The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder Audiobook, by David Grann Play Audiobook Sample

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder Audiobook

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder Audiobook, by David Grann Play Audiobook Sample
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95
$9.95 for new members!
(Includes UNLIMITED podcast listening)
  • Love your audiobook or we'll exchange it
  • No credits to manage, just big savings
  • Unlimited podcast listening
Add to Cart
$9.95/m - cancel anytime - 
learn more
OR
Regular Price: $22.50 Add to Cart
Read By: David Grann, Dion Graham Publisher: Random House Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.25 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2023 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9780307747495

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:

34

Longest Chapter Length:

38:01 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

06 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

14:57 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:

13

Other Audiobooks Written by David Grann: > View All...

Publisher Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Killers of the Flower Moon, a page-turning story of shipwreck, survival, and savagery, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth. The powerful narrative reveals the deeper meaning of the events on The Wager, showing that it was not only the captain and crew who ended up on trial, but the very idea of empire.

A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, TIME, Smithsonian, NPR, Vulture, Kirkus Reviews

“Riveting...Reads like a thriller, tackling a multilayered history—and imperialism—with gusto.” —Time

"A tour de force of narrative nonfiction.” —The Wall Street Journal

On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.

But then ... six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death—for whomever the court found guilty could hang.

The Wager is a grand tale of human behavior at the extremes told by one of our greatest nonfiction writers. Grann’s recreation of the hidden world on a British warship rivals the work of Patrick O’Brian, his portrayal of the castaways’ desperate straits stands up to the classics of survival writing such as The Endurance, and his account of the court martial has the savvy of a Scott Turow thriller. As always with Grann’s work, the incredible twists of the narrative hold the reader spellbound.

Download and start listening now!

“His dogged search through ships’ logs and other contemporaneous accounts of the disaster and its mutinous aftermath has turned up the kind of sterling details that make his writing sing; he is also interested in the way these events were recorded and then recounted, with many different people trying to shape the memory of what happened. Grann simultaneously reconstructs history while telling a tale that is as propulsive and adventure-filled as any potboiler.

— The Atlantic"A genre-defying literary naval-history thriller, part Master and Commander, part Lord of the Flies 

Quotes

  • “Master narrator Dion Graham commands the listener’s attention with this true story…Graham delivers the nautical adventures at a strong pace with a mesmerizing cadence and impeccable timing…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    — AudioFile
  • “As thrilling as any summer blockbuster.”

    — People
  • “A masterclass in storytelling.”

    — Toronto Star (Canada)
  • “The most gripping sea-yarn I’ve read in years.”

    — Wall Street Journal
  • “[A] naval-history thriller, part Master and Commander, part Lord of the Flies.”

    — Vanity Fair
  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

  • A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME, NPR, Esquire, BookPage

  • The most gripping sea-yarn I’ve read in years….A tour de force of narrative nonfiction. Mr. Grann’s account show how storytelling, whether to judges or readers, can shape individual and national fortunes – as well as our collective memories.

    — Wall Street Journal 
  • “Glorious, steely…a tightly written, relentless, blow-by-blow account that is hard to put down

    — The Washington Post
  • As much a rousing adventure as an exploration of the power of narratives to shape our perception of reality.

    — The New York Times
  • Propulsive….finely-detailed…a ripping yarn…remarkable.

    — The Boston Globe
  • “David Grann's latest work of narrative nonfiction, The Wager, is part Robinson Crusoe, part Lord of the Flies... Gripping

    — Maureen Corrigan, NPR (Top 10 Book of 2023)
  • Riveting...The Wager reads like a thriller, tackling a multilayered history—and imperialism—with gusto.

    — Time Magazine“The beauty of The Wager unfurls like a great sail…He fixes his spyglass on the ravages of empire, of racism, of bureaucratic indifference and raw greed…one of the finest nonfiction books I’ve ever read.
  • The story of the shipwreck and its aftermath features scenery-chewing characters, unexpected twists and an almost unimaginable amount of human misery. Grann, the author of the acclaimed “Killers of the Flower Moon,” tells it with style. He manages to wring maximum drama out of the events and sketch out nuanced portraits of key players on the doomed ship.

    — Associated Press
  • One of our finest nonfiction storytellers returns with a swashbuckling epic about shipwreck, scandal, mutiny, and murder

    — Esquire
  • A thrilling account…dramatic and engrossing.

    — The Economist
  • “This astonishing tale of maritime warfare, mutiny and survival in the 18th-century Atlantic proves that a nonfiction book can be as thrilling as any summer blockbuster.

    —  People
  • The Wager" is a soaring literary accomplishment and seductive adventure tale… enthralling, seamlessly crafted… ‘The Wager’ then, is an accomplishment as vividly realized and ingeniously constructed as Grann's previous work, on par with Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm. Welcome a classic.

    — Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • “Gripping … Combining impeccable research with exceptional storytelling powers, [Grann] spirits the reader aboard a creaking wooden ship trapped at the eye of a howling storm… No book that you’re likely to read either this year or next will prove more dramatic and enthralling than Grann’s magnificent story of life both at sea and out on the desolate, mist-laden island whose solitary peak the Wager’s unfortunate crew aptly named Mount Misery

    — Financial Times
  • A masterclass in story-telling…With a series of twists and turns worthy of a well-plotted thriller, the author of ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ uncovers an epic sea-faring tale…Epic true story as told by a master… David Grann has produced this riveting book…with the artistry of a superb novelist.

    — The Toronto Star
  • [Grann’s] meticulously researched stories, with their spare, simmering setups that almost always deliver stunning payoffs, have made him one of the preeminent adventure and true-crime writers working today…[Grann] has mastered a streamlined, propulsive type of narrative that readers devour for its hide-and-seek reveals…David’s stuff reads like literature, but every detail, every quote, every seemingly implausible glimpse into a subject’s mind is accounted for

    — New York Magazine
  • Your favorite writer’s favorite writer for decades…David Grann is poised to become the moment’s leading storyteller... [Grann] specializes in gripping historical chronicles and crime stories…so rich in intrigue that they would strain credulity in fiction…[Grann’s] become one of our culture’s leading sources of holy s**t page-turners.

    — GQ
  • David Grann is one of the premier nonfiction storytellers of our time…Grann’s masterful new book…is at once an adventure on the high seas, a horror story, and a courtroom drama — a little bit Rashomon meets Lord of the Flies.

    — Rolling Stone
  • “Not just a good but a great story, fraught with duplicity, terror and occasional heroism… the story of the Wager is, like many of its antecedents — from Homer’s “Odyssey” to “Mutiny on the Bounty

    — a testament to the depths of human depravity and the heights of human endurance, and you can’t ask for better than that from a story...The Wager will keep you in its grip to its head-scratching, improbable end.

Awards

  • A #1 New York Times bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller in Audio
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A #1 GLIBA Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal bestseller
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year
  • A New York Times Best Book of the Year
  • A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2023
  • A Time Magazine Best Book of 2023
  • A Smithsonian Magazine Pick of 2023's Best Books
  • An NPR Best Book of the Year
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2023
  • A New Yorker Best Books of the Year Pick
  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2023
  • One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of the Year
  • Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller in Audio

The Wager Listener Reviews

Overall Performance: 1.25 out of 51.25 out of 51.25 out of 51.25 out of 51.25 out of 5 (1.25)
5 Stars: 0
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 1
1 Stars: 3
Narration: 1.4 out of 51.4 out of 51.4 out of 51.4 out of 51.4 out of 5 (1.40)
5 Stars: 0
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 2
1 Stars: 3
Story: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 (3.00)
5 Stars: 2
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 2
1 Stars: 1
Write a Review
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Narration Rating: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Story Rating: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    — Steven Brown, 2/29/2024
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Narration Rating: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A fantastic story ruined by an utterly amateurish narrator. He turns what should be a great journey into a true slog. "

    — Connor , 1/26/2024
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Narration Rating: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I've never heard a worse audio book narration, especially one which starts with such great material. I don't know whether the fault lies with the director or narrator, but in an case it's over-the-top: overly dramatic, breathless, exaggerated. You know you're in trouble when the narrator intones the words, "Chapter 11" as if they're the most important ones in the sentence. "

    — Jon R., 8/31/2023
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Narration Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Story Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " I did not enjoy the narration… It was overly dramatic. The wording of the story itself was complicated and superfluous. I tried listening under different circumstances and just couldn’t follow or enjoy it. I will trade this in for something else "

    — Judy G, 5/23/2023
  • Overall Performance: 0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 Narration Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Story Rating: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    — Richard Shaps, 5/16/2023

About David Grann

David Grann is the acclaimed author of several #1 New York Times bestsellers, including Killers of the Flower Moon, which won a Edgar Allan Poe Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was adapted into a major motion picture by Martin Scorsese. His storytelling has garnered several honors, including a George Polk Award and Barnes & Noble’s Author of the Year Award for 2023. His investigative reporting garnered several honors, including a George Polk Award.

About Dion Graham

Dion Graham is an award-winning narrator named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Audie Award numerous times, as well as Earphones Awards, the Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards, IBPA Ben Franklin Awards, and the ALA Odyssey Award. He was nominated in 2015 for a Voice Arts Award for Outstanding Narration. He is also a critically acclaimed actor who has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. He is a graduate of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, with an MFA degree in acting.