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Extended Audio Sample The Last One: A Novel Audiobook, by Alexandra Oliva 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: Alexandra Oliva Narrator: Mike Chamberlain, Nicol Zanzarella Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9780147522658
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Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.
 
It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.
 
Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.
 
But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.
 
Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.
 
Praise for The Last One
 
“[Alexandra] Oliva brilliantly scrutinizes the recorded (and heavily revised) narratives we believe, and the last one hundred pages will have the reader constantly guessing just what Zoo is capable of doing to find her way back home.”Washington Post

“A high-concept, high-octane affair . . . The conceit is undoubtedly clever and . . . well executed, but what makes The Last One such a page-turner is Zoo herself: practical, tough-minded and appealing.”The Guardian

“Oliva takes this (possibly) post-apocalyptic setting, grafts on a knowledgeable skewering of the inner workings of reality television and gives us a gripping story of survival. . . . This is the genius of Oliva’s storytelling. . . . [She] makes a stunning debut with this page turner, and becomes a writer to watch.”Seattle Times

“Oliva delivers a pulse-pounding psychological tale of survival. . . .  [She] masterfully manipulates her characters and the setting, creating a mash-up of popular TV genres: Survivor meets The Walking Dead.”Bookpage
 
“The TV show Survivor meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in Oliva’s stellar debut. . . . Fueled by brilliantly intimate and insightful writing as well as an endearing and fully realized female lead, this apocalyptic novel draws its power from Zoo’s realizations about society and herself as she struggles to survive long enough to somehow make it back to her home.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Last One seamlessly melds two of our contemporary obsessions—the threat of global catastrophe and the staged drama of reality TV—into a fiercely imagined tale of the human psyche under stress. This is an uncompromising, thought-provoking debut.”—Justin Cronin
 
“Like The Hunger Games, Alexandra Oliva’s novel is page-turning and deeply unsettling.”—Rosamund Lupton
 
“Tense and gorgeous and so damn clever . . . I loved every second.”—Lauren Beukes


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Haunting, moving, and remarkable…[A] propulsive book.”

    Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A fiercely imagined tale of the human psyche under stress.”

    Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Oliva’s thrilling debut skillfully blurs the lines between reality and perception, delivering a fresh and thought-provoking take on the dystopian novel.”

    BookPage

  • “Fueled by brilliantly intimate and insightful writing as well as an endearing and fully realized female lead, this apocalyptic novel draws its power from Zoo’s realizations about society and herself as she struggles to survive.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Part wilderness-survival thriller and part dystopian pandemic story…a gripping portrayal of an ordinary person’s evolving survival instincts as she realizes she can’t trust the reality she sees.”

    Booklist

  • “Shows what impact our times have on the ways we think about identity and human relationships. An astute and compelling entry into the post-apocalypse genre.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A July 2016 LibraryReads Pick
  • A BookPage Top Pick for July 2016
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About the Author

Alexandra Oliva was born and raised in upstate New York. She has a BA in history from Yale University and an MFA in creative writing from the New School.

About the Narrators

Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over performer in Los Angeles whose audiobook narration has won five AudioFile Earphones Awards. His voice credits range from radio commercials and television narration to animation and video game characters. Stage trained at Boston College, he has performed works from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama and comedy.

Nicol Zanzarella is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and a theater and television actress. She has appeared in productions of Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, Cousin Bette, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and many others. She is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York.