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The Double Bind | [Chris Bohjalian]

The Double Bind

When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle, her life is changed forever. She withdraws into her photography hobby and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a box of photographs he won't let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that he was once a successful photographer. As her fascination begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a dark family secret.
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Publisher's Summary

As the New York Times has said, "Few writers can manipulate a plot with [Chris] Bohjalian's grace and power." Now he is back with an ambitious new novel that travels between Jay Gatsby's Long Island and rural New England, between the Roaring 20s and the 21st century.

When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont's back roads, her life is changed forever. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography hobby and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won't let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that before he was homeless, he was a successful photographer.

As Laurel's fascination with Bobbie's former life begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a dark family secret.

In this spellbinding literary thriller, rich with complex and compelling characters, Chris Bohjalian takes listeners on his most intriguing, most haunting, and most unforgettable journey yet.

©2007 Chris Bohjalian; (P)2007 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"A tricky and intriguing premise." (Publishers Weekly)
"This elegantly crafted tale is well worth delving into." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (306 )
5 star
 (66)
4 star
 (94)
3 star
 (82)
2 star
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1 star
 (29)
Overall
3.7 (73 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
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3 star
 (17)
2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Story
3.7 (71 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (26)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Billie Lee Orenbuch Abington, PA, US 02-19-07
    Billie Lee Orenbuch Abington, PA, US 02-19-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent Psychological Thriller"

    The story seems to fit into what I have begun to think of as a genre written specifically for people in the field of psychotherapy. The Interpretation of Murder was also in that genre. It's a mystery with a characteristically psychological twist. Whether based on fact or fiction, it works when it's well developed, as The Double Bind is.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 03-25-07
    Linda 03-25-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    155
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Disappointing Narrator"

    I wish I'd read this book instead of listened (first time I've felt that way). The narrator is so stiff and disconnected from her material that it distracted me from the writing. There's an interesting story with a whopper of a surprise ending, but I don't recommend this version. Read it instead.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 03-27-08
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 03-27-08 Member Since 2002

    Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    210
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    102
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Only A Single"

    This novel resurrects F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and imagines what may have happened to a second child born to Daisy and Tom Buchanan. Is this literary license where all the characters accept the premise that Daisy and Tom were real people or is something else afoot? Some listeners may find the plot twist clever, but I found it unsatisfying. A second listen didn't help. Three stars for the innovative premise and for keeping me hooked until the disappointing ending.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbi El Segundo, CA, United States 04-03-07
    Debbi El Segundo, CA, United States 04-03-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    291
    12
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    0
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    Overall
    "A waste of time"

    Could have been an interesting and intriguing read/listen but was extremely disappointing. The ending was so stupid and simplistic that the author shoud have just settled for, "a miracle happened and everyone lived happily ever after." It would have been more believeable than the author's feeble attempt to end the so-called story.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lara Calgary, Alberta, Canada 05-08-08
    Lara Calgary, Alberta, Canada 05-08-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    67
    4
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    1
    Overall
    "Simply Boring"

    The simplistic and cliche dialog prevented me from tolerating what could have been a half-decent story and plot. I didn't even download the second half.

    Better give this a miss - unless you're a budding novelist and want some tips on how not to write.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine new Milford, CT, USA 09-01-07
    Christine new Milford, CT, USA 09-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    13
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    0
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    Overall
    "Thriller"

    Just can't put this one down, surprise ending, but harsh disturbing topics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bleedblue Southeast 07-04-07
    Bleedblue Southeast 07-04-07 Member Since 2007

    Love to shop

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    "A Good Read"

    I really enjoyed The Double Bind. It kept me interested throughout listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PaintPots The Hague Netherlands 06-10-07
    PaintPots The Hague Netherlands 06-10-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    248
    20
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    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Overall
    "Slow going"

    I slugged my way through this book but did get to the end. The plot premise is interesting, mostly in retrospect. Should be abridged so it is half as long. Then maybe the interesting bits could stand out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 04-23-07
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 04-23-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    380
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    158
    66
    FOLLOWERS
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    29
    0
    Overall
    "Bad narration for weak book"

    Out of the several years I have subscribed to audible, this is the first narrator that I have just hated - her voice is lifeless and stilted and takes away from an already marginal book. The author was just not good enough to pull off this premise - too many silly or stereotypical details and not enough substance - and the narrator separates the listener even farther from the characters. This may be an OK book, but was a dud of a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA 04-10-07
    Stephen Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA 04-10-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Ugh"

    I had no trouble with the narrator, and thought the story was just fine. I was curious about how things would play out, as the author had painted himself into a number of corners, and, no doubt, would come up with some clever explanation for things that appeared to have happened.

    Those that gave up on the book partway cheated themselves. They thought they were reading a bad book. Had they continued on to the end, though, they could have truly appreciated just what a horrible book this was.

    When a reader expends a certain amount of time reading (or listening to) a story, the author should at least show a little respect for the reader. This author failed at that.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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