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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: Fiona Maazel Narrator: Bernadette Dunn Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Thurlow Dan is the founder of the Helix, a cult that promises to cure loneliness. With its communes and speed dating, mixers and confession sessions, the Helix has become a national phenomenon—and attracted the attention of governments worldwide. But Thurlow, camped out in his Cincinnati headquarters, is lonely for his ex-wife, Esme, and their daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in ten years. Esme, for her part, is a covert agent who has spent her life spying on Thurlow, mostly to protect him from the law. Now, with her superiors demanding results, she recruits four misfits to botch a reconnaissance mission in Cincinnati. But when Thurlow takes them hostage, he ignites a siege of the Helix House that will change all their lives forever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Woke Up Lonely is a fun-house hall of mirrors whose dark (and hilarious) distortions reveal some almost unbearable truths about what it means to be lonely in America today.”

    Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!

  • “[A] fun farce.”


  • “Maazel’s insights are as sound as her imagination is wild.”


  • “The talented Maazel has plenty of imagination.”

    USA Today

  • “Brilliantly imagine[d].”

    Vanity Fair

  • “It’s as if a Paul Thomas Anderson movie (The Master, There Will Be Blood) married a David Foster Wallace novel and had a baby. Which is to say, this story is weird, thrilling, and inimitable.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Maazel’s new novel sounds like an AM radio dial spinning between the spooky midnight frequency of ‘V.’ and the bizarro breakfast show humor of ‘White Noise’…Intricately imagined and timely…Maazel is an entertaining writer with a dry, droll sense of humor…She’s insightful about how and why we build up instead of tear down the walls between us.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Woke Up Lonely is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, filled with swerves and contradictions…Poignant and unpredictable.”


  • “Fizzy and intoxicating.”

    Kansas City Star

  • “Sweeping, achingly honest…Woke Up Lonely is both a mirror and magic looking glass, reflecting who we are and who we have the potential to become.”

    Los Angeles Review of Books

  • “Among the many sterling novels coming out this April…Woke Up Lonely [has] stood out.”


  • “Maazel shines…When she brings forward the doubts and faults of her characters, she shows these to be no less than our own, and then shows us, too, that their moments of triumph—however minor and fleeting, and no matter the obstacles that still stand in the way—can also be ours.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In this rollicking ride of a novel, Maazel explores a world of family, fame, and forgiveness…Maazel manages to strike a number of tones here—from poignant to paranoid—and she’s successful at every level.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Bernadette Dunne’s talents are well matched to this offbeat novel about a man who, although being the founder of a worldwide cult to combat loneliness, cannot reconnect with his estranged, elusive wife and their young daughter. Dunne fluidly alters her voice to project the characters’ ages and personalities—gravelly and tired, soft and easygoing, sardonically optimistic—varying her tempo and inflections as required to color thoughts and speech with the wide range of required emotions…Dunne’s near-flawless performance…[helps in following] the novel’s frenetic, spiraling plot.”


  • “A great novel. Great, major, important—say it however you like. This is a book you need.”

    Darin Strauss, award-winning author of Half a Life

  • Woke Up Lonely is the novel equivalent of a sonic boom—it builds, it explodes, it leaves your ears, mind, and soul ringing for days.”

    Heidi Julavits, author of The Vanishers

  • “Fiona Maazel’s imagination is so wild…that you feel like you’ve woken up into one of those rare novels as real as life. Hooray for such a talent!”

    Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances

  • “No one does loneliness, self-abasement, and dread like Fiona Maazel…[She] illuminates with as much sadness and comic brio the grotesqueness of the extent to which we fall short of who we imagine ourselves to be.”

    Jim Shepard, author of You Think That’s Bad

  • Selected for the April 2013 Indie Next List
  • One of the New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2013
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Kansas City Star Top 100 Book of the Year
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week for April 2013
  • An Oprah Pick for Book of the Week
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About the Author

Fiona Maazel is the author of Last Last Chance and Woke Up Lonely. She won the Bard Prize for Fiction and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree. She teaches at Brooklyn College, Columbia, New York University, and Princeton, and was appointed the Picador Guest Professor at the University of Leipzig, Germany. She lives in Brooklyn.