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Download The Lazarus Project Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,258 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Aleksandar Hemon Narrator: Jefferson Mays Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9781449813819
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On March 2, 1908, nineteen-year-old Lazarus Averbuch, an Eastern European Jewish immigrant, was shot to death on the doorstep of the Chicago chief of police and cast as a would-be anarchist assassin.

A century later, a young Eastern European writer in Chicago named Brik becomes obsessed with Lazarus’s story. Brik enlists his friend Rora—a war photographer from Sarajevo—to join him in retracing Averbuch’s path.

Through a history of pogroms and poverty, and a prism of a present-day landscape of cheap mafiosi and even cheaper prostitutes, the stories of Averbuch and Brik become inextricably intertwined, creating a truly original, provocative, and entertaining novel that confirms Aleksandar Hemon, often compared to Vladimir Nabokov, as one of the most dynamic and essential literary voices of our time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Incandescent. When your eyes close, the power of this novel, of Hemon’s colossal talent, remains.

    Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

  • “Remarkable, and remarkably entertaining.”  

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A physical, historical, and preeminently psychological journey.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A masterful new novel…Ingenious…Hemon is as much a writer of the senses as of the intellect.” 

    Washington Post Book Review

  • “There’s pathos and outrage enough to chip away at even the hardest of hearts.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2008 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
  • A 2008 New York Times Book Review Book of the Year

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina. | 1/28/2014

    " This is one of the best books I have read in years. I finished reading it last night and wanted to start reading it all over again. This book speaks to me on so many levels. It's a story of a Bosnian immigrant, a writer, living in the States with his American wife; it's a story about Sarajevo during the war and after; it's a story about Jewish (and other) immigrants living in Chicago at the beginning of the previous century; it's a murder mystery.... And it's written so damn well. I can' believe I haven't discovered Hemon till now; I want to read everything he has ever written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan Rostron | 1/20/2014

    " I saw Hemon read recently with Junot Diaz, who got a rock star reception at Central Park's Summer Stage. Hemon is not a rock star writer and garnered only polite applause. Unlike Diaz (in Oscar Wao, at any rate), Hemon's writing is not flashy or stylistically strutting somewhat awkwardly to allow for humongous cojones. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon writes with a syncopated English-language sensibility; it seems quiet but then it will sneak up on you and knock you flat. This one's definitely worth reading--my only complaint is that after the stunning first 40 pages the story plateaued and remained consistently interesting and well written and good, rather than continuing to ramp up into the stratosphere. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryann Bell | 12/19/2013

    " It was average. I liked it enough to finish it, and the pictures at the beginning of every chapter were a nice touch. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jess | 11/15/2013

    " This one was a little disappointing. I kept waiting to be drawn into the present day character's story, and it never really happened. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 11/10/2013

    " I can't make up my mind about this book. On the one hand I zipped through it in less than a day, but on the other hand I just don't know what to make of it. The writing is certainly very impressive, particularly since English is not the author's native language - he has a lovely lyrical style, very wistful and vague in tone, which quite suits the story. But the story is the problem - I was never quite sure of where it was going or what the point of it was. The parallel storylines - one set in turn-of-the-century Chicago and the other in the modern day - had potential, but they never seemed to quite gel. I never really got to understand any of the characters, and the main narrator, Brik, isn't the most sympathetic of characters. I finished this book unable to decide whether the fault was in the book or in me, whether I had perhaps missed the point somehow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel | 11/4/2013

    " I mostly really liked this book, and I think it mostly works. I ran out of steam around the last third of the book, as the arc didn't really feel like it was arcing, and both narratives were trending sad-ward. But the ending felt right, and the writing was enjoyable and buoyant throughout. Loved the Susie grant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alfredo Ruiz | 9/30/2013

    " I can't remember what Hemon's other books where about, but I remember enjoying them a bit, so I was looking forward to reading The Lazarus Project. It is seeped in historical research, which might have been a deterrent since I am not well informed of the 90s conflicts in Bosnia. However, Hemon's pace seems right and he always has a good sense of resolution: one that is not annoyingly obvious. The book revealed new/disturbing information, but could be too self-involved/reflective at times. But always with a wink. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathan | 9/30/2013

    " At this point is seems highly unlikely Hemon will write anything that isn't marvelous, as every page of his work is of the highest caliber. This is a great book, one that blends history - the murder of a Jewish immigrant by the chief of police in Chicago at the turn of the century - with a complex search for identity and truth in the contemporary work (the narrator travels through the Ukraine as "research"). Hemon is a great artist and this is a great book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carrie | 9/21/2013

    " Meh, it looked promising. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ijeoma | 9/14/2013

    " Disturbing portrayal of prejudice and living as an expatriate "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikey | 9/3/2013

    " Enjoyed the juggling storylines. I also enjoyed the dark ride- "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 8/28/2013

    " A strong 3.5 stars. Will review after book club. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristina | 8/23/2013

    " Another fabulous book by Aleksandar Hemon. Witty, sad, realistic. Part of my love for his writing stems from working with Bosnians and his writing reminds me of them. Not a false note in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ds white | 6/21/2013

    " "what do you mean English is like this guys third language?" "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brett | 5/20/2013

    " I started out really liking it, but it just got worse as it went along. The author just got too whiny. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaimie | 4/23/2013

    " Eh, this book was ok. The storyline could have been great, but it never really went anywhere, and in the end, nothing really happens "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanner | 11/29/2012

    " Pretty decent, I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 8/4/2012

    " Damn, this is a good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim Hainley | 7/7/2012

    " Could I write a book as good in Bosnian? I'm guessing no. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Constable | 4/13/2012

    " This book didn't quite make five stars but four is not enough. Three and a half years later I can remember its flavours and would recommend it highly. Aleksanar Hemon is a fine writer and story teller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 9/16/2011

    " here we find real, true emotion. the pain of memory, the pain of personal dissolution, the pain we see when one people are made to fear and suspect another. here we find beautiful, dense prose, and a narrative structure that labors intently to keep the reader moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 4/15/2011

    " I loved the history portion of this book - the flashbacks to life for immigrants in Chicago - but I didn't love the other portion - the story of the man writing about the history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nene | 4/5/2011

    " A very strange book, I found. In one way it gripped me in another it didn't. It's a strange loose story that doesn't quite come together. I realise it was probably the author's intention that it doesn't come together. But I'm afraid I wanted it to and it failed me there... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lemar | 3/24/2011

    " Hemon cleverly weaves the narratives of the author and his subject. One falls in love with Bosnia and also comes to know and appreciate the struggles that so called anarchists went through as they did their part to make America continue to evolve. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 3/22/2011

    " I really wanted to like this more, but I just couldn't. Rora's stories are the best part. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 2/25/2011

    " A really good book. Sometimes I found it difficult to get past that lack of quotation marks for the conversational prose, but the story is quite interesting and I found Hemon's reflections on life via the main character very profound. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Savannah | 2/11/2011

    " I love Aleksandar Hemon's writing, his voice, I like his characters, but I'm not the biggest fan of this story. It was good, but... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 1/18/2011

    " Really amazing and funny and incredibly sad. A little toooo similar in terms of plot/thematic content/structure/character to Everything is Illuminated but still totally great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 1/5/2011

    " A self-absorbed writer gratuitously makes himself the main character in a book about writing a book. Really not all that promising of a premise, but it has its moments. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Night | 1/4/2011

    " One of my favorite novels written in the past 3 years. Written with comic brio and feeling. Hemon's best-realized long work to this date. "

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