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Extended Audio Sample The New Republic: A Novel Audiobook, by Lionel Shriver Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (502 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lionel Shriver Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2012 ISBN: 9780062115782
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Ostracized as a kid, Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. A disgruntled New York corporate lawyer, he’s more than ready to leave his lucrative career for the excitement and uncertainty of journalism. When he’s offered the post of foreign correspondent in a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a homegrown terrorist movement, Edgar recognizes the disappeared larger-than-life reporter he’s been sent to replace, Barrington Saddler, as exactly the outsize character he longs to emulate. Infuriatingly, all his fellow journalists cannot stop talking about their beloved “Bear”, who is no longer lighting up their work lives.

Yet all is not as it appears. Os Soldados Ousados de Barba - “The Daring Soldiers of Barba” - have been blowing up the rest of the world for years in order to win independence for a province so dismal, backward, and windblown that you couldn’t give the rat hole away. So why, with Barrington vanished, do terrorist incidents claimed by the “SOB” suddenly dry up?

A droll, playful novel, The New Republic addresses such weighty issues as terrorism with the deft, tongue-in-cheek touch that is vintage Shriver. It also presses the more intimate question: What makes particular people so magnetic, while the rest of us inspire a shrug? What’s their secret? And in the end, who has the better life - the admired, or the admirer?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] sharp satire about journalism, terrorism, and the cult of media personality…[Shriver] can toss off a sharp sketch of a passing character in a phrase, and she’s got a gimlet eye for what’s phony, or affected, or even touchingly vain in human behavior. She is also sensitive to what can be truly frightening about the big world, even for intrepid media types well armed with professional bravado and sturdy expense accounts.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “It takes guts to write a satire about terrorism—and Lionel Shriver has guts…Shriver is an incisive satirist with a clear grip on the ironies of our contemporary age…Shriver’s take on journalism and international politics is wry, insightful and just over the top enough to be fun.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The protagonist is no sweetheart…and Ballerini’s soft-spoken delivery conveys Kellogg’s anxiety, distrust, and arrogance, which mark the core of this novel. Ballerini’s character voices for the gang of unlikable journalists are colorful and imaginative, and in their often acid dialogue he transitions effortlessly. This cynical take on foreign correspondence will have listeners thinking about how journalists influence the way the news is reported. And this story, though an extreme example, is made uncomfortably realistic with Ballerini’s deft narration.”


  • “Shriver has acknowledged her characters are ‘hard to love,’ and she’s right. But a wondrously fanciful plot, vividly drawn characters, clever and cynical dialogue, and a comically brilliant and verisimilar imagined land are more than compensation. The New Republic si simply terrific.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Wolf | 2/19/2014

    " Lionel Shriver's cynical, spot-on view of life makes for a terrific read. Not always easy (remember Kevin??), but always socially relevant and riveting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 2/16/2014

    " A satiric story of terrorism. Apparently the book was delayed in being published for 20 years - it was shelved because of 9/11. I enjoyed the story and even enjoyed the generally universally unlikeable characters, but the writing was pretty clumsy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrea | 2/8/2014

    " I just could not get into this book. When I was reading "We Have to Talk About Kevin" I was horrified but couldn't stop. But this book I put down over and over again and finally gave up. Way too cute, no sympathetic characters, and a supremely convoluted story line. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Federico Sendel | 2/1/2014

    " I've read almost every book by Shriver, and I've loved them all. This was no exception, and I'm a bit surprised by some of the low reviews. Many have probably read we need to talk about Kevin, and if you enjoyed it I highly recommend all of her other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 nitsirkvil | 1/28/2014

    " I love her, but this was my least favorite of her books so far. Still very good. I can't give her books anything but a 5 since they are so enjoyable to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paula Wadmore | 1/9/2014

    " Appallingly badly written. So annoyed that I bought this book rather than borrowing it from the library. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/22/2013

    " I didn't like this book as well as The Post-Birthday World, but I thought it was well crafted and the main character (Edgar) was compelling if not actually likeable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 10/17/2013

    " Periods of brilliance, and creative vocabulary, but the final chapters were anti-climactic, if not boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chele | 9/17/2013

    " Some fabulous dialogue and an interesting view on journalism "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 9/13/2013

    " A little too light-hearted, without her usual insights in relationships. Amusing, but I never really warmed to the characters. Try another of her books first, eg The Post-Birthday World "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 6/17/2013

    " A bit madcap, but enjoyable. Great examination of the concept of terrorism and point of view. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chiara | 6/13/2013

    " Quite an interesting twist. As always well written by Shriver but you have to be able to have a sense of humour about terrorism... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne-marie | 5/11/2013

    " I loved this, was already ppredisposed to not trust reporters, this confirmed my predjudice. "

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

    " gave it a solid try but just don't care enough to continue. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mike Doc | 4/9/2013

    " Had to quit this one. Lionel Shriver, you done me wrong. Lead character's snide tone throughout REALLY off-putting, and the central conceit is angering in an "I don't buy this for one friggin' second" way, rather than a "this challenges and provokes me!" way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy | 3/18/2013

    " I'm a huge Lionel Shriver fan, but this one just didn't do it for me. I had a hard time getting in to the book and carrying about the characters. Shriver's fantastic and sharp writing is all there, I just didn't relate to the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 12/15/2012

    " I think this would have been a book I enjoyed more reading than listening to. I was intrigued and not disappointed. It's somewhat of a black comedy and reminiscent perhaps of Graham Green. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susan Watson | 5/14/2012

    " I love Lionel Shriver, but I hated this book. Really, really awful. I gave up half way through. "

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About the Author
Author Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver is a novelist whose books include Orange Prize winner We Need to Talk about Kevin, The Post-Birthday World, A Perfectly Good Family, Game Control, Double Fault, The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, and Ordinary Decent Criminals. She is widely published as a journalist, writing features, columns, op-eds, and book reviews for the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Marie Claire, and many other publications. She is frequently interviewed on television, radio, and in print media. She lives in London and Brooklyn.

About the Narrator

Edoardo Ballerini, an American writer, director, film producer, and actor, has won many awards for his audiobook narration. Within only a few years after beginning his narrating career, he won several AudioFile Earphones Awards for his work and has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration. He has narrated two hundred audiobooks, from classics to modern masters, from bestsellers to the inspirational, from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners to spine-tingling series, and much more. In television and film, he is best known for his roles in The Sopranos, 24, I Shot Andy Warhol, Dinner Rush and Romeo Must Die. He is also trained in theater and continues to do much work on stage.