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Unworthy: A Novel Audiobook, by Antonio Monda Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Antonio Monda Narrator: Michael Crouch Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2018 ISBN: 9780525632658
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A Catholic priest struggles with the remembrance of an illicit romance in 1970s New York in this powerfully intimate novel of faith and doubt, guilt and love.

Born to an absentee Jewish father and a devout Irish mother, Abram Singer always felt anomalous, an outsider who doesn't truly belong anywhere. Raised Catholic, he finds himself drawn to the meaningful structure of the seminary and becomes a Manhattan parish priest, and administrator of a homeless shelter. Singer's life is guided by a genuine faith in God and a sincere wish to do His work.

But in New York City of the late 70s and early 80s, sin runs rampant and Singer is not deaf to its call. Despite his vow of chastity, he is irresistibly attracted to women and has a long-standing relationship with a young woman named Lisa, whom he genuinely and passionately loves. Their romance, Singer feels, bears the hallmarks of all of his gravest weaknesses--doubt, hypocrisy, and an inability to renounce his own sin. In spite of these misgivings, Lisa's love and support slowly begin to supplant the church in Singer's life, though she refuses to let him walk away from what they both agree is his calling. When Lisa becomes pregnant with Singer's child, her decision and its unhappy aftermath become the turning points around which Singer obsesses, haunted by his faltering faith, the choices he did not make at the time, and the two lives he could not live at once.

Told entirely in Singer's straightforward, self-aware voice, Unworthy is a riveting, morally complex narrative about the nature of faith, loyalty, and identity, and a gritty period piece about a man trying to make his way in one of America's greatest cities. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • A meditation on the contradictions of a calling that demands both a sensitivity to the beauty of God’s creation and the restraint to remain detached from its most intense pleasures. The New Yorker
  • With elegance, grace, and clarity, Antonio Monda depicts a crisis of faith and longing in New York in the 1970's. This finely-crafted love story captures the swirling contradictions not only of the past, but of the present, too. Colum McCann, author of Thirteen Ways of Looking and Let the Great World Spin
  • Antonio Monda’s passionate, singular novel gives us a whiskey priest for the ages. In public, Father Abram Singer ministers tenderly to his parishioners, but he’s secretly drowning in vice. He lies, betrays the innocent, steals from the offertory to buy trinkets for his latest inamorata, but he also sees Jesus in the faces of New York’s most abject poor. This is a moving love story and a dark gaze into the abyss, and I savored every graceful, inspired word. Move over, Graham Greene: Monda in the house. Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club and The Art of Memoir
  • Antonio Monda has written a striking novel about an unlikely priest, one who is alive with contradictions. This is a beautiful meditation on faith, sex, frailty, and, above all, love. Cathleen Schine, author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport
  • “In Unworthy, Antonio Monda has miraculously entwined two distinct genres that turn out to unexpectedly and beautifully illuminate each other: the novel of urban nostalgia, in this case for the gritty and often ugly New York of the 1970s, and the memoir of spiritual struggle, which has its roots in St. Augustine’s Memoirs—a work that haunts Monda’s in more ways than one. In his tale of a New York priest struggling to reconcile contradictions that mirror those that are tearing the city itself apart—between exaltation and degradation, spirituality and carnality, selflessness and greed—Monda has given us a novel that explores, with both compassion and rigor, a subject that has been too often neglected: the intellectual and emotional implications of faith.
    Daniel Mendelsohn, author of An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic
  • "A moving exploration of suffering and happiness and an examination of the shame of sin and the thrill of yearning. Explicit sexual encounters are in stark contrast with eloquent Catholic theological reflections, and the narrator’s lustful musings about his dual existence are dark and complicated. His weakness, so authentically rendered; his longing to be better than his very human impulses; and his raw, conflictful confession all paint an intimate portrait of a man besieged by the tumultuous collision of doctrine and desire. Booklist

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About the Narrator

Michael Crouch is an actor based in New York City. His audiobook narration has won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, and Best of the Year accolades from Booklist, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. He can also be heard on national commercials, cartoons, video games, and the animé series Pokémon XY and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.