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Indiscretion: A Novel | [Charles Dubow]

Indiscretion: A Novel

Harry and Madeleine Winslow have been blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is a National Book Award-winning author on the cusp of greatness. Madeleine is a woman of sublime beauty and grace whose elemental goodness and serenity belie a privileged upbringing. Bonded by deep devotion, they share a love that is both envied and admired. The Winslows play host to a coterie of close friends and acolytes eager to bask in their golden radiance, whether they are in their bucolic East Hampton cottage, abroad in Rome thanks to Harry's writing grant, or in their comfortable Manhattan brownstone.
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Publisher's Summary

"Every story has a narrator. Someone who writes it down after it's all over. Why am I the narrator of this story? I am because it is the story of my life - and of the people I love most...."

Harry and Madeleine Winslow have been blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is a National Book Award-winning author on the cusp of greatness. Madeleine is a woman of sublime beauty and grace whose elemental goodness and serenity belie a privileged upbringing. Bonded by deep devotion, they share a love that is both envied and admired. The Winslows play host to a coterie of close friends and acolytes eager to bask in their golden radiance, whether they are in their bucolic East Hampton cottage, abroad in Rome thanks to Harry's writing grant, or in their comfortable Manhattan brownstone.

One weekend at the start of the summer season, Harry and Maddy, who are in their early 40s, meet Claire and cannot help but be enchanted by her winsome youth, quiet intelligence, and disarming naivete. Drawn by the Winslows' inscrutable magnetism, Claire eagerly falls into their welcoming orbit. But over the course of the summer, her reverence transforms into a dangerous desire. By Labor Day, it is no longer enough to remain one of their hangers-on.

A story of love, lust, deception, and betrayal as seen through the omniscient eyes of Maddy's childhood friend Walter, a narrator akin to Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Indiscretion is a juicy, richly textured novel filled with fascinating, true-to-life characters - an irresistibly sensual page-turner that explores having it all and the consequences of wanting more.

Indiscretion also marks the debut of a remarkably gifted writer and storyteller whose unique voice bears all the hallmarks of an exciting new literary talent.

©2013 Charles Dubow (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (48 )
5 star
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3.8 (40 )
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4.3 (40 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-06-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-06-13 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Henry James is probably not even bothering to roll"

    Ugh. I read this book because from the reviews it seemed like a modern attempt at a Henry James/Edith Wharton examination of love, adultery and the Hamptons. Plus, supposedly this guy worked with Christopher Buckley. How bad could it all be?

    OK, so I finished it and can say with authority that the only thing worse than Dubow's Lucasesque dialogue was the book's predictable plot and the cliche after horrible cliche Dubow employed. Henry James is probably not even bothering to roll in his literary grave because this book is barely worth that amount of effort.

    As a freshman effort, I seriously recommend the author go back to whatever Bloomberg or BusinessWeek hole he crawled out of. Seriously, and I'm not trying to be mean here, the number of positive reviews given to this book is clear evidence of exactly how LOW our expectations have fallen.

    So yes, I should have abandoned it 1/4 of the way through. Some mistakes (like syphilis) you just have to live with, I guess.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-26-13
    Dorothy Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating and disturbing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Be sure you have a big block of time because you can't shut it off. The narrator is fabulous - one of the very best! Very captivating book with lots to think about.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Wasn't crazy about any of them. The character development in this novel exposes everyone's flaws.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Dinner in Paris


    If you could take any character from Indiscretion out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Clair, because I don't understand why she considers herself completely blameless.


    Any additional comments?

    Order it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 02-21-13
    Robert Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Infidelity's Power to Destroy"

    This is a compelling story told of an all too real and common situation.

    A successful and charismatic man and wife with a precious son form the Norman Rockwell ideal family. Walter, a friend of the family's with a lifelong unrequited love for Harry's wife Maddie, tells the story of this family and the way people are drawn by the gravitational pull of their 'have it all' lifestyle.

    Claire, a bit younger and naive, but fully woman and temptress, is the interloper drawn to Harry. Eventually, Harry succumbs to her charms and she lavishes all her sensual powers on him. Harry is blinded temporarily by the excitement of it all.

    THEN....Harry's infidelity is discovered by his wife and the devastation spreads at an accelerating rate. The dependable lifelong friend Walter is there to support Maddie but he can only truly hold her hand as time and grief consumes her.

    All is lost by Harry's foolish infidelity. His moment of weakness is a flashpoint to the devastation for so many people.

    It's a superbly written story and the narration is fantastic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 03-20-13
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2009
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    Story
    "Could not avert my ears"

    Like watching a train wreck, you are mesmerized. I wish the publisher's review had not revealed so much, so I hate to do the same...but if you are reading this, you already read the other reviews and know. This is a story of infidelity and its catastrophic results. And yet, it is more simply because the author does an incredible job making the characters come to life. Making even the stupidest actions understandable. You KNOW this people, so when bad things happen, you FEEL their pain and anguish. Can't wait for more from the same author.

    The narrator is pitch perfect. Excellent performance.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Woodside, CA, United States 04-30-13
    Elizabeth Woodside, CA, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2002
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    "Not as Advertised-Buyer Beware!"
    What would have made Indiscretion better?

    More fully developed characters, especially in Claire, would have made the book better.


    What about Robert Petkoff’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was excellent with great intonation, appropriate emphasis and pronunciation.


    Any additional comments?

    Was unable to get past "the dinner in Paris" section. The writing, although descriptive, was too obvious, as were the characters. Cannot recommend this book to a friend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SCM Los Angeles, CA 04-12-13
    SCM Los Angeles, CA 04-12-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Dreary, depressing, and basic"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Chosen a different book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Indiscretion?

    The entire final act. It had nothing unexpected, and degenerated into a pit of unpleasant cliche.


    Any additional comments?

    How this book got high ratings is beyond my comprehension. The story is nothing more than a glorified Lifetime or Hallmark network movie of the week. The characters are weakly developed and almost cartoons except there is no humor in the book at all. Not one thing happens that isn't telegraphed, and listening is like some sort of water torture where we're just waiting for the next painful drip. There are some small vignettes of good writing in terms of observing and documenting some of life's little conundrums but beyond that this story has nothing to offer but an unpleasant, dour, finger wagging moralistic lesson on infidelity that we've heard a million times before.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brock DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain 04-12-13
    Brock DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain 04-12-13 Member Since 2012

    So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Indiscretion Destroys Lives"

    I thought the story was well written and it kept my attention, like watching a train wreck. The story is obviously about an affair, and Dubow does a great job of making the jilted spouse a very likeable character. As the secret encounters were taking place I felt so sad for him/her (gotta leave a little surprise for you). It wasn't a romance you could cheer for, or even feel satisfied with. Nothing that happened from that point on was able to redeem this book for me, in fact it all kept going downhill in my opinion.

    I would only recommend this book to someone currently considering an extra-marital affair. It does a good job of showing that after the initial excitement you'll be left with a lot of agony.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi Chattanooga, TN, United States 01-14-14
    Jodi Chattanooga, TN, United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sure surprised me!"

    I wasn't sure what to expect but this book hooked me. I love listening to Robert Petkoff and could do so for all books I listen to. He does an awesome job narrating this book. I found myself going through so many emotions with this book. I don't want to give any spoilers by going through any of it. I would recommend this book. I found it well written, very well read (as only Robert Petkoff could do) and look forward to Charles Dubow's next novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Chapel Hill, NC, United States 08-18-13
    Robert Chapel Hill, NC, United States 08-18-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heart breaking yet uplifting. Beautifully plotted"
    What about Robert Petkoff’s performance did you like?

    Amazing ability to inhabit the voices and personalities of the various and diverse main characters: an uncommon accomplishment. Astonishing portrayal of Richard Burton.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline Pighini San Jose, CA United States 05-18-13
    Jacqueline Pighini San Jose, CA United States 05-18-13 Member Since 2012

    Jacqui libre cognoscente

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    "Excellent!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Indiscretion to be better than the print version?

    In the beginning, I thought I had stumbled on a pornographic novel because of the explicit sex portrayed but I soon was enthralled by the author having just the right words. All in all, this was beautifully written and I enjoyed it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Indiscretion?

    The sex acts


    Which character – as performed by Robert Petkoff – was your favorite?

    Walter


    Who was the most memorable character of Indiscretion and why?

    Maddy because of Walter's undying love for her.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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