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Download Until I Find You: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Until I Find You: A Novel Audiobook, by John Irving Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,033 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Irving Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9780739341544
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Until I Find You is the story of the actor Jack Burns – his life, loves, celebrity and astonishing search for the truth about his parents.

When he is four years old, Jack travels with his mother Alice, a tattoo artist, to several North Sea ports in search of his father, William Burns. From Copenhagen to Amsterdam, William, a brilliant church organist and profligate womanizer, is always a step ahead – has always just departed in a wave of scandal, with a new tattoo somewhere on his body from a local master or “scratcher.”

Alice and Jack abandon their quest, and Jack is educated at schools in Canada and New England – including, tellingly, a girls’ school in Toronto. His real education consists of his relationships with older women – from Emma Oastler, who initiates him into erotic life, to the girls of St. Hilda’s, with whom he first appears on stage, to the abusive Mrs. Machado, whom he first meets when sent to learn wrestling at a local gym.

Too much happens in this expansive, eventful novel to possibly summarize it all. Emma and Jack move to Los Angeles, where Emma becomes a successful novelist and Jack a promising actor. A host of eccentric minor characters memorably come and go, including Jack’s hilariously confused teacher the Wurtz; Michelle Maher, the girlfriend he will never forget; and a precocious child Jack finds in the back of an Audi in a restaurant parking lot. We learn about tattoo addiction and movie cross-dressing, “sleeping in the needles” and the cure for cauliflower ears. And John Irving renders his protagonist’s unusual rise through Hollywood with the same vivid detail and range of emotions he gives to the organ music Jack hears as a child in European churches. This is an absorbing and moving book about obsession and loss, truth and storytelling, the signs we carry on us and inside us, the traces we can’t get rid of.

Jack has always lived in the shadow of his absent father. But as he grows older – and when his mother dies – he starts to doubt the portrait of his father’s character she painted for him when he was a child. This is the cue for a second journey around Europe in search of his father, from Edinburgh to Switzerland, towards a conclusion of great emotional force.

A melancholy tale of deception, Until I Find You is also a swaggering comic novel, a giant tapestry of life’s hopes. It is a masterpiece to compare with John Irving’s great novels, and restates the author’s claim to be considered the most glorious, comic, moving novelist at work today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A serious artist of remarkable powers. Chicago Sun-Times
  • “Irving’s popularity is not hard to understand. His world is really the world according to nearly everyone. Time
  • A premier storyteller, master of the tragicomic and among the first rank of contemporary novelists. Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • As ever, Irving is at his best with the family relationships he creates. They are simultaneously touching and infuriating. It is with these relationships that Irving firmly grasps universal truths and puts a chokehold on his readers…. Irving’s descriptions are distressing to read, but they force the reader to relate to the characters in a way they would not in most works of fiction. Calgary Herald
  • Bittersweet . . . moving. People
  • Until I Find You . . . cuts closer to the bone than any of [Irving’s] previous works. Ottawa Citizen
  • John Irving has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation; he has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award and an Oscar.
  • “Irving’s novels are perceptive and precise reflections of the world around us. The Washington Post Book World
  • “John Irving is one of the very finest writers alive today. The Associated Press
  • [Irving’s] instincts are so basically sound, his talent for storytelling so bright and strong that he gets down to the truth of his time.
    The New York Times Book Review
  • John Irving is a writer of prodigious talent. Calgary Herald
  • John Irving is devoted to his people and his plots in a way that makes him unique among the most popular and widely read of the living American novelists. He has become his generation’s Dickens. NOW Magazine

    “He is among the very best storytellers at work today. At the base of Irving’s own moral concerns is a rare and lasting regard for human kindness.
  • A rich and deeply moving tale. . .Vintage Irving: A story of two very disparate people, and the strange ways we grow. . . . Irving’s novels are perceptive and precise reflections of the world around us. The Washington Post Book World
  • Using comedy, satiric social commentary and his adroit ability to tell a good yarn, Irving proffers a sweet love story with the very serious underlying theme of human transformation. Ottawa Citizen
  • John Irving is one of the very finest writers alive today. The Associated Press

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah Felker | 2/20/2014

    " Hard to get through...enjoyable at times while a chore others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aj | 2/11/2014

    " Another great work that takes you on a worldwide journey. If you've ever been to the cities, Irving's attention to detail are spot on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeannette | 1/31/2014

    " As much as I love John Irving this book really ticked me off. I read all 840 pages with ambition and interest only to be terribly disappointed by the ending. I recommend the read, but don't expect a climatic climax, you won't find it here. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robin C | 1/31/2014

    " I don't know what happened to my favorite author during the writing of this book...but he was definitely lost! Did not care for it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Selena | 1/30/2014

    " What happened to the John Irving I used to love? This book was tough...a jillion characters, characters musing about other characters and tangents and I could not get into the story at all. I gave up early on...maybe it gets better but I didn't have the stamina to read a big ol beast of a confusing novel like this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alexandros Costas | 1/18/2014

    " Though I really like Mr. Irving this book was difficult for me to get into. I tried, I really did, but it just didn't hold me long enough to want to find out what happens. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Seaton | 1/18/2014

    " I wanted a comfortable book that I could curl up with for an extended period of time and this fit the bill. John Irving is such a wonderful story teller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 1/14/2014

    " Incredibly long and a bit slow at times, but I thought it was worth the patience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maura Sweley | 1/13/2014

    " I'm not far enough into the book to have much to say about it yet, but it's Irving's usual lush writing. More to come. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stacey Tobin | 1/13/2014

    " I made it about three-fourths of the way through this book - the plot is a strange combination of detailed histories of organ music and tattoo artistry, placed on top of a dysfunctional family with father/son issues and a mother who is truly tragic. I couldn't do it. Sorry Mr. Irving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather Davis | 1/11/2014

    " i love john irving but this book was 200 pages too long. sorry buddy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hugh Mcaloon | 12/19/2013

    " John Irving is a modern master. This work is transparently self-referential. It's like he read his Wikipedia entry and then whipped it out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 12/10/2013

    " A great read if you have the time to invest in it. I was engrossed in the book while traveling through Europe (many long train rides). It was an interesting story with great detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keely | 12/5/2013

    " As always, I really like John Irving, but I found that this book didn't move as well as some of his previous novels. It kept me reading and kept me guessing though. I love his rich characters, full of sympathetic dysfunction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie Feher | 10/20/2013

    " this one seemed full of familiar characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maya | 5/28/2013

    " Loved this book. It is amazing to see a person's life as they remember it from when they were young and then going back to that period of time and seeing what really happened. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn Mccarthy | 10/28/2012

    " This can be disturbing at times. In the beginning, the main character, Jack, is molested by older girls and women. It begins when he is 6 or 7 and continues during his childhood. It is a very good read tho. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 uroosa | 4/15/2012

    " i love irving and his twisted wonderful melodramatic tatooed characters! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Logan | 3/12/2012

    " Incredibly disappointing. When I got to the end I was kind of angry. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 KamakuraKate | 11/19/2011

    " I wasn't enjoying it -- and it was really long -- so I gave up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela Trawick | 10/10/2011

    " I wanted to like this book. Interesting coverage of tatoos. Didn't want to read all the child sex content. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Margret Dorothea | 8/29/2011

    " I really didn't like this book. It's needlessly repetitive and non-linear and I didn't really care about any of the characters or what was going to happen. I just wanted to get through the damn 900 page thing. Bah. Waste of my time, really. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 7/15/2011

    " I actually really enjoyed this book it was my first John Irving book so I didn't have extremely high standards I though tit had a slow start but towards the end it was very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah-Anne | 5/20/2011

    " I read this while traveling Italy by train, which was kinda a strange trip. I'm not sure if the book is really strange, or my vacation was. That's not much of a review, but I can't think about this book without thinking of the strange hostels I stayed in... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Lester | 4/28/2011

    " Too long in places but a terrific masterpiece. Owen Meany-esque--great characters, crazy plot twists and the tattoo subculture made for a great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sister Pam | 4/26/2011

    " I learned more about tattoos reading this book than I ever intended to learn. Still, it was a quirky good read, although it is no match for The World According to Garp or A Prayer for Owen Meany. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mimi | 4/22/2011

    " Not the best of Irving's books, but lots of twists and turns. Pretty bizarre, like most of his novels. Enjoyed reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 4/18/2011

    " Different from other Irving books...though it has so many of the same themes. Enjoyed it, but wouldn't reread it (the way I do Cider House Rules or Prayer for Owen Meany). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cassie | 4/8/2011

    " I had to return it to the library 1/2 way through. I enjoyed reading it when I picked it up but couldn't seem to get through it even though I'm an Irving fan. The story was, of course, completely unique but I could not connect with the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/23/2011

    " One of the best books I have ever read about a single mom/tatoo artist in search of the father of her boy. There is a period they spend in Toronto near Casa Loma.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 3/17/2011

    " I am a big John Irving fan. This wasn't one of of my favorites but it was still a very good read. I enjoy reading books (partly) set in Toronto and learning about the history and subculture of tattoo artists was interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lili | 3/13/2011

    " Certainly not his best book, but fun to read as parts of it take place in Helsinki and other Baltic cities. But definitely not worth reading a second time which is what I did. "

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About the Author
Author John Irving

John Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp, which became an international bestseller. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His novels have been translated into thirty-five languages.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards: in 2011 for Biography and History, in for History and Historical Fiction, and in 2009 for Nonfiction and Culture. His work has also garnered twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he has been nominated for an Audie Award. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. As a narrator, he has received nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.