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Extended Audio Sample We, the Drowned Audiobook, by Carsten Jensen Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carsten Jensen Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2016 ISBN: 9781504682176
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In 1848, a motley crew of Danish sailors sets sail from the small island town of Marstal to fight the Germans. Not all of them return—and those who do will never be the same. Among them is the daredevil Laurids Madsen, who promptly escapes again into the anonymity of the high seas.

This is also the story of the port town of Marstal, Denmark, whose inhabitants sailed the world from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War and about the women and children they left behind. The novel tells of ships wrecked and blown up in wars, of places of terror and violence that continue to lure each generation with their cannibals, shrunken heads, prophetic dreams, forbidden passions, cowards, heroes, tragedies, and miraculous survivals.

The result is a brilliant seafaring novel, a gripping saga encompassing industrial growth, the years of expansion and exploration, the crucible of the first half of the twentieth century, and most of all, the sea.

Hailed in Europe as an instant classic, We, the Drowned, spanning four generations, two world wars, and a hundred years, is an epic tale of adventure, ruthlessness, and passion destined to take its place among the greatest seafaring literature.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The author ennobles the old-fashioned art of storytelling by showing how the relating of a tale can itself foster a spirit of fellowship… We, The Drowned is itself a monument to the way that history can be made epic through legend.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Vast and daring…rich, powerful, and rewarding…one of the more engrossing literary voyages of recent years.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • We, the Drowned sets sail beyond the narrow channels of the seafaring genre and approaches Tolstoy in its evocation of war’s confusion, its power to stun victors and vanquished alike…Powerful reading for a long winter’s night…[A] gorgeous, unsparing novel.”

    Washington Post

  • “An epic of grand design.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A generational saga, a swashbuckling sailor’s tale, and the account of a small town coming into modernity—both Melville and Steinbeck might have been pleased to read it.”

    New Republic

  • “An unforgettable novel, destined to take its place among the greatest seafaring literature.”


  • “From adventures on the storm-ravaged seas and in exotic lands to battles in town over the shipping industry and family life, dozens of stories coalesce into an odyssey taut with action and drama and suffused with enough heart to satisfy readers who want more than the breakneck thrills of ships battling the elements.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Jensen’s oceanic novel is tenderly human…Jensen’s resplendent saga, an epic voyage of the imagination, is mesmerizing in its unsparing drama, fascinating in its knowledge of the sea, wryly humorous, and profound in its embrace of compassion, reason, and justice.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Jensen’s novel builds momentum and becomes quite thrilling and engaging on many levels, from adventures on the high seas to devastating personal dramas in a small community at the mercy of the forces of nature and history.”

    Library Journal

  • “‘Is there anything more heartbreaking than drowning in sight of land?’ asks our narrator—and we know the answer. An elegant meditation on life, death, and the ways of the sea.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Carsten Jensen sailed on his father’s boat, a 220-ton freighter named the Abelone, as a boy in Marstal, Denmark. In 2000, he returned to Marstal to write We, the Drowned. He has worked as a literary critic and a journalist, reporting from China, Cambodia, Latin America, the Pacific Islands, and Afghanistan.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.