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Extended Audio Sample What Dies in Summer: A Novel Audiobook, by Tom Wright Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (336 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Wright Narrator: Chris Patton Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781470807177
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A riveting Southern Gothic coming-of-age debut by a major new talent

“I did what I did, and that’s on me.” From that tantalizing first sentence, Tom Wright sweeps listeners up in a tale of lost innocence. Jim has a touch of the Sight. It’s nothing too spooky and generally useless, at least until the summer his cousin L.A. moves in with him and their grandmother. When Jim and L.A. discover the body of a girl—brutally raped and murdered—in a field, an investigation begins that will put both their lives in danger. 

In the spirit of The Lovely Bones and The Little Friend, What Dies in Summer is a novel that casts its spell on the very first page and leaves an indelible mark.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A beautifully written and deeply engaging study of loss and innocence, suffused with chilling dread. A haunting novel, a captivating debut; I loved it.”

    S. J. Watson, New York Times bestselling author 

  • “A compulsive and provocative novel, Tom Wright manages to combine familiar themes of youth—fear, desire, vulnerability, and chaos—with a story that both unsettles and intrigues the reader. A narrative voice that’s raw and desperate, a story that grips from start to finish, What Dies in Summer is hugely impressive.”

    John Boyne, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A magnificent novel, not so much about loss of innocence as innocence put through the masher. The story pulsates with a deep dread that would be unbearable if the novel weren’t so sweet, funny, sexy, and ultimately moving.”

    Nick Cave, author of The Death of Bunny Munro

  • “An erotic, compelling, and deeply assured debut, midway between Ellroy and Faulkner. It evokes so precisely the beauty and sadness of first love and lost innocence.”

    Sam Taylor, author of The Amnesiac

  • “[A] seductively suspenseful coming-of-age novel…Wright, a practicing psychologist, expertly weaves together a literary tapestry of self-discovery, brutal sadistic violence, custodial battles, and tender, burgeoning sexuality, leaving readers spellbound by a story that delivers on several levels. The author’s impressive, multitiered storytelling talents are on brilliant display in this entrancing, impressive debut.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Even with its hints of Southern gothic and mysticism, this coming-of-age novel keeps its solidly quotidian background. An unusually accomplished and evocative debut, in which what dies is innocence.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A lyrical and realistic study of innocence lost.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/18/2014

    " Interesting but uneven. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb | 2/9/2014

    " Tragically sad book but was very moving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Selena | 2/9/2014

    " I really liked this book. I thought the characters were well written and I found the plot interesting. I'd definitely read more books by Tom Wright. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindy Swift | 1/31/2014

    " New author - great with words, beautiful language, weak on plot. It seems that this author couldn't decide if he was telling a coming of age, family story, or a murder mystery. The serial killings seemed like extras - awkward. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nikki | 1/28/2014

    " I wasn't impressed with this book at all. The writer goes all out for detail on gory bits but the rest of the narrative is lacking and the characters and plot are not well developed. He also has an annoying habit of describing half of the female characters as "smart" ( why do we need to be told this??? if the character is well developed we would pick this up ourselves!) and the other half are dead bodies mmm..... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen | 1/26/2014

    " This is Tom Wright's first book. I was not impressed. It took 100 pages to get to the storyline about the murders of young girls. Jimmy the main character was weak as was LA. I was glad it was only 284 pages. Because I was bored "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 EDian | 1/15/2014

    " Read the last 25 pages and don't waste you time with the rest of the book. Mystery is too easy to solve.I was disappointed nothing really happened in this book. I do not recommend it to anyone. How did this guy get a book deal? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M.p. Carlson | 1/7/2014

    " Really great read. Did not want to put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elissa Zagotta | 1/3/2014

    " An engaging coming of age story. I enjoyed the way the author developed the characters, many times you could feel the uncomfortable-ness as though you were part of the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margot | 12/21/2013

    " This book started strong and just fell apart and became a muddled mess. I think Wright has a lot of potential as a writer but he took on way too much with this. There are just so many problems and complex characters one novel can hold and in the hands of an first novelist, it just was too much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mokamonkey | 12/14/2013

    " The conclusion felt a little off to me. Obviously we know that the person in question is bad, but I felt like the two crimes didn't necessarily match up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 12/8/2013

    " The audio version has a great tempo and overall sound. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louie Haltom | 11/19/2013

    " good southern novel, well written Texarkana author "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan Egge kiedrowski | 9/19/2013

    " In my opinion this book didn't receive the attention it fully deserved. It was a great read, hard to put down and very thought provoking with a twist I loved at the end. Perfect. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan Rothbauer | 8/4/2013

    " Predictable and missing something . . . "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandra Halford | 5/1/2013

    " I am still not sure about the story, maybe it is the difference in being smart and being intelligent. The story drifts along, with too much left out and no real climax. Its not that I want a happy ending, I just want a ending and you really don't get one, you really don't get a beginning either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue Batcheler | 2/6/2013

    " I liked this a lot - young adulthood, family relationships, loss of innocence and a horrible crime. Well drawn characters - it held my interest to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Piet | 10/25/2012

    " Thriller in the style I like. Lots of bad people in a small town in the usa. Lot's of psychology too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 10/2/2012

    " One of the finest books I've ever read. "

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About the Author

Tom Wright is a practicing psychologist and received his doctorate from Texas A&M University. What Dies in Summer is his first book.

About the Narrator

Chris Patton has narrated over seventy-five audiobooks. His voice can be heard narrating such titles as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the dystopian juggernaut Yesterday’s Gone, Clive Barker’s Books of Blood series, and two titles by Joyce Carol Oates. Chris began his career in theater at age ten, and his voice-over career at twenty-nine. Since then, he has voiced over two hundred anime titles, numerous commercials and e-learning and industrial projects, and several video games. He’s also fronted a synthpop band called Paul Lynde Is Dead, written a teen urban fantasy about an emo vampire called Scene Immortal, and has appeared as a special guest at more than eighty-five pop-culture conventions.