “100% Cotton” as he stalks death on an Atlanta street corner to a brother’s surprise at the surreal, improbable beauty of a late night encounter with a wolf, Poissant’s invented worlds shine with honesty and dark complexity, but also with a profound compassion. These are stories hell-bent on hope. Fresh, smart, lively—and often wickedly funny—The Heaven of Animals is breathtakingly original and compulsively readable. As bestselling author Kevin Wilson puts it, “Poissant is a writer who knows us with such clarity that we wonder how he found his way so easily into our hearts and souls.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There is much to admire in David James Poissant’s excellent debut story collection. His men and women are never mere caricatures. They are flawed but fully human and their stories are compelling and true to life’s complexities. There is a refreshing lack of glibness in his work; he is a serious writer and these are serious stories.”

    Ron Rash New York Times bestselling author of Serena and Nothing Gold Can Stay

  • "[A] wise debut collection…Poissant’s characters are often a mess—belligerent, impulsive, smart in all the wrong ways—but he manages their lives with precision, intelligence, and clarity…Beautiful [stories], with a rogue touch.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • The Heaven of Animals targets the tough and tender dynamics that make and break families.”


  • “A penetrating look at American manhood in the new century.”

    Atlanta Journal Constitution

  • “[A] collection of vicious and heartbreaking vignettes.”

    Orlando Sentinel

  • “The much-anthologized Poissant justifies his status as a favorite of the literary quarterlies with this debut collection of unsparing yet warmly empathetic stories…Rueful and kind, akin to both Anton Chekhov and Raymond Carver in humane spirit and technical mastery”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “We care about and sympathize with Poissant’s characters, even the most conflicted and difficult ones. The pieces vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter…Poissant is an excellent writer…the brief and beautiful moments of human connection shine through in every story.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “An engaging, well-crafted collection…The author’s deep caring for his characters surfaces in his compassionate attempts to unpack the perplexities of the human condition. Poissant’s thoroughly realist style and tight storytelling will appeal to fans of Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, and George Saunders.”


  • A 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
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About the Author

David James Poissant’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Playboy, One Story, the Southern Review, Glimmer Train, and in the New Stories from the South and Best New American Voices anthologies. His writing has been awarded the Matt Clark Prize, the RopeWalk Fiction Chapbook Prize, the George Garrett Fiction Award, and the Alice White Reeves Memorial Award from the National Society of Arts & Letters, as well as awards from the Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, and Playboy. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

About the Narrators

Susan Bennett, Earphones Award-winning narrator, has enjoyed an extensive career as a vocal artist. She has worked with major agencies on such accounts as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, AT&T, Blue Cross, Goodyear, and Club Med. She also dabbles in the music industry as the singer and keyboardist for The Interactive! Band. Along with her guitarist husband, Rick Hinkle, she is the co-owner of Audiocam Music, a full-service recording studio.

Peter Jay Fernandez is an accomplished audiobook narrator who has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards and an Audie Award in 2009. He has also appeared on television, film, and stage. His appearances include roles in Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the musical Thunder Knocking on the Door.

Ken Marks is an actor/narrator with almost thirty years experience in New York City and beyond. He is an Earphones Award Winner for his narration of The High Country by Williard Wyman, and currently he can be seen on Broadway as Uncle Ben in the hit musical Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.

Richard Poe has worked extensively in movies, television, and on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of Gul Evek in three different Star Trek series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He is a well-known and prolific audiobook narration who has won twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards.

Scott Sowers is an actor and audiobook narrator. AudioFile magazine named him the 2008 Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense. He is the winner of seven Earphones Awards.