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Extended Audio Sample The O’Briens, by Peter Behrens Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (499 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Behrens Narrator: Paul Hecht Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Peter’s eagerly awaited second novel is The O’Briens. In the character of Joe O’Brien—ambitious railroad magnate and industrialist, fiercely loyal family man, brooding troubled soul—he gives us one of the most compelling and complex characters to come along in years. A brilliant follow–up to The Law of Dreams, and yet standing masterfully on its own, The O’Briens is a tragic, romantic, and ultimately hopeful epic of great heart, imagination and narrative force.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Impressive…World War II hovers in this novel’s path like flak and rips the lives of the novel’s characters to shreds. The last hundred pages are a powerful evocation of that war’s effect…A major accomplishment.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “As befits a saga so ambitious in design, there is an able mixture of agony and ecstasy throughout. Time and time again, Behrens proves himself a first-rate seanchaí, the Irish term for a storyteller, by bringing the O’Brien clan to life on the page. En route, he fashions a topographically capacious narrative that relishes the scents of Santa Barbara, the pastoral beauty of the Ojai Valley and the tidal mantras of coastal Maine.”  

    Washington Post

  • Powerful…Moments of grace and romance are rocked by cruel words and violence in this epic, a piece of rough beauty itself.”  

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The story of Joe O’Brien and his family is epic in its scope…and lifetimes unfold in its pages. That the lives hold our attention so closely is a tribute to Behrens’ beautiful writing, and a reminder of just how vital, brutal, and pervasive love is.”  

    Huffington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Patricia | 2/13/2014

    " Pretty good didn't care for the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Slc | 2/9/2014

    " Excellent family saga. The book begins in Pontiac Quebec which is a place close to my heart and why I picked up the book. Very well written. I will now look for Peter Behrens previous novel 'Law of Dreams' which won the GG in 2006. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Lorna Driscoll | 1/28/2014

    " man oh man......why do people write 500 pages of such rambling drivel.....(and why did I stick it out?) I guess I thought it might get better at the end, but it got worse! And all this from an author who was a GG award winner. I don't get it! What am I missing? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cynthia Gelper | 1/13/2014

    " Loved this historical novel about an Irish Catholic family in early 20th century Canada and the US. Beautifully written. "

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About the Author
Author Peter Behrens

Peter Behrens is a Canadian novelist, screenwriter and short story writer. His debut novel, The Law of Dreams, won the 2006 Governor General's Award for English fiction. Behrens was born and raised in Montreal, where he studied at Concordia University and McGill University. His earliest short fiction can be found in Best Canadian Stories 1978 and Best Canadian Stories 1979, and in his debut short story collection, Night Driving (1987). He subsequently worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter; though he continued to publish short stories and essays in Canadian and American magazines, he did not publish another book until The Law of Dreams, his novel of a homeless lad thrown off his lands by the Ireland's Great Potato Famine. Behrens currently lives in Maine with his family.