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.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
The Descendants | [Kaui Hart Hemmings]

The Descendants

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex is a recovering drug addict.
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 -

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

Now a major motion picture starring George Clooney!

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. His thrill-seeking and high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat racing accident, and will soon be taken off life support.

The King family can hardly picture life without their charismatic mother, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them - and spurs them into surprising actions.

©2007 Kaui Hart Hemmings. All rights reserved. (P)2010 BBC America Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Matt's journey with his girls forms the emotional core of this sharply observed, frequently hilarious and intermittently heartbreaking look at a well-meaning but confused father trying to hold together his unconventional family." (Publishers Weekly)

"[An] audaciously comic début novel.... Hemmings channels the voice of her befuddled middle-aged hero with virtuosity, as he teeters between acerbic and sentimental, scoffing at himself even as he grasps for redemption." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (786 )
5 star
 (285)
4 star
 (317)
3 star
 (136)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (21)
Overall
4.1 (682 )
5 star
 (272)
4 star
 (254)
3 star
 (107)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (23)
Story
4.2 (678 )
5 star
 (306)
4 star
 (263)
3 star
 (76)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-18-13
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    319
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    189
    116
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    35
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story limited by the viewpoint"

    I am surprised I did find much to like about this book because I generally dislike stories told in the first person present viewpoint. The limitations of this viewpoint, especially the difficulty of sustaining it over a long story, do catch up with the author. It was hard to feel connected to a story when you really couldn't "see" it. Setting and description are limited. Matt, the viewpoint character, felt flat and shallow. And not too bright for an attorney. I did love the secondary characters, especially daughters and Sid. The narrator was good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle Lodi, CA, United States 02-16-14
    Gayle Lodi, CA, United States 02-16-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    186
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy listening"

    I'm finding it hard to write a review without divulging the story. I can say that I think the narrator does a really good job. He appropriately voices with sensitivity and humor, and even the female voices sound natural.

    That being said, this might be a case where the movie is more enjoyable than the audiobook. George Clooney - just saying!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 03-04-13
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 03-04-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    168
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    279
    105
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really Amazing"
    What did you love best about The Descendants?

    This is one strong and amazing story. A father trying to reconnect with his children and come to terms with losing his spouse (who, he finds out, was leaving him all along). Beautifully written and deeply touching. Highly recommend.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 02-14-13
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2009

    Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant

    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    92
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A story you can connect with"

    I’m not sure what to make of this book. I found myself enjoying it despite the fact that I hate pretty much every character in it! A couple of spoiled brats, and absent father, and a stoned boyfriend don’t make for a likable bunch but the story is so well written and engaging I couldn’t help liking it and wanting to read on. The plight they find themselves in is heartbreaking but the journey they take really got me thinking more than a book has in a while.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 11-29-12
    KP Oakland, CA 11-29-12 Member Since 2006

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    225
    96
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well-written and funny!"

    I'd already seen the movie version when I read this book. I am trying to think of some ways that the book is different. It's hard to come up with any. SO, I Googled it! Here's one idea I came up with (see below), but I don't know if I agree with the part about how the movie villainizes Matt's wife. I thought she seemed pretty villainous in the book! I can't really remember how she was different in the movie, frankly. My friend who is teaching this book says that in the movie Julie, the wife, does NOT try to push that one developer as the buyer of the family land that is about to be sold off. I thought she DID do the same in the book and the movie on that point. I guess I need to review the movie!

    "The loss of internal narrative always makes the transition from book to movie difficult, and this is no exception. Unlike the novel, the movie virtually villainizes Matt’s wife and paints a far more negative picture of his relationship with her. The novel allows for a much more nuanced version of this story, and this is Hemmings’s most impressive literary feat: she brings to life a character that is comatose for the entire novel. Payne chooses not to do this, and I think this is the major flaw of the film; it makes Matt’s grief a little less complex (if she was such a witch and he was so unhappy, why such a tearful goodbye?), though it makes Alexandra’s anger much more accessible.".... onthedanforth.ca

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl PENGILLY, MN, United States 09-24-12
    Cheryl PENGILLY, MN, United States 09-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great narration!!!"

    I saw the movie a while back , but enjoyed the book more. ( although who doesn't like looking at George Clooney). I thought the narrator sounded like George so it was a very enjoyable experience. Good story but darker than we expected when we saw the movie, but knowing the story , it was fun to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy hilo, HI, United States 12-06-11
    Judy hilo, HI, United States 12-06-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "entertaining BUT..."
    What did you love best about The Descendants?

    great story about love.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    learn to pronounce hawaiian words correctly, as a kamaaina would.


    Any additional comments?

    they couldn't even pronounce the author's name correctly.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison 06-22-14
    Alison 06-22-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm an Aspen, CO based journalist/aspiring novelist and love to listen to popular fiction to get a sense of what's currently on the market!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kaui Hart Hemmings needs to write more books!"
    What did you love best about The Descendants?

    Always blown away when a female author can write from a first-person, male point of view. This beautiful, subtle story about family and tragedy and the nuances of familial love and the complexity of marriage is a rare, delicious find. Also love the sense of place -- like spending time in Hawaii ... I never wanted to leave! Kaui Hart Hemmings is the first writer I've found in a long time that I want to see more from. She's outstanding.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Mechanicsville, VA, United States 05-30-14
    Amazon Customer Mechanicsville, VA, United States 05-30-14 Member Since 2012

    A consumer of mystery, business, and social science books. Everyday means a new book and new learning!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Even better than the movie!"
    If you could sum up The Descendants in three words, what would they be?

    Touching, Powerful, Humorous


    What did you like best about this story?

    The emotions it evokes in the reader as you go along on this journey.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nolan Malone Hawai'i 04-06-14
    Nolan Malone Hawai'i 04-06-14 Member Since 2005

    Books have always been an escape for me: initially from studies, now from over-working. A good story-teller will always get my attention.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    147
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maika'i loa"
    If you could sum up The Descendants in three words, what would they be?

    Brave, honest, and provocative.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As someone who still has much to learn about Hawai'i, its people, and its history, even I tire at the endless cliches and myths that generally get recycled in books, television programs, and films. Ms. Hemmings' book conveys a part of Hawai'i culture that is rarely portrayed and is perhaps a bit uncomfortable to read. Oddly enough, although the circumstances presented may be unique to Hawai'i, the internal struggles of the characters are likely far more universal.


    What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

    I think Mr. Davis did an outstanding job with some amazing material. My one wish, however, is that the producers had provided some guidance on the pronunciation of the Hawaiian and pidgin words in the text.


    If you could rename The Descendants, what would you call it?

    Actually, the title was quite perfect.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 43 results PREVIOUS1235NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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.