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True Story: A Novel Audiobook, by Kate Reed Petty Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kate Reed Petty Narrator: Alexander Cendese, Cassandra Campbell, Kristen Sieh Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2020 ISBN: 9780593212721
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“Spellbinding.” —Megan Abbott, The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) NAMED ONE OF THE HOTTEST BOOKS OF THE SUMMER BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND BUZZFEED Tracing the fifteen-year fallout of a toxic high school rumor, a riveting, astonishingly original debut novel about the power of stories—and who gets to tell them 2015. A gifted and reclusive ghostwriter, Alice Lovett makes a living helping other people tell their stories. But she is haunted by the one story she can't tell: the story of, as she puts it, "the things that happened while I was asleep." 1999. Nick Brothers and his lacrosse teammates return for their senior year at their wealthy Maryland high school as the reigning state champions. They're on top of the world—until two of his friends drive a passed-out girl home from of the team's "legendary" parties, and a rumor about what happened in the backseat spreads through the town like wildfire. The boys deny the allegations, and, eventually, the town moves on. But not everyone can. Nick descends into alcoholism, and Alice builds a life in fits and starts, underestimating herself and placing her trust in the wrong people. When she finally gets the opportunity to confront the past she can't remember—but which has nevertheless shaped her life—will she take it? An inventive and breathtaking exploration of a woman finding her voice in the wake of trauma, True Story is part psychological thriller, part fever dream, and part timely comment on sexual assault, power, and the very nature of truth. Ingeniously constructed and full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the final pages, it marks the debut of a singular and daring new voice in fiction. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Petty uses shifting genres to show the way trauma works on us, how it shapes our lived experience and the way we frame that experience for others.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Spellbinding . . . Petty leaps from genre to genre with dizzying velocity. . . to show the way trauma works on us, how it shapes our lived experience. . . tantalizing us with the ‘truth’ about what really happened to Alice. . . even as the term itself feels increasingly useless, deceptive. Megan Abbott, The New York Times Book Review
  • True Story is a brilliant achievement—original, powerful, and playful, flipping formats like a kaleidoscope whose fractals rearrange with each twist until the truth comes into final focus. But beyond its formal daring and assurance, it's a thoroughly engrossing read. I may have held my breath through the whole thing, and I will think about it for a long time. This is a shapeshifting, sneak attack of a novel that leaves a permanent imprint. Lauren Acampora, author of The Paper Wasp
  • I loved it. Such a smart, powerful, ambitious book, very high concept and so effectively realised. Definitely one to look out for this summer. Daisy Buchanan, author of How to Be a Grown-Up, via Twitter
  • Kate Reed Petty is such a gifted writer that she can make even a college application essay feel utterly heartbreaking. And in True Story, she has given us a riveting and totally innovative novel about the power of lies to shape the truth, a book built like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle whose picture becomes thrillingly clear only after you’ve locked in the very last piece. Nathan Hill, author of The Nix
  • Brilliant—a darkly gripping enigma of a book. Petty boldly plays with genre and voice to tell the story of an assault and a rumor that shapes the trajectory of a woman's life. The result is a beautifully prismatic and profound meditation on victims and perpetrators, lies and truth, and above all the dangers and powers of storytelling and what it means to finally claim your voice. Mona Awad, author of Bunny
  • True Story is a spectacular first novel—innovative, convincing, daring, suspenseful, heart-wrenching, and altogether astonishing. Kate Reed Petty is a force. What a beautifully unified, richly imagined, and skillfully composed work of literary art. I hope it wins the prizes Petty deserves. Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried
  • Unfolds like a mystery, flitting between genres to weave an inventive tale . . . that keeps you hooked until the very end. BuzzFeed
  • [An] innovative, genre-busting debut . . . Readers will be unable to put it down. Booklist (Starred Review)
  • Captivating . . . Petty’s page-turner is as sly and devastating as the nature of truth. Publishers Weekly
  • I literally cannot believe this book exists. A mind-blowing, page-turning, un-put-downable, heartwarming, empathetic, formally inventive horror suspense thriller, with a life-affirming and timely feminist message? What? This would be an amazing fifteenth novel for a person to have written and it is Kate Reed Petty's first one. What an incredible talent!  Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

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About the Narrators

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.

Cassandra Campbell has won multiple Audie Awards, Earphones Awards, and the prestigious Odyssey Award for narration. She was been named a “Best Voice” by AudioFile magazine and in 2018 was inducted in Audible’s inaugural Narrator Hall of Fame.

Kristen Sieh is a voice and television actress. She has appeared on such television shows as Law & Order and Boardwalk Empire. She has also narrated several audio books.