Download The Starboard Sea Audiobook

The Starboard Sea Audiobook, by Amber Dermont Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Amber Dermont Narrator: Alexander Cendese Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781455877393
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)
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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 Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 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 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 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 Edward | 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 2/2/2014

    " one of those books that i don't know how to rate. i really enjoyed reading it. and i think it was well written esp. all the sailing details. but at the end, none of the characters seemed at all real or original. and i kept thinking about all those "less than zero" late 80's rich teen movies..... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 1/24/2014

    " Reading a book that had been so favorably reviewed (twice!) in the New York Times which was written by a former student of mine about a prep school that had a number of similarities with the one where she went and I still teach was a an odd experience. My unease with the sailing scenes was confirmed by two coaches whom I consulted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 1/24/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I started out thinking I wouldn't like it because of the setting and the many nautical references I couldn't understand. The more I read, the more I couldn't stop reading. Amber Dermont has a way with words that captures your attention. Her phrases, imagery, choice of words... It all blended together in a combination that worked perfectly. And it wasn't just her words, but also her ideas, her storyline that really pulled me in. One of the better books I've read in quite a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/20/2014

    " Unhappy and sad, but good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 1/4/2014

    " I can't figure out why the reviewers raved about this book. I found it to be not particularly well written and thought most of the characters were cardboard stereotypes. It might appeal to sailors as there is much discussion of sailing terms and strategies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louie | 1/1/2014

    " rich kids get away with killing a girl during a hazing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lincoln | 12/15/2013

    " Loved this book so much. Like almost any book based at boarding schools but this one is realistic yet subtle with a great lead protagonist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cresta | 12/9/2013

    " Always a let down when a book is compared to one of my favs, The Great Gatsny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 10/1/2013

    " Loved this book so much. I really can't tell you what a wonderful surprising story this is. It stays with you even after you've finished and it makes you want to live by the ocean so you can wake up each day to the vision that Amber Dermont so artfully lays out for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carole | 8/21/2013

    " Good summer read...I read it mostly because of the sailing references since my son was on a sailing team...Good story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 8/9/2013

    " For some reason, I love books set at preppy boarding schools. This was a good one-- interesting plotting and pacing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marylove | 7/28/2013

    " beautifully written. wrenching. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley | 5/28/2013

    " Decent book. Explores some interesting topics, but narrator can get really terse and unexciting sometimes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 5/5/2013

    " Prep school, bullying, searching for identity and meaning...a well done book on familiar themes... "

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

    " Ok, kind of an updated version of Catcher in the Rye - ish.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jolene | 3/2/2012

    " At parts boring. The plot meanders at a leisurely pace around a boy in prep school whose best friends kill themselves (one after another). Ultimately it's a grim story about finding oneself and coming of age. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 2/25/2012

    " A decent young adult read (although I don't think it's billed as ya). It was no "A Separate Peace." "

About the Author

Amber Dermont received her MFA in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005Zoetrope: All-Story, and Best New American Voices 2006. She currently serves as an associate professor of English and creative writing at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia and is also the author of the story collection Damage Control.

About the Narrator

Alexander Cendese is a New York–based actor and narrator whose credits include roles on and off Broadway, in films, and on popular television shows, including Law & Order: SVU and All My Children. He holds a BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.