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Extended Audio Sample The Privileges: A Novel Audiobook, by Jonathan Dee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,678 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Dee Narrator: David Aaron Baker Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781449840341
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Smart and socially gifted, Adam and Cynthia Morey are perfect for each other.With Adam’s rising career in the world of private equity, a beautiful home in Manhattan, gorgeous children, and plenty of money, they are, by any reasonable standard, successful. But for the Moreys, their future of boundless privilege is not arriving fast enough. As Cynthia begins to drift, Adam is confronted with a choice that will test how much he is willing to risk to ensure his family’s happiness and to recapture the sense that the only acceptable life is one of infinite possibility.

The Privileges is an odyssey of a couple touched by fortune, changed by time, and guided above all else by their epic love for each other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Privileges is verbally brilliant, intellectually astute, and intricately knowing. It is also very funny and a great, great pleasure to read. Jonathan Dee is a wonderful writer.”

    Richard Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Canada

  • “Here is an incredibly readable, intelligent, incisive portrait of a particular kind of American family. Jonathan Dee takes us inside the world of what desire for wealth can do, and cannot do, for the self, the soul, and the family. The Privileges is told with admirable conciseness and yet with great breadth, and the reader is swept along, watching the complications of such desire unfold.”

    Elizabeth Strout, New York Times bestselling author of Olive Kitteridge

  • The Privileges is an intimate portrait of a wealthy family that gradually becomes an indictment of an entire social class and historical moment, while also providing a window onto some recent, and peculiarly American, forms of decadence. Jonathan Dee is at once an acerbic social critic, an elegant stylist, and a shrewd observer of the human comedy.”

    Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of The Leftovers

  • “The subjects of money and class are seldom tackled head-on by our best literary minds, which is one of the reasons that Jonathan Dee's The Privileges is such an important and compelling work.The Privileges is a pitch-perfect evocation of a particular stratum of New York society as well as a moving meditation on family and romantic love. The tour de force first chapter alone is worth the price of admission.”

    Jay McInerney, New York  Times bestselling author of The Good Life

  • “Dee notably spurns flat portraits of greed, instead letting the characters' self-awareness and self-forgetfulness stand on their own to create an appealing portrait of a world won by risk.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A 2010 Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book for Fiction
  • Selected for the January 2010 Indie Next List
  • A 2011 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Fiction
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura Jean | 2/14/2014

    " This novel is ultimately about money and modern capitalism, and what money can afford you, and what it can insulate you from (for good or bad). All of Dee's work I find easy to digest, enjoyable to read. He used close 3rd person to jump between characters, and his first chapter, where he takes an omniscient view, was an excellent example of how that can be done to great effect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenna | 2/13/2014

    " I liked this book. Characters were really into themselves and couldn't didn't seem to need anyone else. Liked the last part when she reconnected to her dying father.....always want daddy's love even with no contact most of her life. Good character study of people who always want more and feel they are privileged in every way. Jonus tried to fight of this, but succumbed to it in the end. I think he was the one person who did relate to the world differently than the rest of the family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate SouthernBelleSimple | 2/10/2014

    " This book was strange in that it covered a great amount of time, but felt like it rushed the reader through the story. And because it looked at the individual stories of so many of the characters, it felt chopped up at times. The author is obviously very smart, and I like how he wove other subjects into the story (the whole outsider art scene, etc.), but by the time I finished it, I couldn't really remember what book I had started reading in the first place. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joann | 1/28/2014

    " I loved this book until I got to the end. What? The book just stops without a resolution to the issues going on at the time. I was deeply disappointed. If this is a set up to a sequel, OK, but in the meantime I'm frustrated by the fact I'm left hanging on the edge of a cliff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronya Misleh | 1/18/2014

    " I got through this book pretty quickly and read it, really, without paying much attention to its alleged underlying themes...yet enjoyed it just the same. It was a good--though not sure if it was necessarily accurate--portrayal of a family's rise (and all that that rise entailed). I didn't become emotionally attached to any of the characters, thought the ending was pretty abrupt and answered no questions (in fact, it left me with many) yet, I liked the book just the same. It was engaging in that it was a story of life, love, wealth, greed, and all that those things do to people and their day to day (and not so day to day) lives. I'm sure there was--or could have been, had I had the patience and/or urge to think critically about it--more to this book, but even at a base level it was, at the very least, entertaining. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jill | 1/16/2014

    " Meh. I wanted it to be more like Bonfire of the Vanities. I didn't really like any of the characters, but I could not stop reading. I would definitely read something else by this author, but would not necessarily recommend this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G.R. | 1/11/2014

    " Couldn't put it down. But not sure why. Didn't really like any of the characters, but found it compelling. Dee writes beautifully. Makes the seemingly mundane gripping. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/6/2014

    " Couldn't even finish it. Boring story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Drewkosztyo | 12/30/2013

    " Why do good things happen to bad people? Jonathan Dee brings unique insight to this under-explored topic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shali | 2/16/2013

    " Quick read; fairly entertaining---but I didn't like any of the characters. I can't remember reading a book where none of the character were likable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 11/20/2012

    " I found it to be very true to life, the writing style helping to that effect. It was hard to put down! The subject was a little, "eh", and I didn't feel I learned a whole lot, or that my perspective had changed, but it was a compelling read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen Gilroy | 9/2/2012

    " This turned up on a couple best of 2010 lists. It is the story of a couple who seem to have no ethics and don't seem to pay for their bad behavior. A morality tale of the 2000's. I can't really recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ethan | 6/6/2012

    " Nicely written, but totally unsympathetic characters and a flop ending left me uninspired. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 11/16/2011

    " I'm still processing what I thought about this - most of the book was very readable and enjoyable, even if the characters are pretty despicable. The ending was a little disappointing - I never like endings that don't provide me with at least a little resolution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anthony | 10/28/2011

    " Likely to be the best novel I read all year, and certain to be on everyone's list of best books of 2010. Smooth prose and an engrossing story about what we used to call "yuppies" in another decade. Google for the New York Times and Washington Post reviews. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsey | 10/21/2011

    " I know we picked this book, but dang was it boring. Next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tyra | 10/9/2011

    " No great shakes but it was okay and it held my interest. Wasn't thrilled with the ending but I like everything all wrapped up at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Regina | 8/20/2011

    " A bit cliche but definitely interesting. I was waiting for the climax, a moment where everything falls apart for this family, but I never found one. Oh well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara Young | 6/25/2011

    " Not worth the 2 stars... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 5/31/2011

    " Great writing, quick read, ultimately unsatisfying because I hated the two main characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 5/18/2011

    " Meh. Benign Bret Easton Ellis. Tempting to read the story and characters as deep, but ultimately it's a pretty shallow portrait of pretty and shallow people. Is everyone crazy about it? I hear people are crazy about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claire | 5/16/2011

    " I really liked this until the final fifty pages or so. The ending left me feeling that the author was trying to say something deep - otherwise the ending is just a bit odd - but I couldn't have told you what. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 5/4/2011

    " Wow! Just when I started to feel any empathy for the characters they would do something or say something to remind me how shallow they really are. This novel is extremely provocative because it forces you to look at yourself and how you value/envy wealth. "

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

    " Well written book, mildly thought provoking about the inter-generational burdens of extreme wealth
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 4/23/2011

    " It was ok, it was about a very rich couple and how they spent their time and money and what happened to their kids in the rich lifestyle they lived. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 4/21/2011

    " This was quite good. Even on its own, the opening chapter would make a great short story. Like the work of Jonathan Franzen, this book's success lies in its seemingly-effortless prose, and in the author's willingness to give his characters deep failings and yet still show compassion for them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christie | 4/20/2011

    " Good book but the end was just confusing. "

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About the Author
Author Jonathan Dee

Jonathan Dee is the author of several novels, a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, a frequent contributor to Harper’s, and a former senior editor of the Paris Review. He teaches in the graduate writing programs at Columbia and the New School.

About the Narrator

David Aaron Baker is a voice and film actor and award-winning narrator. He has earned six AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration.