Download The King Is Always Above the People: Stories Audiobook

The King Is Always Above the People: Stories Audiobook, by Daniel Alarcón Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Daniel Alarcón Narrator: David DeSantos Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2017 ISBN: 9780525498025
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An urgent, essential collection of stories about immigration, broken dreams, Los Angeles gang members, Latin American families, and other tales of high stakes journeys, from the award-winning author of War by Candlelight and At Night We Walk in Circles.

Migration. Betrayal. Family secrets. Doomed love. Uncertain futures. In Daniel Alarcón’s hands, these are transformed into deeply human stories with high stakes. In "The Thousands," people are on the move and forging new paths; hope and heartbreak abound. A man deals with the fallout of his blind relatives' mysterious deaths and his father's mental breakdown and incarceration in "The Bridge." A gang member discovers a way to forgiveness and redemption through the haze of violence and trauma in “The Ballad of Rocky Rontal.” And in the tour de force novella, "The Auroras", a man severs himself from his old life and seeks to make a new one in a new city, only to find himself seduced and controlled by a powerful woman. Richly drawn, full of unforgettable characters, The King is Always Above the People reveals experiences both unsettling and unknown, and yet eerily familiar in this new world. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Complicated stories, told with consummate skill.”


  • “The stories in this slim, affecting work of fiction feature young men in various states of displacement after dictatorship yields to fragile democracy in an unnamed country. Alarcón, who also happens to be a gifted journalist, couples narrative experimentation with imaginative empathy.”

    New York Times

  • “These stories explore immigration, family loyalty, and redemption. Alarcón throws his characters into high-stakes situations to draw out humanity where it seems little hope is left.”

    Washington Post

  • “Alarcón is an empathic observer of the isolated human, whether isolated by emigration or ambition, blindness or loneliness, poverty or war. His stories have a reporter’s mix of kindness and detachment, and perhaps as a result, his endings land like a punch in the gut.”


  • “In ten vivid, captivating stories, Alarcón explores immigration, family relationships, secrets, betrayal, hope, love, heartbreak, forgiveness, and redemption.”


  • “Superb…Alarcón writes with a spellbinding voice and creates a striking cast of characters. Each narrative lands masterfully and memorably, showcasing Alarcón’s immense talent.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A smart and understated collection that puts some new twists on old-fashioned identity crises.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Though some of these stories have already been published…all share universal themes of love, death, acculturation, but above all, familial discord that transcends ethnicity…Alarcón was named one of the New Yorker’s “20 under 40”; these stories enhance his reputation with their realistic writing style and highly believable characters.”

    Library Journal

  • Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction
  • A Vanity Fair Hot Type selection for November
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice of the Week
  • A Nylon Magazine Pick of Books to Read This Fall

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About the Author

Daniel Alarcón is the author of War by Candlelight, a finalist for the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Award, and Lost City Radio, named one of the best novels of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post, among others. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, n+1, and Harper’s, and he has been named one of the New Yorker’s “20 under 40.”

About the Narrator

David DeSantos, a native of Los Angeles, is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, having performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, and South Coast Rep, to name a few. As an audiobook narrator, he played Laertes in the Grammy-nominated audio recording of Hamlet. Along with many roles on television and in film, he produces a web series called This Is Why I’m Single.