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TransAtlantic Audiobook

TransAtlantic: A Novel

In the National Book Award-winning Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called "an emotional tour de force". Now McCann demonstrates once again why he is one of the most acclaimed and essential authors of his generation with a soaring novel that spans continents, leaps centuries, and unites a cast of deftly rendered characters, both real and imagined.
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Publisher's Summary

In the National Book Award-winning Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called "an emotional tour de force". Now McCann demonstrates once again why he is one of the most acclaimed and essential authors of his generation with a soaring novel that spans continents, leaps centuries, and unites a cast of deftly rendered characters, both real and imagined.

Newfoundland, 1919: Two aviators - Jack Alcock and Arthur Brown - set course for Ireland as they attempt the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, placing their trust in a modified bomber to heal the wounds of the Great War.

Dublin, 1845 and ’46: On an international lecture tour in support of his subversive autobiography, Frederick Douglass finds the Irish people sympathetic to the abolitionist cause - despite the fact that, as famine ravages the countryside, the poor suffer from hardships that are astonishing even to an American slave.

New York, 1998: Leaving behind a young wife and newborn child, Senator George Mitchell departs for Belfast, where it has fallen to him, the son of an Irish-American father and a Lebanese mother, to shepherd Northern Ireland’s notoriously bitter and volatile peace talks to an uncertain conclusion.

These three iconic crossings are connected by a series of remarkable women whose personal stories are caught up in the swells of history. Beginning with Irish housemaid Lily Duggan, who crosses paths with Frederick Douglass, the novel follows her daughter and granddaughter, Emily and Lottie, and culminates in the present-day story of Hannah Carson, in whom all the hopes and failures of previous generations live on. From the loughs of Ireland to the flatlands of Missouri and the windswept coast of Newfoundland, their journeys mirror the progress and shape of history. They each learn that even the most unassuming moments of grace have a way of rippling through time, space, and memory.

The most mature work yet from an incomparable storyteller, TransAtlantic is a profound meditation on identity and history in a wide world that grows somehow smaller and more wondrous with each passing year.

©2013 Colum McCann (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"This novel is beautifully hypnotic in its movements, from the grand (between two continents, across three centuries) to the most subtle. Silkily threading together public events and private feelings, TransAtlantic says no to death with every line." (Emma Donoghue)

"A masterful and profoundly moving novel that employs exquisite language to explore the limits of language and the tricks of memory...epic in ambition...audacious in format." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A beautiful writer... This is what interests McCann: lives made amid and despite violence; the hidden braids of places, times, and people; the way the old days ‘arrive back in the oddest ways.’" (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (437 )
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4.2 (371 )
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Performance
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  •  
    s Lincolnshire, IL, United States 01-23-14
    s Lincolnshire, IL, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pilot"
    Would you try another book from Colum McCann and/or Geraldine Hughes?

    No


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I loved the first chapter. As pilot I believed this book was about flying and ....was surprised


    Any additional comments?

    The voice......horrid

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen A. Orth 09-09-13
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    "Pure poetry!!!"
    What did you love best about TransAtlantic?

    The language.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interconnections between the characters and their times.


    What about Geraldine Hughes’s performance did you like?

    Perfection!


    Who was the most memorable character of TransAtlantic and why?

    Many were equally memorable.


    Any additional comments?

    I have enjoyed this more than any other audible book I have 'read'.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 07-20-13
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    I hardly dare disagree with all the rave reviews, but this book takes me back to college assignments to read excellently written books that bored me out of my skull. I can't be sure if the problem is the narrator's repetitive, choppy rendition that rolls through every phrase and sentence at the same pace or if the pace of the writing itself is the same throughout. I suspect the problem is the narrator and plan to read the text instead.

    The research is meticulous and accurate, the writing as precise as you would expect from McCann. This book lacks the deep involvement with each character that Let the Great World Spin had. I read about each character from a distance, more like a newspaper report racing through events. In a novel, I want to live with the characters, be right on the ground with them rather than peering down from above.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clayton B. Jackson 12-28-15 Member Since 2014

    clayphoto

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    "Another masterful story by McCann"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I love the way McCann weaves so many seemingly unrelated threads into a single, cohesive narrative.


    What other book might you compare TransAtlantic to and why?

    Let the Great World Spin


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TAJ Alameda, CA United States 12-01-15
    TAJ Alameda, CA United States 12-01-15 Member Since 2014

    Mystery Muddler

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    "Engaging"
    If you could sum up TransAtlantic in three words, what would they be?

    Mesmerizing, engaging, lyrical


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lottie was my favorite because her thoughts were the most engaging.


    What about Geraldine Hughes’s performance did you like?

    Her narrative was lyrical and pleasing. She added so much to the book. I had Whispersynch so sometimes I read and sometimes I listened. Parts of the book were hard to follow on Audible so I switched to reading. The last chapter was marvelous with Geraldine.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Too difficult.


    Any additional comments?

    I found that Colum switched around too much. Halfway through I was about to abandon the book because I wasn't sure who was in the story. He lost me by spanning so many years.
    I kept going and was rewarded with a symphony of thoughts and words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eck Lansdale, PA, United States 09-28-15
    Eck Lansdale, PA, United States 09-28-15 Member Since 2004
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    "Top five best audiobooks I've ever heard"

    Geraldine Hughes captured each voice PERFECTLY. McCann tells a story of four generations of women whose lives are woven into the fabric of Irish history. It is never preachy or predictable. He tells a story like a poet or even a painter using words like brush strokes. Maybe an even better analogy is song because in the voice of Ms. Hughes the book has a lyrical quality to it. Meanwhile, far more than a simple family history, Transatlantic is almost an elegy, a meditation, a memoir or reflection on grief, loss, war, freedom, pilgrimage. There aren't words to describe the beauty of this book because McCann himself would have to write them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Lewis Palo Alto, CA 03-30-15
    M. Lewis Palo Alto, CA 03-30-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Irish Lives Matter"

    Which seems to be major theme here. The small, quiet conversations, chores, choices and memories of 3 generations of a northern Irish family. Mostly about the women and how hard luck shaped all of their lives. I listened to the lovely Irish cadences of the narrator on a Long car ride and found this story surprisingly compelling and was sad to leave the characters behind when it ended. Loved the device of "what's in the secret letter" near the end and the realization that it wasn't the letter that mattered or brought any luck to Hannah but the people she met because of the letter who made the difference in her life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Dunn Vancouver, BC Canada 12-05-14
    Andrew Dunn Vancouver, BC Canada 12-05-14 Listener Since 2010
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    "Excellent book, well read"

    Really enjoyed this one - McCann expertly weaves the historical narratives together into a seamless saga that keeps the reader interested throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan Ann Arbor, MI, United States 08-27-14
    susan Ann Arbor, MI, United States 08-27-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Moments in history"

    This is a compelling, action packed book which highlights moments in history that stand as individual stories in their own right but are connected through their transatlantic history. Starting with the first plane flight from Canada to Ireland and concluding with George Mitchell and his work on the Irish peace process it is well written and fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha Boulder, CO, United States 08-21-13
    Marsha Boulder, CO, United States 08-21-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent"
    If you could sum up TransAtlantic in three words, what would they be?

    Irish generational saga


    What other book might you compare TransAtlantic to and why?

    Colum McCann is a wonderful writer and the beautiful writing in TransAtlantic compares very well with his Let the Great World Spin. The opening chapter - the flight - is as poetic as DeLilllo's World Series baseball chapter in Underworld. As far as the story, it is similar to The Son by Phillip Meyers, which is a Texas generational saga. TransAtlantic is better.


    What about Geraldine Hughes’s performance did you like?

    Fabulous! A good reader can make the book even more enjoyable, and Ms. Hughes certainly did that for me.


    If you could take any character from TransAtlantic out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Lotte because of her interesting life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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