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The Returned Audiobook
The Returned
Written by: 
Jason Mott
Narrated by: 
Tom Stechschulte
 >   > 
The Returned Audiobook

The Returned: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

"Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That's what all the Returned were."

Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds healed through the grace of time.... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep - flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargraves find themselves at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

©2013 Jason Mott (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (443 )
5 star
 (99)
4 star
 (147)
3 star
 (134)
2 star
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1 star
 (26)
Overall
3.5 (410 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (401 )
5 star
 (137)
4 star
 (162)
3 star
 (72)
2 star
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1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    M. Anderson MN 09-03-14
    M. Anderson MN 09-03-14 Member Since 2015

    The Danger Bunny

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Was sucked in immediately"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended this book to friends and I will continue to do so. This book is not only a captivating book to listen to, it opens your mind to so many other possibilities about life, death and the human condition.


    What other book might you compare The Returned to and why?

    I have never read or listened to another book like tis one. It is a very unique story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't think that I could choose any one part of this book to be my favorite. Every chapeter brought something new and something honest and deep with it.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Returned and why?

    The father I believe was the most memorable in my mind. The way he said one thing yet his actions were a complete contrast to that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter harris 08-03-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pointless"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. It was read very well, but the story itself was filled with too many cliches, and it did not go anywhere. It also seemed to be written to a very old audience. The most frustrating thing about it was the very idea of the returned. A very intriguing idea, that would require a fantastic explanation, only the writer never offers one. Instead - these people who just reappear in the world as the same people they were when they originally left it - seem to serve no purpose at all before they just randomly leave - just disappear - again.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Moby Dick, if I can get this Audible app to download my purchase to my phone.


    Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. I did enjoy him very much though. I have witnessed the destruction of perfectly good story lines, by horrible narration. So, I appreciate good narration.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    These audible books are priced too highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-01-14
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-01-14 Member Since 2014

    jesuva

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "I wanted to like it more than I did"
    Any additional comments?

    What a great premise! I had hoped and thought it would explore really interesting and difficult questions about how we view death, and what death is and what there is or is not beyond life. It seemed like these issues would be explored, but I felt that they just got basically ignored in favor of a strange mixutre of matter of factness and stereotyped character types. I guess I enjoyed the story but was left very dissatisfied- really no questions were answered, and far too few were even discussed. The end was kind of not even there. What was the author's message? what did he want to leave in our minds and hearts to consider and either agree with or reject? If the answer is just- "I have no idea, form your own opinion" then...I could have done that w/o reading. Sorry to sound so negative- I would read another book by this author, but hope he would think through the bigger issues and use them to inform and frame the story a little more effectively.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Dover, NH, United States 06-03-14
    Jennifer Dover, NH, United States 06-03-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story!"

    I wouldn't have read the book if I hadn't seen the TV show, but I'm glad I did. It was a great story and a good narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgette Goacher San Antonio, TX 05-22-14
    Georgette Goacher San Antonio, TX 05-22-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The TV series is so much better than this book"
    Would you try another book from Jason Mott and/or Tom Stechschulte?

    No I will not try another book from Jason Mott


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

    No I still like this genre


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

    sure


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

    this is only the 2nd time that I have thought the movie/tv series is better than the book. I like the TV series so I wanted to read the book. I assumed I would like the book but did not. Do not waste your time with this book. Its not that the book and the TV series does not match its that the book doesn't have much of a story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    arline 04-17-14
    arline 04-17-14 Member Since 2013

    Hi! I'm a Math Teacher who has always loved Books with a mysterious, scientific, or other-worldly flare! Time travelers are also fun!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No answers for the mystery"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend the book just because the concept itself spurred so many WHAT IF's !


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Returned?

    It would be a spoiler!


    Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No...my first. He was a good reader.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are the type that likes your book plots all wrapped up in a neat package, this one's not for you. But....Even though I really like a solid end to a book, I found the mystery of the who- what- when- where - how's actually spurred a lot more thoughts and ponderings after the book ended. More than if the author had wrapped up the ending in a neat package. It's been weeks since I finished the book and I'm still weighing what I thought about it. I loved the concept. Worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne 04-02-14
    Adrienne 04-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More interesting then the TV version."
    What did you love best about The Returned?

    The story from start to finish was about more than just the people coming back, it was about a family and a community dealing with the loss of a child, a loss that is not erased even if the child returns.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The new relationship between Harold and Jacob, and the sacrifices made.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

    Harold was my favorite character. His honest and raw reaction to his son's return really made me sympathetic to him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I've watched the French show The Returned and I'm currently watching the US version of the book - Resurrection. Mr. Mott's vision of the story really drew me in and made me finish the audio sooner than I had planned (binge listening). He drew a picture of the characters, the community, the "prison camp" and town that was easily visualized. Not sure if I like the twist the television series is taking away from Mr. Mott's original story line, but time will tell.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 03-26-14
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2016

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    339
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    323
    264
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    FOLLOWING
    25
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought Provoking"

    “The Returned” is a thought provoking story of surrounding a small town which turns into an internment camp for people who have returned from the dead (called the returned). Are the returned people? Do they have rights? The situation draws heated debates on both sides for and against, and it’s hard to ignore the parallels to debates in today’s society. The book follows a family who has had their son returned and how they deal (or don’t deal) with the situation and the town comes along for the ride. While outside of the normal type of book that I read I really enjoyed the thought provoking ideas and the development of the characters as they move through the story.

    Mr Stechschulte does a good job with all the characters and I really enjoyed his narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NevaehMiles 02-18-14
    NevaehMiles 02-18-14 Member Since 2011

    Living Life and Loving Reading (Listening to Books)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    29
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I expected more"

    I decided to read this book or shall I say listen to this book (I purchased the audible version) because of the recent commercials on television for a new television series called Resurrection which will be appearing on ABC. The television trailers looked interesting enough to spark my curiosity into the dynamics surrounding a loved one coming back from the dead and the paradigms presented if reintroduced into your life as if nothing has ever changed. How would you and the people around you handle the unique type of situation?

    Although, I enjoyed reading this book, it was not a good match for me because it appeals to the possibility of bring hope into your life then taking that hope away. I imagined this story would be much more; however, when you involve faith, morality, and ethics coupled with the fears of the world, it can present chaotic circumstances.

    I am on the fence with recommending this book. It depends on individual preference and how well you can deal with a phenomenon like the one presented in this book without knowing how and why they came back.

    I never once wanted to put this book down. I always wanted more….thinking and hoping to gain the perspective of the Returned but I was hopelessly lost in the end.

    I would reread (listen) this book again to see if I missed anything from the first read, maybe then I might have a different perception of the book and my review present different outlooks. Maybe I will see how the book relates to the new TV series coming in March. I wonder if my outlook will change.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leissa San Antonio, TX, United States 01-20-14
    Leissa San Antonio, TX, United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2009

    I LOVE audiobooks. Audible is the only way I read my favorite books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator does a good job with a weird story."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The listening experience was good. The book was just weird and the free previews that went along with it don't make it into the actual story really.


    What was most disappointing about Jason Mott’s story?

    I didn't like the direction of the story. It felt scattered. Characters were introduced and then dropped and their stories added nothing to the actual story.


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    I like his range and vocal talent.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    At least it didn't have a HORRIBLE ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Toby
    BEXLEYHEATH, United Kingdom
    9/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't ignore the obvious"

    Got this on an Audible recommendation, but it might be last time I do that.

    I understand that this story deals with a family during an 'incident', but there are glaring omissions that really weaken the back-story in my humble opinion. It's hard to care about the characters and their troubled emotions dealing with the 'Returned' when not a single person in the immediate or wider story suggests actually digging up a grave to see if the original bodies are still there.

    That said, the writing is good and the reader does a good job. I just didn't connect with the story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    2/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent! But quite different to the TV Series"

    I loved listening to this story. The narrator performs the different characters very well, most of which are southern American. I bought this audio book as I enjoyed watching the TV that is based on it. The story is quite different to that of the TV series, however it is still a great story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. P. D. Selman
    Kent, U.K.
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not the t.v. show"
    What made the experience of listening to The Returned the most enjoyable?

    I bought this book because I was enjoying the t.v. show 'Resurrection', which was based on this novel. The book is considerably different from the t.v. show and I enjoyed seeing the tale from a different, more global, viewpoint.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Henry was my favourite character because he seemed the most conflicted about the supernatural events occurring in his home town. I could really believe in him as a real person.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Tom Stechschulte did a really good job with the narration of this book. You can instantly tell which character is talking.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Everybody you've ever lost... is coming back...


    Any additional comments?

    If you didn't like the t.v. show, don't write off the book. It really is almost a completely different experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ron
    4/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "when does it end?"

    ive stuck with this to chapter 20. its been anything but easy. not sure whether its the snails pace ...actually, a snails pace would be like lightning in comparison... the story that goes no where, or the performance where the readers accent is such a distraction... where i wind up counting the times he uses a short o sound ...bah-dee bah-ther. wish i could get my credit back!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • toveyc1
    1/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A pleasant surprise."

    I wasn't expecting to like this based on the subject matter but it was a really pleasant surprise. I enjoyed it very much. It wasn't ham fisted or pushing an idea. It's up to you to decide what it means. The characters are likable and believable. Narration was spot on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Verner
    Camberley, United Kingdom
    12/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "They returned again and again, but I won't be."
    If you could sum up The Returned in three words, what would they be?

    sci-fi does prejudice


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jason Mott? Why or why not?

    No. Overall the story was not sufficiently coherent and complete for my liking. The author's note at the end was interesting and redeemed many factors I was not so keen on in the book. It gave some context and made the story feel more purposeful.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Down south accents that (together with my own prejudice) supported the mind sets of the characters.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. I did not feel particularly strong empathy for the characters and would not be upset by their untimely demise.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JOANNE
    7/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Couldn't wait for the next chance to listen. A true picture of a parents unconditional love

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie
    Hitchin, United Kingdom
    1/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow to grip but in floods of tears in the end"

    It took coming back to the novel after a break before I became gripped. I had been intrigued by the premise and once I became attached to be main family, I was feeling everything they were feeling. The pain of losing a child and then that child coming back to you and not understanding why felt very raw and real. You could not help but love little Jacob. You know from the beginning its not going to end happily and the last hour or so of the audiobook I had tears running down my face. Then with the authors note at the end tears became floods.
    Not a book to read if you want to be uplifted but definitely a book to give a go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David Pillinger
    Stroud Gloucestershire
    12/31/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NO NO NO NO NO"

    I watched the tv series and really enjoyed it until the lousy end at which point i felt cheated out of several hours of my life which had clearly been wasted. Since the basic story was pretty good I thought I'd give the book a go however.
    Well, it was ok. Didn't really grip the attention but it was ok. Performance was fine. Not outstanding but ok. I would probably have finished the book were it not for the fact that the author then decided to insult my intelligence. He introduced characters called Nico Sutil and Timo Heidfeld. Are we supposed not to know that these are the christian and surnames of four German Formula one drivers? Could the author not be bothered to think up any other German names? I once read a book in which two Naval lieutenants were lieutenants Chub and Dace and i didn't finish that one either.
    So no. I won't be finishing this one and i won't be buying any more from the same author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dawn
    CUPAR, United Kingdom
    11/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dull"
    What would have made The Returned better?

    I waited and waited for something interesting to happen with this book but I was disappointed. Maybe a faster pace and more interesting plot would have improved things.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

    The narration wasn't great but it wasn't the main problem with this book, I would listen to another by this narrator if it looked like a good enough story.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this after watching the french TV series with the same title (Les Revenants) and I was aware it wasn't the same story but was built on the same premise and it had good reviews so I thought I'd give it a try. The TV series was full of suspense and drama, with a serial killer returning to start where he left off, a child whose twin sister has grown up without her and a man who slowly comes to the realisation that he in fact committed suicide on his wedding day, while struggling to cope with finding out his fiance has moved on to a new man. This book had none of that. The pace was infuriatingly slow, the characters were dull and after waiting the entire time for something to happen, the climax of the book was predictable and boring. People come back from the dead, the government don't really know what to do with them all, they lock them up, some people are open-minded, some people are not, then it all kicks off, some people get shot, some property is destroyed and then the returned just vanish into thin air with no explanation for it all.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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