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.
 >   > 
California: A Novel | [Edan Lepucki]

California: A Novel

The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable despite the isolation and hardships they face. Consumed by fear of the future and mourning for a past they can't reclaim, they seek comfort and solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant.
Regular Price:$24.55
  • 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 -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable despite the isolation and hardships they face. Consumed by fear of the future and mourning for a past they can't reclaim, they seek comfort and solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown but unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses its own dangers. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind's dark nature and irrepressible resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.

©2014 Edan Lepucki (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Stunning and brilliant.... A wholly original take on the post-apocalypse genre." (Dan Chaon, author Await Your Reply)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.1 (248 )
5 star
 (18)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
 (109)
2 star
 (30)
1 star
 (24)
Overall
3.0 (227 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (61)
3 star
 (91)
2 star
 (36)
1 star
 (25)
Story
3.2 (226 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
 (59)
3 star
 (74)
2 star
 (30)
1 star
 (25)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 07-24-14
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 07-24-14 Member Since 2011

    Joel Szerlip

    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    112
    69
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Deserving of The Colbert Bump"

    I'm not sure California by Edan Lepucki deserved the Colbert bump. The book was featured a month before its release on The Colbert Report, when Stephen Colbert was reporting on the Hachette v Amazon dispute. The concept sounded fascinating. A husband and wife in California after the world has been desecrated. You never do learn what happened but it sounds like a combination of war, global warming, and society just breaking down.

    So what's wrong with California the novel? Pretty much everything. The book doesn't really have the necessary elements of a good story. Like a beginning middle or end. The book is just there. You meet the focus of the book Cal (short for Calvin and also his nickname California) and Frida who are living in the wilderness after escaping Los Angeles. Without going into too much of the plot (or the minor resemblance's of a plot) its about their survival and the survival of those around them.

    I was listening to the audiobook and kept looking at the time left in the book and was wondering when something was going to happen. Yet nothing ever really happens. Frida complains and Cal consoles, and their characters switch roles a few times, but in all honesty nothing happens in this book. Both characters come off flat, and just have little to no redeeming quality.

    I guess that's my biggest issue with California. Where in a book like The Road you've got the main protagonists to root for in this bleak existence, I found myself not necessarily caring about what happened to any character in California. And then the book just ends. Rather abruptly going ahead briefly in time and then just ends. I listened to the ending a few times hoping that I missed something. Nope the book just ends and thus ends my review on California. An interesting concept that led to a lackluster book.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. A. New York, NY United States 07-30-14
    G. A. New York, NY United States 07-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not get past the horrible narration"
    What didn’t you like about Emma Galvin’s performance?

    The narrator consistently emphasized the wrong words in sentences, mainly verbs, e.g. He WENT (pause) to the river. She WALKED (pause) to the house. Also a lot of super strange pauses for no reason.

    I listened to Divergent by the same narrator and thought the narration was fine, not great, but certainly passable. I'm not sure if she didn't get a chance to read the book ahead of time or what, but it became too frustrating to listen to the horrible narration. Once you begin noticing it, it's impossible to focus on the story.


    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scooter 07-25-14
    Scooter 07-25-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Worth the Colbert Bump"

    I think like most people, I was directed to this work because of Stephen Colbert. But also because this is a genre that I read a lot of.

    First of all, the narrator sounds like Lisa Simpson. She did a tolerable job, but I don't think she should make a career of narration.

    Second of all, this doesn't really deserve to be categorized as dystopian. Although that is ostensibly the story background, it's really a juvenile romance. Although the characters are supposed to be in their 30s, they act like they are still in high school...except maybe for the psychopathic serial killer.

    Not recommended.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Jay New York 07-27-14
    Andrew Jay New York 07-27-14 Member Since 2014

    agj1023

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Much ado about nothing"
    What disappointed you about California?

    As I said, much ado about nothing. Not to mention the narration is terrible. Totally wrong cadence.


    What didn’t you like about Emma Galvin’s performance?

    Awful


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Orange County, CA 09-19-14
    Amazon Customer Orange County, CA 09-19-14 Member Since 2009

    Sandikal

    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    467
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My Rating is Solely for the Narration"

    I gave up on this book at chapter 7, 3-1/2 hours into it. I just can't take the narration. It's distracting and it's impossible to follow the story. Emma Galvin sounds too much like a teenager for a story featuring a woman in her late twenties. She also pauses too long for commas and periods. One should not be able to hear the punctuation. She's probably a good narrator for a young adult novel, but not for this. I've listened to over 300 audiobooks and this is one of the worst narrations I've heard.

    I gave the story three stars. I think I might like to read it in print someday. It seems like it might be good, but not in audio.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "why did I bother?"
    What disappointed you about California?

    it turned out to be a story about "not much at all" by the 6th hour into the book it became painfully obvious that nothing exciting was going to happen other than just the same old dull chatter. and by the 11th hour I was just finding myself watching the timer hoping the end would come soon.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Edan Lepucki again?

    probably not!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Emma Galvin’s performances?

    definitely not!


    What character would you cut from California?

    maybe the question should be "what character would I add to the story?"...the story really lacked anybody exciting I could connect with!


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krista 07-15-14
    Krista 07-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Story, Very Poor Narration"
    What made the experience of listening to California the most enjoyable?

    The story managed to be both charming and gripping. I listened almost non-stop and didn't lose interest until the last fifteen minutes. The ending was anti-climactic, at best, and left me wanting more of the relationship dynamics and the tension among the inhabitants of The Land.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emma Galvin?

    Actually, the narrator's voice would have worked if she had read well. It seemed as if she didn't even look over the book before she begin narrating. Some of the poorest reading I've ever heard, her misplacement of punctuation and the halting way she spoke, was ultimately detrimental to the story.


    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TW Brown, Author, Editor, and Reviewer Estacada, Oregon 11-01-14 Member Since 2013

    Todd W. Brown

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    52
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just okay..."

    Okay, don't let the 3 stars fool you. There is a lot to like about this book, but a lot NOT to like. It has a real Cormac MaCarthy feel as you are slowly introduced to a world where it is obvious that things have gone terribly wrong. You are never told exactly what took place to put everything in a tailspin. Instead, you are given nuggets as the narrator weaves the story through the eyes of Frida.

    One of my issues with this book is the lack of a character to actually like. Nobody has any charm about them, and Frida makes the same mistakes over and over, including at the very end to the point of frustrating the reader to a point of distraction.

    Perhaps you will enjoy it. But go in with reservations. Heed some of the other reviews that are less than glowing. I think this title remains obscure without Stephen Colbert's "bump".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan 07-30-14
    Jordan 07-30-14

    santjordi

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I guess since it is fantasy, anything goes . . . ."
    Would you try another book from Edan Lepucki and/or Emma Galvin?

    Overall, the characters' behavior is too illogical and impetuous. They behave in inexplicable ways and in the end, the novel falls apart because you have to think, "No, she wouldn't do that" or, "He wouldn't say that"


    I thought Emma Galvin was one of the more successful readers I have heard.She is consistently clear and doesn't try accents or "voices". You can easily follow a conversation that different characters are speaking, but it isn't because of "ACTING!".


    Has California turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I am not a huge fan of speculative fiction. This novel had received such interesting notices in advance, that I was intrigued. Having completed this, I am less likely to attempt more of it.


    Have you listened to any of Emma Galvin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Do you think California needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I was too happy to leave California in the dust. And I live here. There was a lot of potential that was left unfulfilled. I kind of feel that the novel was rushed and could have used more time to have been developed and the characters to be fleshed out/ made to behave consistently.


    Any additional comments?

    Honestly my problem is with the book, not the recording

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    annika700 Up North Michigan, USA 12-07-14
    annika700 Up North Michigan, USA 12-07-14 Member Since 2013

    annika700

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great beginnings, predictable ending..."
    Would you try another book from Edan Lepucki and/or Emma Galvin?

    I'm so happy that this audio book was a free offering to me as had I been required to pay for it, I would have requested a refund. I approached this book with genuine interest, but was quickly disappointed both in story line and narration. The book has a great beginning and I was genuinely interested in the story line until the main characters defy warnings (of course) to go to a "forbidden land." They should have stayed where they were and developed a different story line as this is where the story falls apart.


    Did Emma Galvin do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Emma Galvin may appeal to listeners who expect that almost every sentence goes up at the end, that attention punctuation is a non-issue and that character differentiation is unnecessary. I found her narration style grating, irritating and a discredit to the author. She repeatedly paused and gave sentence endings mid-sentence which was distracting. Perhaps she was chosen to narrate to give a "new age" feel to the book. I'm not certain why anyone would want her to narrate. Occasionally, she rose to the occasion of a story teller, but those moments were far and few in between. Will definitely not listen to any book she narrates in the future.


    Do you think California needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. It appears that the destruction of modern man has been complete and that sections of it rebuilt.


    Any additional comments?

    This book lacked direction and deep development.

    1 of 1 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.