We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Splendid Things We Planned Audiobook
The Splendid Things We Planned
Written by: 
Blake Bailey
Narrated by: 
Jim Meskimen
The Splendid Things We Planned Audiobook

The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait

Regular Price:$18.17
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The renowned biographer's unforgettable portrait of a family in ruins - his own.

Meet the Baileys: Burck, a prosperous lawyer once voted the American Legion's "Citizen of the Year" in his tiny hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma; his wife Marlies, who longs to recapture her festive life in Greenwich Village as a pretty young German immigrant, fresh off the boat; their addled son Scott, who repeatedly crashes the family Porsche; and Blake, the younger son, trying to find a way through the storm. "You're gonna be just like me," a drunken Scott taunts him. "You're gonna be worse."

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blake Bailey has been hailed as "addictively readable" (New York Times) and praised for his ability to capture lives "compellingly and in harrowing detail" (Time). The Splendid Things We Planned is his darkly funny account of growing up in the shadow of an erratic and increasingly dangerous brother, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story that culminates in one unforgettable Christmas.

©2014 Blake Bailey (P)2014 Blackstone

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (57 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.1 (48 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.4 (49 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Margaret United States 05-15-14
    Margaret United States 05-15-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    73
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well-written but sorry I read it."

    This is a difficult book to rate - it is written extremely well, but does not provide the same satisfaction of most masterfully-written memoirs, which shed light on the author's development as a result of what they experience in the memoir. This book is just a very honest, well-written portrayal of Bailey's brother's 30+ year descent into mental illness, and the daily assault on the family as a result. Nobody gets better, and we don't see any development of any of the family members as a result of the unrolling of the brother's life. In the end, I was just depressed and numb - I suppose reflecting how the family felt - but it is not why we read books, and if I were someone experiencing similar circumstances, there would be no help here for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karrie 07-07-16
    Karrie 07-07-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An absolutely complelling story "

    Blake Bailey tells the story of his own fractured, but initially picture-perfect, family with brutal honesty and a humility that draws the reader/listener in, brings from them identification and empathy, and also can make one's hearts break or instantly make anger arise. The story is fantasitically woven, and stands out as yet another example of how the absentee, disengaged upper-middle class parents of the 1960s and 1970s created a culture of children who were often battling undiagnosed mental illness and learning problems, but left to their own devices when it came to navigating life. The portrait of the Baileys perfectly shows how the fruits of self-absorption as parents led both not just the Baileys, but thousands of others like them, to spend the next 20 years wondering why their children battled addiction, were unproductive by social norms, or dead before their time. Heartbreaking and engaging, this story is a must-read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoelleLeah AUSTIN, TX, United States 08-06-15
    JoelleLeah AUSTIN, TX, United States 08-06-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    love dysfunctional families in my books.


    Any additional comments?

    thumbs up! I was def invested in these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candice Morris 05-19-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved"

    This is a must read for anyone who's ever had a loved one struggling with addiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 05-13-15
    Amanda 05-13-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Painful and unnecessary."

    This painful story could be told by tens of thousands of American's of that era. It was the unremarkable, yet intensely painful, tail of addiction and narcissism told in an unflinching and emotionless tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie M. Badger 01-26-15 Listener Since 2010

    esva

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written and captivating"

    I enjoyed the telling of this story. It is a stark account of life with an alcoholic sibling and the ensuing erosion of a family. Made my dysfunctional life seem downright cheerful. I would recommend the book as it is captivating, well-written and memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 09-28-14
    Diana 09-28-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written; incredibly sad"
    If you could sum up The Splendid Things We Planned in three words, what would they be?

    Family is painful


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Splendid Things We Planned?

    When Blake tells Scott he has had a picture of the two of them made into a poster and hung it over his bed.


    What does Jim Meskimen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A sense of empathy.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me deeply sad.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.