Download The Rehearsal: A Novel Audiobook

The Rehearsal: A Novel Audiobook, by Eleanor Catton Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Eleanor Catton Narrator: Nicole Arumugum, Nicole Arumugam Publisher: Little, Brown & Company Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2014 ISBN: 9781478954668
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A teacher's affair with his underage student jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own power. Their nascent desires surprise even themselves as they find the practice room where they rehearse with their saxophone teacher is the safe place where they can test out their abilities to attract and manipulate. It seems their every act is a performance, every platform a stage. But when the local drama school turns the story into their year-end show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet. With the dates of the performances -- the musicians' and the acting students' -- approaching, the dramas, real and staged, begin to resemble each other, until they merge in a climax worthy of both life and art.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A wildly brilliant and precocious first novel…This young writer is astonishingly talented, and her writing can steal any scene.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Uncommonly witty and bold…[The Rehearsal has] a real knack for narrative and a cast of painfully familiar teenage characters who are all desperate to be as confident, cool, charismatic, and funny as possible. These are qualities that the extraordinary Eleanor Catton has in spades.”

    Times (London)

  • “Dazzling…This astonishing debut novel is a cause for surprise and celebration: smart, playful, and self-possessed, it has the glitter and mystery of the true literary original…Wherever the book falls open, it’s nearly impossible to put down.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “The novel’s real subject is the performance of human life, and in this respect, Catton’s choice of adolescent girls and drama students is apt…It’s a good piece of writing.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • "The Rehearsal is a tour de force that tells two stories simultaneously while delighting in doubles, parallels, and couples…The combination of beautiful writing and inventive, nontraditional structure still make it a dazzling debut.”

    Booklist (starred)

  • “A vibrant novel that tests its readers, both in terms of context and form…Daring and lush…a most beguiling read.”


  • “This is a novel about performance—dialogue, inner dialogue, and imagined dialogue—making it perfect for audio. Narrator Nicole Arumugum’s lovely voice is both languid and lively. The plot weaves between two simultaneous stories and jumps back in forth in time—which is difficult to follow on audio. But somehow this complication suits a book that is full of ambiguity, interchangeable characters, and the questionable use of authority. At the center of the novel is a saxophone teacher who grills her students on a school sex scandal, learns their secrets, and engineers relationships between the girls. Arumugum captures the manipulations of the teacher as well as the insecure tones of the teenagers and the college students next door. Eleanor Catton may want us to think about adolescence as a rehearsal for adulthood, but Arumugum’s performance is the real thing.”


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About the Author

Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her novel, The Luminaries, was born in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She won the 2009 Betty Trask Award and the Adam Prize in Creative Writing for The Rehearsal, which was also long-listed for the Orange Prize and short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MA in fiction writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She lives in New Zealand.

About the Narrator

Nicole Arumugam is a British actress best known for her roll on the hit BBC series EastEnders as well as other BBC television programs.