Kat Johnson, Audible Editor

AUDIBLE EDITOR

Kat Johnson

Kat is an Audible editor and podcast addict who likes to mix up her diet of memoirs and true crime with cozy British comedies, weird literary fiction, and the occasional nonfiction blockbuster to sound smarter at parties.

Recent reviews

    • There There

    • By: Tommy Orange
    • Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Ceurvo, and others
    • Length: 8 hrs
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 940
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 856
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 847

    There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen . It's "masterful... white-hot... devastating" (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to pause....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A gorgeous, white-hot debut

    • By Kat - Audible on 06-12-18
    • By: Tommy Orange
    • Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Ceurvo, Kyla Garcia
    • Length: 8 hrs
    • Release date: 06-05-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 940 ratings
    • A white-hot debut
    • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once gave a TED talk called “The Danger of the Single Story,” outlining the negative effects of reducing complex people and histories to the same narrow, well-worn narrative. I’m convinced that her heart will swell, like mine, at the arrival of Tommy Orange’s incendiary first novel. Written—and narrated—from the perspectives of many characters, whose lives intersect in unexpected and technically impressive ways, the connected stories pay profound attention to the individual experiences of urban Native Americans. And yet for all its depth of purpose and history, it’s absolutely un-put-downable. Visionary, mind-bendingly virtuosic, and racing to a searing finish, There There is a work of sacred intensity. I’m still reeling.
    • Fever Dream

    • A Novel
    • By: Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell - translator
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 68
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 65
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 64

    A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She's not his mother. He's not her child. Together they tell a haunting story....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • An amazing book

    • By Biff Turkle on 01-29-18
    • A Novel
    • By: Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell - translator
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
    • Release date: 01-10-17
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 68 ratings
    • Ghastly tale, brilliantly told
    • Oh my, did I love this. Fever Dream is a work in translation—by an astoundingly inventive Argentinian writer—that is as disorienting as its title suggests. The entire novel is a conversation between two people—a woman, Amanda, who is ill in a clinic, and a boy, David, who urgently whispers in her ear, demanding she recount the events that led her here so they can find out when things went wrong. As Amanda talks, a series of vivid images—a beautiful woman in a gold bikini, a dead bird, a three-legged dog—unfold along with a growing sense of horror, while David ruthlessly judges which details are important and which are not. It’s a fascinating concept, expanding the very idea of what a novel can be, and while I also bought the print version it worked exceptionally well for me in audio. Hillary Huber performs each character perfectly (David’s mother is all throaty elegance compared to Amanda’s nervous hesitancy; the children’s voices are deliciously creepy), and experiencing them through my earbuds had me feeling surrounded by dread. Part ticking time bomb, part excavation of the horrors of parenthood (I’m no helicopter mom, but Amanda’s obsession with “rescue distance”—the constantly shifting space separating her and her daughter—resonated with me instantly), this is an audiobook to consume in one sitting. It sinks its hooks in early on; good luck shaking it loose.
    • The Recovering

    • By: Leslie Jamison
    • Narrated by: Author
    • Length: 16 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 240
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 219
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 220

    With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Strong writing

    • By Anneke M. Post on 05-11-18
    • By: Leslie Jamison
    • Narrated by: Author
    • Length: 16 hrs and 6 mins
    • Release date: 04-03-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 240 ratings
    • What does sobriety mean for creativity?
    • I’m a Leslie Jamison fan who also tends to devour recovery memoirs like, well, an addict, so I eagerly awaited The Recovering for months. Jamison, whose drinking was nurtured over booze- and book-soaked nights in Iowa City, where she attended the prestigious Writers’ Workshop, delivers a literary twist on a well-worn genre: She seeks out proof that sobriety (and, particularly, the clichés of Alcoholics Anonymous) doesn’t have to put a damper on a writer’s creativity. Conjuring the ghosts of the workshop’s most famous alcoholics—John Berryman, Denis Johnson, and Raymond Carver among them—she then goes looking for her patron saints of recovery, those who, like David Foster Wallace, managed to convey exuberance, imagination, and ecstasy even when writing about sobriety. Taking the listener into some of literature’s most esteemed spaces, as well as the folksy rooms, folding chairs and “several kinds of casserole” setting of AA meetings, is one of the book’s many charms, but for me the greatest appeal was seeing it all through Jamison’s sharp, singular mind—and hearing her story in her own magnetic voice.
    • I'll Be Gone in the Dark

    • One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
    • By: Michelle McNamara
    • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn - introduction, Patton Oswalt - afterword
    • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 16,538
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15,083
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15,044

    A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer - the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Wonderful Listen to Scare Yourself in the Dark

    • By Trixie Runnin' on 03-04-18
    • One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
    • By: Michelle McNamara
    • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn - introduction, Patton Oswalt - afterword
    • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
    • Release date: 02-27-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 16,538 ratings
    • A haunting masterpiece
    • As a fan of the true crime genre and Michelle's fantastic blog, I was so excited for this book—and devastated to learn of Michelle's sudden death in 2016, when she was still writing it. As Gillian Flynn notes in the forward, a lot of us grapple with our fascination with true crime, and one way to approach it is by seeking justice, truth and compassion rather than voyeurism, misinformation and shallow answers. Michelle was always a crusader of the highest order, and her obsessive sleuthing and thoughtful reckoning of her own motivations (“We, who hunt him, suffer from the same affliction. He peered through windows. I tap ‘return.’ ”) shine through here with fierce humanity. If you don't about the Golden State Killer, also known as EAR/ONS, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark" will pull you into the story of the faceless monster behind one of America's most notorious and horrific unsolved cases, but it is Michelle's voice that stays with you in the end. This book is a rare gem of dogged research and masterful writing that elevates it to the top tier of true crime. A special benefit of the audio version is hearing Gillian Flynn’s forward and Patton Oswalt’s moving afterword in their own voices. (It is also thanks to Oswalt, researcher Paul Haynes, and investigative journalist Billy Jensen that the book was completed.) I hope its legacy leads to what Michelle wanted most of all: an answer, and justice for the victims.
    • Conspiracy

    • Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
    • By: Ryan Holiday
    • Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
    • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,021
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 942
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 937

    In 2007, a short blogpost by Gawker Media outed PayPal founder and billionaire investor Peter Thiel as gay. This post would be the casus belli for a meticulously plotted conspiracy....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • I almost couldn’t make it through...

    • By Grant Hall on 04-06-18
    • Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
    • By: Ryan Holiday
    • Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
    • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
    • Release date: 02-27-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,021 ratings
    • One of media’s weirdest sagas, retold as Greek tragedy
    • I was an avid Gawker reader who was horrified to learn that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel had secretly bankrolled the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that brought down the website with a shocking $140 million verdict in 2016. I considered myself reasonably well informed about the ins and outs of the affair, as well as my opinion on the subject and its players. Nevertheless, Ryan Holiday’s insanely good Conspiracy had me gasping at the audacity and intricacies of Thiel’s plot—from the ambitious young businessman who cooked up the scheme to the astonishing patience, calculated cunning, and ruthlessness required to pull it off. Holiday also reexamines Gawker from a 2018 lens, deconstructing its problematic approach and how errantly it drove the nail into its own coffin. Hubris plays a part in both sides, it turns out, and in Holiday’s hands the story takes on the outsize dimensions of Greek tragedy. With the Machiavellian concept of conspiracy as his foundation, he combines anecdotes from history and literature with lucid analysis and fascinating character studies of Thiel, Hogan, and Gawker founder Nick Denton to craft a riveting narrative of one of modern media’s most explosive episodes.
    • Tangerine

    • By: Christine Mangan
    • Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik, Erin Mallon
    • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 719
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 666
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 672

    The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Goes downhill

    • By Karen on 03-31-18
    • By: Christine Mangan
    • Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik, Erin Mallon
    • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
    • Release date: 03-27-18
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 719 ratings
    • A stylish slow burn
    • For a few gray days this winter, I was catapulted from the Northeastern drizzle to the sultry, swarming streets of 1950s Tangier. It’s not easy to describe such dazzling exoticism (from the midcentury Western perspective, anyway) without resorting to cliché, but nailing the setting is something Patricia Mangan’s first novel does with aplomb. Mangan’s doctoral thesis was in Gothic literature, and that defining sense of romantic terror drives the tale of two young women, Alice and Lucy, who meet in Morocco after a mysterious disaster at their Vermont college rips apart their close friendship. The dual perspectives—of the upper-crust, angst-ridden Alice, and of the pluckier, yet menacing Lucy—are masterfully narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Erin Mallon, making Tangerine especially perfect to devour in audio. Mangan keeps you guessing as identities shift and swap, in the style of Bergman’s Persona, spinning a tale of psychological obsession that’s perfect for fans of The Talented Mister Ripley and Rebecca. More literary noir than explosive thriller, Tangerine is a slow burn with a heart of seduction.