#361 ~ You Know When the Men Are Gone

You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

Published by: Amy Einhorn Books

Published on: January 2011

Page Count: 240

Genre: Short Stories

My Reading Format: Audiobook purchased with a credit for Audible.com.

Audiobook Published by: Tantor Audio

Narrator: Cassandra Campbell

Audiobook Length: 5 hours 50 minutes

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook and Audiobook

My Review

Through a series of eight loosely interconnected short stories, Siobhan Fallon character by character and story by story pieces together a portrait of life at Fort Hood during a time at war.

When this book debuted, it seemed like everyone was discussing it. The hype was huge and overwhelmingly positive. It would have been difficult not to want to read it. As I’m not a person who regularly reads short stories, knowing that You Know When the Men Are Gone wasn’t a novel held me back. I may have never experienced this fantastic book were it not for audiobooks. Here’s the thing about audiobooks: they continually entice me to explore literature outside of my comfort zone. When my credits renewed and I saw it featured on Audible.com and narrated by Cassandra Campbell, I didn’t hesitate to add it to my cart.

My first Cassandra Campbell audiobook was The Help. I loved her voice, even though I thought everything about Minny stole that entire experience. In You Know When the Men Are Gone, she really had the opportunity to shine big. She not only took on the pain, fear and loneliness of the young wives and mothers living at Fort Hood while their husbands are deployed. The men who are stationed in Iraq or have returned home have their own hopes and anxieties. With them, Campbell is equally at home in the narration. I found that she gave each story its own life. I hope that this audiobook receives an Audie nomination.

While I never forgot You Know When the Men Are Gone was a collection of short stories, I didn’t really care. I found what was left unsaid or unknown in one story gave me the opportunity to imagine what the rest of life was like for that character. I was also ready to get to know another character.

Very quickly, Amy Einhorn Books is becoming a go-to imprint for incredible and varied reading experiences. With good reason. Thus far I’ve read and loved The Help, Bad Things Happen, The Summer of Louisa May Alcott and, be still my heart, The House of Tomorrow. That The Postmistress was my least favorite read thus far says a great deal. You Know When the Men Are Gone is near the top of those great reads. I highly, highly recommend this imprint, this narrator, this book and its exceptionally talented author, Siobhan Fallon.


  • At 2011.08.29 03:22, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

    Aw, I really loved this book, and I’m glad you enjoyed it as well.

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    • At 2011.08.29 08:24, Jennifer said:

      It is so good, isn’t it? So glad I gave it a shot.

      • At 2011.08.29 08:58, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

        Since my dad was in the military, this book spoke to me. I really loved it. I agree with you on Amy Einhorn books!

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        • At 2011.08.29 10:04, rhapsodyinbooks said:

          This sounds like a good audio choice. I’m glad you talked about that, because I have been avoiding this book because of my short story aversion, but short stories are perfect for the car!

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          • At 2011.08.29 11:53, Sandy said:

            I listened to this one on audio as well (I mean, who can turn down Campbell?) and it rocked my world. But you know I don’t think I knew this was A.E.!!!! I’ve not read one bad one yet. BTW, you must read “What Alice Forgot”, another one of her books. I know that you would love it. It particularly resonates with wives and moms.

            • At 2012.03.08 08:01, Announcing the Armchair Audies said:

              […] You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon, narrated by Cassandra Campbell from Tantor Media […]

              • […] her work so much that a year later, when there was all sorts of buzz about Siobhan Fallon’s You Know When the Men Are Gone, I checked out the audiobook. I’m not someone who reads a lot of short stories, but I had an […]

                • At 2013.06.17 18:33, Audiobook Week – Choosing Audiobooks said:

                  […] need a good narrator to keep me company. Either way, I’ve listened to and loved both Astray and You Know When the Men Are Gone since adding audiobooks to my reading […]

                  • At 2013.09.03 04:02, Astray by Emma Donoghue said:

                    […] audiobooks it’s opened the door to short stories once again. As I first discovered with You Know When the Men Are Gone, audiobooks are a perfect medium for short stories for me. This certainly was the case with Emma […]

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