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Download The Sentimentalists Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Sentimentalists, by Johanna Skibsrud Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (1,518 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Johanna Skibsrud Narrator: Joey Collins, Greg Steinbruner, Celeste Ciulla Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Haunted by the vivid horrors of the Vietnam War, exhausted from years spent battling his memories, Napoleon Haskell leaves his North Dakota trailer and moves to Canada. He retreats to a small Ontario town where Henry, the father of his fallen Vietnam comrade, has a home on the shore of a man-made lake. Under the water is the wreckage of what was once the town, and the home where Henry was raised. When Napoleon’s daughter arrives, fleeing troubles of her own, she finds her father in the dark twilight of his life, and rapidly slipping into senility. With love and insatiable curiosity, she devotes herself to learning the truth about his life; and through the fog, Napoleon’s past begins to emerge.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A slim debut novel graced by inventive language and a haunting atmosphere…The melancholy mood and restrained language of the story settles deep into a reader’s consciousness.”


  • “As a poet, [Johanna Skibsrud] knows how to pare a story down to its essence and infuse every thread with meaning…The tale is so true and poignant that, as in the moment when the narrator flew over the water, readers, too, will want to stay there ‘as long as possible.’”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Skibsrud’s assured prose and graceful wordplay elevate this delicately structured story of redemption and forgiveness, and her storytelling is so refined and subtle that the punch at the end, while fully anticipated, still has a leveling power.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

  • “Skibsrud’s subtle, contemplative prose provides exquisite meditation on the ripple effects of violence upon generations, the untrustworthiness of memory, and the sorrowful impossibility of truly understanding one’s parents.” 


  • Winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Nellie | 2/10/2014

    " I was excited when this book came to me from my hold list at the library, given it having won the Giller and the interesting story behind the printing of copies. However, I have to say I struggled through it, and found it disjointed and hard to follow and overall rather depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Janene Tamborello | 1/21/2014

    " Beautiful book. I didn't find the writing that obscure. SO many people complained about the structure being overly difficult but I didn't find it so. This is literature, not Jodi fucking Piccoult. Satisfying ending. Made me think and go back to re-read certain passages. Good stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mary Byrne | 1/21/2014

    " Fair insight into war, family "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rebecca Saxon | 1/19/2014

    " A deceptively simple read that I was left wondering how much I really understood. I liked the clean, crisp poetic prose and the interweaving of the past and present. However, things seemed a bit too incomprehensible by the end. "

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About the Author
Author Johanna Skibsrud

Johanna Skibsrud is the author of several novels, including The Sentimentalists, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and two poetry collections. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.