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Download The Smaller Evil Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Smaller Evil, by Stephanie Kuehn Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephanie Kuehn Narrator: Mark Bramhall, Ryan Gesell, Ryan Gesell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Seventeen-year-old Arman Dukoff is crippled by anxiety and chronic illness when he arrives at an expensive self-help retreat in the remote hills of Big Sur. He’s taken a huge risk—and two thousand dollars from his methhead stepfather—for a chance to “evolve,” as Beau, the retreat leader, says.

Beau is complicated. A father figure? A cult leader? A con man? Arman’s not sure, but more than anyone he’s ever met, Beau makes Arman feel something other than what he usually feels—worthless.

The retreat compound is secluded in coastal California mountains among towering redwoods, and when the iron gates close behind him, Arman believes for a moment that he can get better. But the program is a blur of jargon, bizarre rituals, and incomprehensible encounters with a beautiful girl. Arman is certain he’s failing everything. But Beau disagrees; he thinks Arman has a bright future—though he never says at what.

And then, in an instant Arman can’t believe or totally recall, Beau is gone. Suicide? Or murder? Arman was the only witness and now the compound is getting tense. And maybe dangerous.

As the mysteries and paradoxes multiply and the hints become accusations, Arman must rely on the person he’s always trusted the least: himself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Suspenseful and enigmatic…kept me guessing till the very last page.”

    Laura Ruby, Michael L. Printz Award winning author

  • “Kuehn’s specialty in depicting mental illness and her sharp, quick writing are on display in her latest novel, but it is her satirical integration of New Age hippie rituals with the pseudoscientific jargon of the self-help retreat world that is the most compelling addition.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Balancing Arman’s experience with Beau’s inner thoughts, Kuehn elevates the religious cult novel with this sophisticated psychological mystery…The book’s philosophical undertones and uncertain ending are transfixing.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Ryan Gesell narrates the story of seventeen-year-old Arman…[and] expresses the boy’s terrible self-loathing in a way that’s painful to hear. Just when Gesell’s heartrending narration becomes unbearable, the story shifts…Gesell’s narration marks Arman’s growing strength as he fights to overcome suspicion and conspiracies. Mark Bramhall narrates interspersed bits that give the views of an unnamed character. Bramhall’s voice is deep and detached. His authoritative philosophical comments are juxtaposed with the psychological twists, fast pacing, and immediacy that Gesell so skillfully delivers.”


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