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Download Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head Audiobook, by Didier van Cauwelaert Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (264 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Didier van Cauwelaert Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781455198870
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Martin Harris returns home after a short absence to find that his wife doesn’t know him, another man is living in his house under his name, and the neighbors think he’s a raving lunatic. Worse, not a single person—family, colleague, or doctor—can vouch for him. Worse still, the impostor shares all of Martin’s memories, experiences, and knowledge, down to the last detail. He is, in fact, a more convincing Martin than Martin himself. Is it a conspiracy? Amnesia? Is Martin the victim of an elaborate hoax or of his own paranoid delusion?

In this high-powered novel, Didier van Cauwelaert, the award-winning author of One-Way, explores the illusory nature of identity and the instability of the things we take for granted. Dispossessed of his job, his family, his name, and his very past, Martin Harris is an Everyman caught in an absurd and yet disturbingly convincing nightmare, one that seems to have no exit and that resists every explanation. Part moral fable, part Robert Ludlum-style thriller, Unknown is a fast-paced tale of one man’s desperate attempt to reclaim his existence—even at the cost of his own life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Had Camus trained at the CIA, this is the book he would have written. A hauntingly literary espionage thriller.”

    Brad Thor, author of State of the Union

  • “Simply thrilling. Its surprising denouement works a retrospective magic.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Van Cauwelaert’s convincing little nightmare, a Twilight Zone-ish yarn.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “The idea driving Out of My Head is compelling…The terse prose is unpretentious and the plot full of captivating twists.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A devilishly well-oiled plot, which grabs the reader with both hands, drags him along, and twists him around.”

    Le Spectacle du Monde

  • “A spirited exploration of identity and memory.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The swift final scene—a breathtaking jeté—should surprise even the most jaded fan of thrillers. A little gem.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Van Cauwelaert has assembled his plot perfectly, like an intricate timepiece, and we are amazed by the precise ticking that sounds at every twist in the tale. The book reads like a close cousin of Philip K. Dick, the acknowledged master of doubting what’s real.”

    Olivier Delcroix 

  • “Imagine waking up from a three-day coma to find another person living your life. Bronson Pinchot matches the creepy tone of van Cauwelaert’s exploration of identity in this follow-up to his award-winning debut, One-Way. Pinchot portrays botanist Martin Harris with a bewildered tone and a tinge of outrage as he investigates exactly who he is. The story takes more twists and turns than a roller coaster, but Pinchot guides the listener through the experience with a skilled delivery. The last twist may seem a bit hackneyed, but the questions asked about where memory resides and the true nature of the identity we choose are challenging, entertaining, and rewarding.”

    AudioFile

  • A Audie Award Finalist Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 2/19/2014

    " This is a great psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. It is all the more disturbing because it is plausible. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lil' Grogan | 2/15/2014

    " Rough. None of the characters were convincing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ekaterina | 2/8/2014

    " Almost a detective story. Once you started it you have to finish it the same day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joella Tunnell | 1/25/2014

    " A short, read in one sitting book. Martin Harris comes home from the hospital after an accident and finds someone claiming to be him in his home, and his wife not recognizing him and he can find no proof to prove he is really Martin Harris. A very convoluted plot - couldn't put it down till I got the answer to it all. A bit far fetched, but fun to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 1/17/2014

    " This is probably better known as the movie, UNKNOWN with Liam Neeson. This is a pretty good thriller about a man whose life and identity is stolen after his survives a car crash. It's intruging but the storytelling style is very abbreviated which makes the book feel somewhat unsubstantial. Good fun. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie Murgatroyd | 1/16/2014

    " A frustrating book with a disappointing ending - perhaps the film is better? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russell | 12/25/2013

    " This novel reminded me of the Jason Bourne series. A real quick, enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie Helton | 12/20/2013

    " The movie was actually better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Baker | 12/10/2013

    " Read it in one sitting. Just wanted to know who Marin Harris was! Who's telling the truth!? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 brooke | 6/26/2013

    " i just picked this up, not my typical read. it was lying around and i had 2 hours to kill...(not really, but....)i guess it will probably be the first time i like a movie better than a book. (that i can recall) and i am saying that without seeing the movie yet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tricia Douglas | 1/20/2013

    " so so story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Serena | 1/8/2013

    " I only checked this out of the library because I wanted to watch the movie but it was incredibly boring and the ending was such a disappointment I will definitely be giving a moive a miss if its anything like this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 8/14/2012

    " A bit clunky in the translation, but an intriguing read. (I have not seen the movie, so I didn't know what was coming.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Raza Syed | 10/3/2011

    " The usual irritants of Gallic literary convention aside, this compact French thriller is a legitimately gripping tale of botany, mistaken identity and betrayal. An elegant page-turner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Macy | 9/2/2011

    " Recommended. A man gets out of hospital after an accident and although he remembers his life perfectly, no one (including his wife) knows who he is. Conspiracy? Brain injury? Alternate universe? An entertaining and well-written suspense novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erodedfaith | 6/17/2011

    " EXCITINGGGG! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Justin | 5/8/2011

    " Quick read, somewhat surprising ending. If you can get a cheap/ free copy, go for it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 4/18/2011

    " A frustrating book with a disappointing ending - perhaps the film is better? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 4/8/2011

    " The movie "Unknown" ( Sans identité) is an adaptation of this novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 brooke | 4/5/2011

    " i just picked this up, not my typical read. it was lying around and i had 2 hours to kill...(not really, but....)i guess it will probably be the first time i like a movie better than a book. (that i can recall) and i am saying that without seeing the movie yet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 3/1/2011

    " A short, but intense read. I finished it in a day, not because it was so short, but because I simply couldn't put it down. Any one who likes psychological thrillers will love this. It reminded me a little of the Bourne Series. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Frederic | 2/17/2011

    " 160 pages of Set-Up and 4 pages of ridiculous resolution...I finished it only because I had nothing else to read today...it's "The Bourne Identity"(film not book)without the wit,intelligence or coherence...a truly tacky waste of time and effort... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Raza | 1/11/2008

    " The usual irritants of Gallic literary convention aside, this compact French thriller is a legitimately gripping tale of botany, mistaken identity and betrayal. An elegant page-turner.
    "

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About the Author

Didier van Cauwelaert is the author of several international bestsellers, including the critically acclaimed Out of My Head. He also wrote the libretto for the off-Broadway musical, Amour, which garnered five Tony nominations in 2003.

About the Narrator

Bronson Pinchot has won eleven Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration and was named Audible’s Narrator of the Year for 2010. He received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.