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This Could Hurt: A Novel Audiobook, by Jillian Medoff Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jillian Medoff Narrator: Andrea Gallo, Nick Podehl, Sean Crisden, George Newbern, Madeleine Maby Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2018 ISBN: 9780062798350
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A funny and deeply felt novel that illuminates the pivotal role of work in our lives—a riveting fusion of The Nest, Up in the Air, and Then We Came to the End that captures the emotional complexities of five HR colleagues trying to balance ambition, hope, and fear as their small company is buffeted by economic forces that threaten to upend them.

Rosa Guerrero beat the odds as she rose to the top of the corporate world. An attractive woman of a certain age, the longtime chief of human resources at Ellery Consumer Research is still a formidable presence, even if her most vital days are behind her. A leader who wields power with grace and discretion, she has earned the devotion and loyalty of her staff. No one admires Rosa more than her doting lieutenant Leo Smalls, a benefits vice president whose whole world is Ellery.

While Rosa is consumed with trying to address the needs of her staff within the ever-constricting limits of the company’s bottom line, her associate director, Rob Hirsch, a middle-aged, happily married father of two, finds himself drawing closer to his "work wife," Lucy Bender, an enterprising single woman searching for something—a romance, a promotion—to fill the vacuum in her personal life. For Kenny Verville, a senior manager with an MBA, Ellery is a temporary stepping-stone to bigger and better places—that is, if his high-powered wife has her way.

Compelling, flawed, and heartbreakingly human, these men and women scheme, fall in and out of love, and nurture dreams big and small. As their individual circumstances shift, one thing remains constant—Rosa, the sun around whom they all orbit. When her world begins to crumble, the implications for everyone are profound, and Leo, Rob, Lucy, and Kenny find themselves changed in ways beyond their reckoning.

Jillian Medoff explores the inner workings of an American company in all its brilliant, insane, comforting, and terrifying glory. Authentic, razor-sharp, and achingly funny, This Could Hurt is a novel about work, loneliness, love, and loyalty; about sudden reversals and unexpected windfalls; a novel about life.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Medoff brilliantly shares looks at all the characters and their lives both in and out of the workplace, and while the subject matter can sometimes be serious or gripping in a more emotional way, there is still plenty of bite from her witty writing.”

    RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick!)

  • “A thoroughly satisfying character study and exploration of the social microcosm that is the modern workplaceAn ultimately hopeful, completely inventive tale.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Witty…wry and ironic…A sharp and moving novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Medoff’s scenarios will be familiar to everyone employed everywhere, no matter the company size, and she cogently captures the angst and celebrates the camaraderie of coworkers committed to group success while struggling with personal demons.”


  • “Intrigue swirls around HR executive Rosa Guerrero in this engrossing workplace drama…A sharp-eyed novel of corporate manners.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A refreshingly authentic portrait of corporate America and the varied souls who dream, conspire, flounder, and triumph there.”

    Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End

  • “Searing, sexy, and surprisingly funny, Jillian Medoff’s This Could Hurt burns through the pages.”

    Marcy Dermansky, author of The Red Car

  • “Funny, painful, and ultimately redemptive, This Could Hurt is a beautifully drawn canvas of corporate America in all its lunacy.”

    John Kenney, Thurber Prize–winning author

  • “You wouldn’t expect a corporate HR department to house a thrill-ride of a novel, but Jillian Medoff pulls off the impossible here. Funny, searing, and wholly original, This Could Hurt illuminates an ordinary American workplace and the characters who animate it. With a sharp eye for the absurdities of modern office life, and even deeper compassion for her characters, Medoff knocks this one out of the park.”

    Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life

  • “Tender and compelling.”

    George Hodgman, author of Bettyville

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About the Author

Jillian Medoff is the acclaimed author of I Couldn’t Love You More and Hunger Point (both national bestsellers) and Good Girls Gone Bad. Along with writing novels, Jillian has had a long career in management consulting. She is currently a senior consultant with a professional services firm, where she advises clients on how to communicate with employees during periods of organizational change. She has a BA from Barnard and an MFA from NYU. Medoff has also taught fiction writing at NYU and the University of Georgia.

About the Narrators

Andrea Gallo is an audiobook narrator whose works include Ungifted by Gordan Korman, The Nosy Neighbor by Fern Michaels, Kings of the Earth by John Clinch, and In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols, among many others.

Nick Podehl is a professional voice actor. He has narrated numerous audiobooks, many of which have won prestigious awards, including fourteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He currently lives and works around Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife.

Sean Crisden is an actor and Earphones Award-winning narrator. He has also voiced characters in numerous video games, such as the award-winning ShadowGun, and has appeared in many commercials and films, including The Last Airbender.

George Newbern is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a television and film actor best known for his roles as Brian MacKenzie in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, as well as Danny in Friends. As a voice actor, he is notable for his role as Superman on the Cartoon Newtork series Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. He has guest starred on many television series, including Scandal, The Mentalist, Private Practice, CSI: Miami, and Numb3rs. He holds a BA in theater arts from Northwestern University.

Madeleine Maby is a voice talent and AudioFile Earphones Award—winning narrator.