Published by: Knopf
Published on: June 17, 2014
Page Count: 224
My Reading Format: Audiobook rented from my local public library.
Audiobook Published by: Random House Audio
Narrators: MacLeod Andrews with Mark Deakins, Michelle Gonzalez, John H. Mayer, Kate McGregor-Stewart, Rebecca Lowman, Bruce Turk, and Marc Cashman
Audiobook Length: 5 hours and 29 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook
Summary from the Publisher:
In a barracks on an abandoned military base, miles from the nearest road, Thomas watches as the man he has brought wakes up. Kev, a NASA astronaut, doesn’t recognize his captor, though Thomas remembers him. Kev cries for help. He pulls at his chain. But the ocean is close by, and nobody can hear him over the waves and wind. Thomas apologizes. He didn’t want to have to resort to this. But they really needed to have a conversation, and Kev didn’t answer his messages. And now, if Kev can just stop yelling, Thomas has a few questions.
The audiobook with the longest title nominated in the Literary Fiction category is also the shortest audiobook in duration. Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is the story of Thomas, a troubled young man who, in the quest for answers as to why society is failing him, begins by kidnapping Kev, an astronaut with whom he made an acquaintance with in college, and chaining him to a post in an abandoned California military base. Thomas’ early “depositions” with Kev lead to others that shed light on Thomas’ story as well as raised questions about society and its responsibilities.
Told entirely through dialog, Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? was engrossing from the very beginning. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put the first disc because I didn’t research the book at all beforehand. Knowing that Dave Eggers wrote it and that it was nominated for the Literary Fiction Audie Award this year was enough for me. When Thomas used the same method as Buffalo Bill to lure his astronaut into his van and chloroform him, I shivered and knew that this was going to be a ride to remember. Not once throughout the novel did Eggers or the audiobook cast let me down.
While this audiobook contains the work of 8 different narrators, MacLeod Andrews portrayed Thomas. This is my first experience with his work and I was one happy audiobook listener to have discovered him. His performance was enthralling. When Thomas was excited, I felt it. When Thomas was irritated during a deposition, it set my teeth on edge. When I found Thomas’ discussions with the congressman making perfect sense to me, I wondered if I had developed a touch of Stockholm Syndrome. Andrews and his superb supporting cast provide one of the most entertaining audiobook experiences I’ve encountered in a very long time. I loved this audiobook so much that I’d be interested in reading about the experience of recording it. I want to know how the team pulled it all together.
I was first introduced to Dave Egger’s writing with Zeitoun. Last year I also listened to A Hologram for the King, making Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? my third experience with his work. They are each equally good and completely different from each other. It is an understatement to say that Eggers is a talented man. With this audiobook, he has made my job selecting an Armchair Audies winner in the Literary Fiction category very difficult.