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 Burgess Boys Audiobook

The Burgess Boys: A Novel

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan - the Burgess sibling who stayed behind - urgently calls them home.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, March 2013 - Jim and Bob Burgess escaped their Maine hometown just as soon as they could…but now their nephew’s ‘antics’ have brought them back home where they’re forced to relive the accident that killed their father and deal with the (not-so-pretty) realities of their relationships. Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her last book, Olive Kitteridge, which I loved, so my expectations were high for this new novel. Similar to Olive, the protagonists here aren’t necessarily likeable, but the character studies are so insightful, so raw and real, you can’t help but be drawn in – especially with Cassandra Campbell at the helm. —Diana D., Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan - the Burgess sibling who stayed behind - urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with listeners long after the ausiobook is over. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

©2013 Elizabeth Strout (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Deeply human... Though loneliness and loss haunt these pages, Strout also supplies gentle humor and a nourishing dose of hope.” (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (745 )
5 star
 (186)
4 star
 (271)
3 star
 (179)
2 star
 (65)
1 star
 (44)
Overall
3.6 (643 )
5 star
 (169)
4 star
 (199)
3 star
 (161)
2 star
 (70)
1 star
 (44)
Story
3.9 (638 )
5 star
 (214)
4 star
 (227)
3 star
 (130)
2 star
 (40)
1 star
 (27)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Joyce McKenney 05-19-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love Elizabeth Strout's writing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, and I already have.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Burgess Boys?

    When the woman was going to leave America and go home, the discussion of family values here in America and what she wants to return to, having family.


    What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

    I did like it but she needs to re-record and learn the correct pronunciations of Orono and Bangor. Here in Maine we put the emphasis on first syllable of both city names. The way she pronounced Orono was particularly wrong. Why don't narrators do some research about place names??? This really bothered me.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    As I said before, the discussion about family values in America vs. those of some other countries. Also, how the Burgess family became more of a family then ever before in many years.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 01-13-14
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 01-13-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    404
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    320
    311
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    30
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meandering, unlikable characters... couldn't finis"

    I really enjoyed Elizabeth Strout's "Abide with Me." When I found THe Burgess Boys on Audible, read by Cassandra Campbell, I thought it would be a worthwhile read. I've gotten only 2hrs of the way through, and I... just... don't... care. Strout is a talented author, who can seamlessly weave together strands of everyday life and dialogue into her stories, but I don't like (or cannot relate to) any of the Burgess siblings: Bob is like a wounded puppy, Jim is a big pushy bully, and I just can't figure Susan out (who cares that her tenant stays in her pajamas all day?)
    Many others have read this book and enjoyed it, but I just couldn't with this one. I still have Olive Kitteridge and Amy and Isabelle on my wishlist, so I ahve not given up on this author entirely... but this one just didn't do it for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine THORNLIE, Australia 10-25-13
    Christine THORNLIE, Australia 10-25-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow. Naration was very good but the story wasn't"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Substance


    Has The Burgess Boys turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, just this author


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It only became interesting at around chapter eight, but it was short lived.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany Potomac Falls, VA 09-19-13
    Tiffany Potomac Falls, VA 09-19-13 Member Since 2013

    reading world

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not worth your time"
    What disappointed you about The Burgess Boys?

    I enjoyed Olive Kitteridge, so I thought why not listen to another of Strout's books but this book was so boring I just wanted it to be over. Everything in the story was predictable.


    Has The Burgess Boys turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    What didn’t you like about Cassandra Campbell’s performance?

    it was fine


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Burgess Boys?

    so much it is hard to say


    Any additional comments?

    Sorry, I just did not think the writing was very good. Best of luck with a new book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 09-08-13
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    70
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty good"

    A great story but didn't always keep me engrossed. Not sure why. The performance was good, so it must be the writing. Sorry, Elizabeth Burgess, i know you're a successful writer. I just wasn't all that engaged throughout.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 09-01-13
    Laura 09-01-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    255
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring Narration"
    Any additional comments?

    I cannot tell if I would have liked the story had the narration been better. Some of her voices were okay, but it was dull, especially in-between the dialogue. I cannot put my finger on it - the voice was nice, but it was just so slow and kind of depressing. I am having a really hard time getting through it and probably will not finish it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penni St Andrews, Australia 06-18-13
    Penni St Andrews, Australia 06-18-13 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A family story, whispered in your ear by a friend"

    This beautiful story, not just about the Burgess Boys, Bob and Jim, but their sad sister Susan, unravels with a slow, drawling fascination. Prefaced by another character entirely, who then silently haunts the book, building this story into myth, this novel entangled me and I was gutted when it was over.

    Elizabeth Strout writes novels you live in for a while. You can walk around her towns and city blocks, you have the opportunity to inhabit any one of a number of psychologically rich characters. Her characters are flawed - racist, angry, sad, blinded by privilege or burdened with lack - and yet you forgive all of them ultimately because it is lonely and confusing to be human, connected and disconnected simultaneously to those around you, and to the things you live with.

    Highly recommended. I also enjoyed the audiobook of Strout's Abide With Me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mia 03-29-13
    Mia 03-29-13 Member Since 2015

    I am a miracle worker. Doing what I can to choose love over fear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    144
    138
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Had perfectly written moments close to Yates"
    What did you like best about The Burgess Boys? What did you like least?

    I liked the moments when the author created magic with sentences and a plot turning from fiction to an almost suspense pain. I do not enjoy abridged books, but it was too much time and not even Yates could have made this sometimes painfully slow story into a five-star experience.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I`d turn the three divided books into one then made it 150 pages shorter. More magic!


    Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell – was your favorite?

    Pam.


    Could you see The Burgess Boys being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    kirby Heyborne as Zack, Peter Krause as Bob, Matt Dillon as Bill and Lauren Graham as the sad Susan.


    Any additional comments?

    could be perfect.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHRISTIE LOVE 01-28-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept Waiting for it to improve"

    Not sure why I didn't return it. Only good part was the last 10 minutes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Walter 01-03-16
    John Walter 01-03-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Okay"

    Well written story with great themes, I'm sixteen so it was boring to me though.

    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.