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The Descendants Audiobook
The Descendants
Written by: 
Kaui Hart Hemmings
Narrated by: 
Jonathan Davis
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The Descendants Audiobook

The Descendants

The Descendants is now in Channels.
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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

4.1 (1150 )
5 star
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4.1 (1015 )
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Story
4.2 (1011 )
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3 star
 (127)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
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  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 08-04-13
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 08-04-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    735
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    539
    311
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    "Of Course, Better Than The Movie"

    This was interesting to listen to, even after having seen the movie. (Did I hear George Clooney being on a T-Shirt or something in the book?) Reading this one really gets all the nuances not portrayed in the movie.

    I love the fact that this is written from the man's perspective. First, it is usually the man having the affair, not the reverse. It is also not surprising that the father is really clueless about what is really going on with his children, no less his daughters; but the mother is as well in this story. And so we hear what he is thinking about; his dawning recognition of how his wife has mishandled not only their marriage but also raising their children.

    The narration was not demanding and therefore, fine. There is nothing spectacular about the performance, but it certainly was done without problems.

    Even if you have seen the movie, but especially if you haven't, this is a great tale about families. The good parts, and the bad. Very enjoyable book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 03-20-13
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    295
    ratings
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    357
    171
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    7
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    Story
    "How did this make such a good movie?"

    There's something sadly missing here. The movie was sad, clunky and kind of neat because it contrasted so well with the outward lives of these people.You could feel the limits and the lacks in them.

    It's really easy to hate the mean girl qualities in the adults as well as the children. And some how, without George Cluny's eyes, much harder to forgive.

    I may or may not finish this book. So far, I want to do vile things to these very unredeemed and unredeemable brats in paradise.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Johnstown, PA, United States 06-07-12
    Carol Johnstown, PA, United States 06-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    8
    7
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just ok."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I don't think so. The charcters were not very compelling.


    What was most disappointing about Kaui Hart Hemmings’s story?

    I really didn't grow to like the mother, around whom the plot revolved.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis – was your favorite?

    The father.


    Did The Descendants inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Disappointing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TooSassy1 06-24-12
    TooSassy1 06-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    59
    11
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    0
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    Story
    "This was made into a movie??? REALLY???"

    I didn't know much about the story line before I read this book, because I wanted to be surprised. I knew it was about a Father's relationship with his children, and that something happened to the wife. I also knew it was made into a movie with George Clooney, so I expected a really good story. NOT!

    I came away with a great sense of sadness, wondering why anyone would even write a book about watching somebody die. I've done that, and it's NOT fun!!!

    I don't think the story really told anything serious about being a Hawaiian Descendent, other than the desire to preserve the State. Kudos for that.

    The growing/bonding experience between the Father and his children could have been stimulated by anything and I think it would have been better. Yes, that part was funny and meaningful.

    I could go on... but I won't. I will NOT recommend the book; and I can only hope the writers REWROTE THE STORY for the movie. There are way too many GOOD stories out there, without going here!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Albany, NY, United States 06-17-16
    Barbara Albany, NY, United States 06-17-16 Member Since 2011

    Since taking my first creative writing class in 2008 the pleasure I used to get from reading has been greatly reduced. I notice things I never noticed before. That said, I think I rate books pretty generously. Anyone who actually manages to write a whole book and then get it published deserves an extra star.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    91
    52
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    "Dealing with life in the wake of tragedy"

    Matt King concentrated on his law career, choosing not to involve himself with decisions made by his wife - about their daughters, their marital relationship and more. When she is seriously injured in a boating accident, he steps up to the challenge of an uncertain future with practicality, sorrow, confusion, determination and humor. Good movie (with George Clooney). Loved the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan 05-23-16
    Morgan 05-23-16
    ratings
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    5
    1
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    Story
    "Great Story..."

    Not personally a fine of the narrator, but I got past it and loved the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Indiana, USA 03-02-16
    Loren Indiana, USA 03-02-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
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    39
    32
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    1
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    Story
    "Chick Book - Big Time."

    This may be the biggest chick book I have ever listened to from Audible.

    While it’s written (by a woman author) in the first person from the perspective of the husband, the first hour of this book is ALL about emotions and relationships. Virtually NOTHING happens. I can’t comment about the story beyond the first hour because I gave up at that point.

    I’m surprised at the men who have enjoyed this book. Maybe it gets a lot better after the first hour, but I just couldn’t put up with any more of this pathetic husband’s whining.

    – Loren

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-21-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    0
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    "Left me hanging"

    Did not like the way it ended.
    Or maybe it did not download completely. Also, I did not like the way each chapter was began with a quip from the title of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana 02-25-15
    Jana 02-25-15 Member Since 2011

    I love listening to audio books on my commute to and from work

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    1
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    "Great book"

    The book was great, but I was disappointed at the narrators mispronunciation of many of the Hawaiian words and places.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Smith Waialua, Hawaii United States 02-23-15
    Caroline Smith Waialua, Hawaii United States 02-23-15 Member Since 2015

    traffic

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Many words mispronounced"

    So many words we're mispronounced. Couldn't someone have checked on pronunciation of Hawaiian and local words? Has anybody else noticed this?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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