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Extended Audio Sample The Invisible Circus Audiobook, by Jennifer Egan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,135 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennifer Egan Narrator: Madeleine Lambert Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 1994 ISBN: 9781482973938
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In Jennifer Egan’s highly acclaimed first novel, the political drama and familial tensions of the 1960s form a backdrop for the world of eighteen-year-old Phoebe O’Connor.

Phoebe is obsessed with the memory and death of her sister Faith, a beautiful idealistic hippie who died in Italy in 1970. In order to find out the truth about Faith’s life and death, Phoebe retraces her steps from San Francisco across Europe—a quest that yields both complex and disturbing revelations about family, love, and Faith’s lost generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A startling book, full of unexpected words and sentences. And ideas. And events. Jennifer Egan is a highly original, unusually intelligent writer.”

    Alice Adams, New York Times bestselling author of Superior Women

  • “Mesmerizing...Told with great assurance and power...Egan portrays the sisters with a quiet, heartbreaking clarity.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Adroit...The Invisible Circus deals with a number of compelling themes...[Egan] infuses this book with considerable intelligence and sensitivity.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Searing...Keenly observed...Remarkable for its shapeliness and control...Egan’s strongest suit may be her language.”

    Newsday

  • “Extraordinary...Egan’s gift for storytelling captures the era with extreme clarity...Her writing is so fresh that it raises goose bumps and causes the heart to race. One can hardly wait to read her next work.”

    St. Petersburg Times

  • “Elegant and brilliant...Spellbinding, heartbreaking, and told by a master.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • “Punches home like a blow to the stomach.”

    Elle

  • “Egan’s first novel is great reading. Recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of 49 Underrated Books You Really Need to Read

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reid | 2/16/2014

    " I could identify with all of the characters, so I think that's a mark of a very good writer. The plot might be cliche in places, but I think Egan pulled it off with authenticity - the characters, the dialogue, the relationships and emotions were true to life, and the writing in general was very good. It deals with some decent themes, too, but I think it wasn't focused enough to go anywhere very deep or conclusive, perhaps by choice. I'd recommend this over 2 and 3 star pulp any day. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paula | 2/13/2014

    " Not one of my favorites. We chose this for book club @ work & so far, nobody's been thrilled with it. I thought it would be a story about a cool mysterious journey, but I was bored with much of it. Half the time I was rolling my eyes about what stupid risks Phoebe was taking, the other half I was rolling my eyes about how unrealistic much of it seemed. I wouldn't recommend this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandy | 2/9/2014

    " Kind of a dumb book. I didn't get 'into' it at all. The characters did not seem likable to me. Maybe my own memories of the 60's interfered? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jbowman | 2/8/2014

    " One of my favorite books ever...Egan eloquently conveys many different ideas at once: the suspicion that you never really "know" people (including your own siblings), the idea of "hero(ine) worship," the romance of European travel, and misguided political idealism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 2/1/2014

    " My least favorite of Egan's novels; it is still quite good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liana K. | 1/29/2014

    " This book was the best I've read in a long time. I found it much better than the polyphony of 'A Visit from the Goon Squad'. I see there's a 2001 movie starring Cameron Diaz, and I'll have to watch it. Although emotional and depressing, this book is a wonderful coming of age story of a young, confused girl with a very dysfunctional family in San Francisco (and Europe) in the post flower child 60's and 70's. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nico-jan van de Koot | 1/29/2014

    " Na het lezen van A Visit from the Goonsquad was ik nieuwsgierig naar mee werk van Egan, deze bleek ik nog in de kast te hebben staan. Al zie je tussen de regels door al wel het talent van de schrijfster, als totaal vond ik het boek niet zo goed als ik gehoopt had. Als je nog nooit iets van haar hebt gelezen is dit niet het boek dat je voor haar wint. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lyn Talbert | 1/18/2014

    " The great writer that she will become is evident here. Her characters are well realized and her plot works. She gets so much better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sophie | 1/11/2014

    " This book should have been edited down more. I was frustrated with the pace - or maybe it was the story line or the characters. It's a book that takes itself too seriously. I did like reading it, but couldn't lose myself in it the way I wanted to because of the flaws. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 1/8/2014

    " I wanted to experience this author, after I read a review of another book of hers that described her writing as breathtaking. I thought this (older) one of her works showed some quality that is not yet mature as a writer; not yet breathtaking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 1/1/2014

    " Great story line. Jennifer Egan is an excellent author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 12/26/2013

    " It started slow, but it was so worth it in the end. She has a beautiful writing style that is absolutely wonderful to read. And it's a good story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elyssa | 12/22/2013

    " What makes this book enjoyable is the main character's quest to uncover the mystery of her sister's unexpected death; however, after all the suspense I was hoping for a stronger and more believable ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 11/12/2013

    " Perhaps Egan's best novel. Reflective tale of a torrid time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 8/10/2013

    " compelling, evocative, and heartfelt, if a bit naive and excessive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane Kresh | 7/16/2013

    " Not as good as Goon Squad but diverting if soapy. Some obvious plot developments but nice evocation of the period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon Daws | 6/26/2013

    " This is my absolute favorite book. It's just amazing. A great, heartfelt coming-of-age story. It both warms and breaks your heart, lovely words. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 1/29/2013

    " saved this book for my first international flight (didn't quite make it- read in hawaii). it's about a young girl who travels to italy, in a misguided attempt to find out more about her sister's disappearance years earlier. she discovers more about herself...lovely coming of age story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marie Elena | 10/17/2012

    " I like to read things out of order. I read Egan's second book, "Look at Me" first and enjoyed it. Read this one second and it was good, started out slow but ended well. I was disappointed though, I liked "Look at Me" much more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christy | 8/20/2012

    " 3.5. An interesting story, very well-written and well-told. Didn't like the characters but that didn't matter as much because it was the story that was important. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 8/19/2012

    " Another excellent book by Jennifer Egan. This one tells the story of Phoebe who,at the age of 17, leaves her home in San Francisco to go to Europe and trace the steps of her older sister who died in Europe several years before. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jobie | 7/14/2012

    " Here it is. Book 52 this year. And I loved it! Poetic, poignant, perfect. 4.5 stars but feeling friendly. "

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About the Author
Author Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in the New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story,and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction frequently appears in  New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.

About the Narrator

Madeleine Lambert received her MFA in acting from Brown University and Trinity Rep. Her performances at Trinity Repertory Company include Shelby in Steel Magnolias and Belle in A Christmas Carol. Madeleine graduated with honors from Duke University with majors in theater studies and English and a minor in French. She attended the School at Steppenwolf in Chicago.