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Very Nice: A novel Audiobook, by Marcy Dermansky Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Marcy Dermansky Narrator: Vikas Adam, Johnathan McClain, January LaVoy, Emily Lawrence Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2019 ISBN: 9781984891150
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A brilliantly funny novel of money, sex, race, and bad behavior in the post-Obama era, featuring a wealthy Connecticut divorcée, her college-age daughter, and the famous novelist who is seduced by them both.

Rachel Klein never meant to kiss her creative writing professor, but with his long eyelashes, his silky hair, and the sad, beautiful life he laid bare on Twitter, she does, and the kiss is very nice. Zahid Azzam never planned to become a houseguest in his student's sprawling Connecticut home, but with the sparkling swimming pool, the endless supply of Whole Foods strawberries, and Rachel's beautiful mother, he does, and the home is very nice. Becca Klein never thought she'd have a love affair so soon after her divorce, but when her daughter's professor walks into her home, bringing with him an apricot standard poodle named Princess, she does, and the affair is...a very bad idea.

Zigzagging between the rarefied circles of Manhattan investment banking, the achingly self-serious MFA programs of the Midwest, and the private bedrooms of Connecticut, Very Nice is an audacious, addictive, and wickedly smart take on the way we live now.


Audiobook Cast of Narrators:
Rachel, read by Emily Lawrence
Zahid, read by Vikas Adam
Becca, read by Cassandra Campbell
Khloe, read by January LaVoy
Jonathan, read by Johnathan McClain Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • When Zahid Azzam becomes the houseguest of the mother of one of his creative writing students, all kinds of boundaries are crossed. No one is entirely innocent in this addictive story of money, sex, and bad house manners. Jessica Francis Kane, The Guardian
  • Very Nice is deceptively polite, a gracious rebuke to every writer who has sworn it's impossible to write about the times in which we live. Marcy Dermansky found the way in, spotted the connections holding our fragmented world together and made them sing. Her best book to date, which is saying quite a lot. Laura Lippman, bestselling author of Sunburn
  • If you are looking for a smart yet wacky summer diversion, a sendup of PC pretensions, a book that will make you both laugh and gasp out loud, dive between the enticing aqua covers of Very Nice.
    Marion Winik, Newsday
  • A story of sex and intrigue set amid rich people in a beautiful house with a picturesque swimming pool… The brisk pacing and economical style are seductive and keep the reader’s attention… Ruminate[s] on identity, art, violence, and our current politics… She’s asking big questions but at the same time giving us the kind of book we’re told we want during the summer… This is a more serious book than it might seem at first glance. It’s like she’s served us a cupcake that turns out to be nutritious. I won’t spoil the book’s conclusion, not because I dislike spoilers but because I’m in awe of it… Okay, one spoiler: The last word of the book is ‘laugh.’ I bet you will. Rumaan Alam, The Washington Post
  • Very Nice features a very spoiled apricot poodle, very yummy breakfasts of avocado toast, and a very naughty mother-daughter-professor love triangle—it's everything you need in your new favorite summer novel, and makes me very relieved I never got my PhD. Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians
  • Marcy Dermansky is a light switch, a volume knob, a fire drill. Her novels are bright and attention-grabbing, from the first page to the last, and Very Nice is her best yet. This smart, sexy, funny book is a balm for rattled nerves. Write me a thousand more books, Marcy, and I'll read them all.  
    Emma Straub, bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers
  • Very Nice is so sexy and reads so smooth that I was utterly addicted. Trenchantly observed and darkly funny, it will stick with you long after you finish its final, ferocious sentence. Maria Semple, bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?   
  • Fans of situational comedies and rom-coms should pre-order this hilarious novel from Marcy Dermansky… It features a small cast of wickedly funny characters and a plot straight out a Shakespearean romance. The Today Show
  • "A messy, sexy, super fun drama that unravels over the course of one summer… Impossible to put down. Buzzfeed
  • “A juicy tale of bad behavior… The setup is ideally soapy: Rachel seduces Zahid. Zahid falls in love with Becca. And all three find themselves under the same roof, of Becca’s ritzy Connecticut home, complete with a glistening swimming pool and perfectly carbonated seltzer… In short, nasty chapters, Dermansky (The Red Car) stacks this house of cards with cool, bitingly clever prose. And when it falls, Very Nice gets pretty mean — but gloriously so. A- Entertainment Weekly
  • This is buzzy, breezy summer read you've been craving all summer. In it, a creative writing professor gets swept up by the whims and wiles of two equally seductive women: his student — and her mother. Bustle
  • This [is a] sexy summer novel, in which writers and other deviants (including multiple poodles) swim and sleep together and get jealous and go about their tragicomic lives. What else is there to do, after all? Lit Hub
  • Better than very nice, this book is glorious. Fast, funny, and filled with memorably brilliant characters. Jane Green, bestselling author of The Friends We Keep

  • "This darkly funny book vies to answer the age-old question: Just how huge is our collective appetite for tales of male novelists behaving badly? [U]proarious.
    Entertainment Weekly
  • Dermansky's spare prose compels the reader in such an effortless way that the monumental revelations her characters nonchalantly make have an even greater impact. As a study on human nature, this novel can easily hold its own amongst literary works, but will likely also be well-received by general fiction lovers looking for a more substantial, yet still entertaining, book to read. Booklist
  • [A] sardonic skewering of self-aggrandizing MFA programs, investment banking, and ‘nice’ wealthy suburbs that tend to have seedy secrets bubbling right underneath their shiny veneers. Thrillist
  • Sly, deceptively simple and thoroughly seductive... Bouncing between points of view, Dermansky confines herself to snappy, brisk paragraphs and short sentences, with much of the psychic action between the lines. Her sharp satire spares none of the characters and teeters brilliantly on the edge of comedy and tragedy.
     Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
  • Five narrators play a game of narrative hot potato with a tale of summer sexcapades… A hell of a lot of stylish fun. Can you top this? is the question posed by each chapter of this upmarket soap opera, and the answer is always yes. Kirkus 

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About the Author

Marcy Dermansky is the author of the novels The Red Car, Bad Marie, and Twins. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Five Chapters, the Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She lives in New Jersey with her daughter.

About the Narrators

Vikas Adam is a classically trained actor with numerous credits in stage, film, commercials, and television, in addition to his over one hundred recorded audiobooks. An Audie Award nominee, he has garnered many awards for his narrations, including AudioFile Earphones Awards and various Best of the Year lists.

Johnathan McClain is an American actor, voice-over talent, and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He pursued stage acting in New York for a number of years and has appeared in many television series, including Law & Order: SVU, Medium, Scoundrels, and CSI: Miami. He also has several narration credits, including Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series and Jeremy Logan novels by Lincoln Child.

January LaVoy, winner of numerous awards for narration, was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine in 2019. She is an American actress best known for her character Noelle Ortiz on the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. In addition to working extensively in narration and television, including roles on Law & Order and All My Children, she has worked on and off Broadway as well as in regional theater.

Emily Lawrence, an actor and writer, is passionate about bringing stories to life. She has narrated more than 190 audiobooks, half of which were USA Today or New York Times bestsellers, and has also worked in film, television, and theater.