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Extended Audio Sample The Starboard Sea, by Amber Dermont Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,583 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amber Dermont Narrator: Alexander Cendese Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Jason Prosper grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old-boy prep schools, and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding-school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during their junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past, and they embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship. When a major hurricane hits the New England coast, the destruction it causes brings with it another upheaval in Jason’s life, forcing him to make sense of a terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends. Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and provocative novel about a young man finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Engrossing…Captivating and inspired. Jason is a fiercely likeable first-person narrator and romantic hero. The steady, restrained unmasking of Jason’s history…is one of the novel’s many achievements. But perhaps its greatest pleasure is the delight its characters take in the sea. Dermont’s prose glides across the ocean…The language of sailing is lovely, both simple and elaborate, unexpectedly sexy and inexhaustibly metaphorical. Dermont writes about sailing with such precision and authority it's hard to believe she's not a salty old sea captain. She’s as assured a writer as Jason is a sailor, coasting through the story with agility and grace…Dermont adeptly charts the fine calibrations of teenage love and shame and belonging.”

    New York Times Sunday Book Review

  • “Dermont has laid out her fine and beautiful novel like the star constellations she describes and the reader must chart his or her own journey through a rewarding and challenging narrative.”

    America Magazine

  • “Dermont draws the tony campus life in The Starboard Sea with an insider’s hand. Dermont is a seasoned sailor, and readers in Annapolis will get a charge out of her exact, salty depictions of nautical rigging, knots, and gear. She also writes vividly about the strategy of sailing. One of the most refreshing aspects of the novel is Dermont’s candid treatment of race. Jason has been compared to Nick Carraway for his sober narration and keen sensitivity to the decadence of his peers, and in more than a few instances The Starboard Sea feels like a distant cousin of The Great Gatsby.”

    Washington Post

  • “Vividly written. Dermont shows real spark in her sensual descriptions of sailing and her realistic depiction of the malevolent dynamics among sophisticated teens.”


  • The Starboard Sea is a touching, beautiful, and deeply wise novel, a hymn to the bittersweet glories of youth. You will be enthralled.”

    Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage

  • Selected for the March 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2012 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Leslie Angel | 2/19/2014

    " holden caufield revisited, but more. well-written, somewhat disturbing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melinda | 2/12/2014

    " I liked this book - in part because I was a senior in high school the same year as its main character Jason Prosper - but also because he is deeply flawed, constantly disappointing, and yet still eminently likable. Some parts of the book could be better developed, but overall I thought it was a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Robin | 2/11/2014

    " This is a coming of age story about uber-rich kids at a third rate New England boarding school. Jason Prosper, the protagonist and sailor-extraordinaire (I thought I knew how to spell that, but I DIDN'T!), transfers to Bellingham after a tragic suicide by his roommate, sailing mate, and best friend. More tragedy awaits in the new school. The books paints a pretty grim picture of these nearly lord-of-the-flies kids. I did enjoy all the sailing references. As for the title, one character suggests it as a new sailing lingo term - meaning "the right sea, the true sea, or finding the best path in life." "

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

    " "The Starboard Sea" is a more sensitive, less trivial high brow East Coast equivalent to Less Than Zero, the plight of the alienated wealthy young man in the 80s. The prep school setting and sailing references reflect a fascinating world of the elite 1% and what makes this novel so readable is its engrossing portrayal of the intersection of class privilege and adolescence. It's hard not to feel sympathy toward the characters and despite their wealth, what they seem to lack. "

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