AUDIBLE EDITOR

Michael Duke

Michael loves short stories, and any kind of mind-bending literature that is semi-surreal or speculative with a strong sense of voice (written and spoken). He's been known to shake up his listening routine with self dev books and has a habit of hoarding oatmeal raisin cookies in his desk.

Playing Now

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

The Dark Star Trilogy, Book 1
By: Marlon James
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 24 hrs and 2 mins
Unabridged
3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (79 ratings)

Michael's Recent Reviews

    • Black Leopard, Red Wolf

    • The Dark Star Trilogy, Book 1
    • By: Marlon James
    • Narrated by: Dion Graham
    • Length: 24 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 79
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 77
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 78

    In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child....

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Opaque. And hard to care about.

    • By Lisa Gray on 02-07-19
    • The Dark Star Trilogy, Book 1
    • By: Marlon James
    • Narrated by: Dion Graham
    • Length: 24 hrs and 2 mins
    • Release date: 02-05-19
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 79 ratings
    • You will hear more about this series
    • I’m not claiming any credit for finding this one, as it has already become something of a movement, but I am definitely swept up in the transcendent force that is Marlon James and Dion Graham. I saw Neil Gaiman described the setting as "hallucinatory," and I haven’t heard a more apt description, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is an aimless, vague, or overly literary effort. It is absolutely riveting: My "listening hours per day" have more than tripled since I started listening to Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Word is Marlon James spent a long time researching African languages as well, and Dion Graham just nails all of the different accents. But the merits of Graham’s performance aren’t limited to language or accents. In every minute there is a new threat, a new scheme, and a new astoundingly unique voice; be it beast, witch, demi-god, or amorphous liquid assassin. I can only imagine Graham took a good break after this performance because the sheer number of different voices would put any narrator to the test, and he aced it.
    • I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck

    • An Everyman’s Guide to a Meaningful Life
    • By: John Kim
    • Narrated by: John Kim
    • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 54
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 50
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 50

    In I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck, Kim delivers the dos and don’ts for stepping up and into manhood, which he defines by transparency and strength of character, not six-pack abs or a corner office....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Must Read

    • By Crystal Garibay on 02-08-19
    • An Everyman’s Guide to a Meaningful Life
    • By: John Kim
    • Narrated by: John Kim
    • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
    • Release date: 01-29-19
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 54 ratings
    • Bromotional intelligence
    • I don’t think I’d describe myself as ever having been a miserable f*ck, but I was a teenager until around the age of 26. I also used to work in a really bad high school, and I’ve witnessed (and displayed) firsthand the epidemic deficit of emotional intelligence on the male end of the spectrum. I didn’t really come to terms with it either before listening to Brené Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability a few years ago, and that’s why I’m excited about I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck. It shows that the issue is gaining momentum, with the attention and mentorship it deserves. John Kim’s approach to the topic is definitely "dude-lier" than Brené Brown’s—his narration is gruff and serious, but he knows how to crack a joke—and I think that will appeal to some of the people who would benefit from this book the most.
    • Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful

    • By: Arwen Elys Dayton
    • Narrated by: Michael Crouch, Karissa Vacker, Brittany Pressley, and others
    • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 43
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 39
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 39

    Today, our bodies define us. We color our hair; tattoo our skin; pierce our ears, brows, noses. Tomorrow has different rules. The future is no longer about who we are - it's about who we want to be. If you can dream it, you can be it....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Separate Stories that Do Not Connect

    • By Watters in Wyoming on 01-07-19
    • By: Arwen Elys Dayton
    • Narrated by: Michael Crouch, Karissa Vacker, Brittany Pressley, Full Cast
    • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
    • Release date: 12-04-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 43 ratings
    • A youthful future
    • On the spectrum from young adult to old adult my taste in books lies squarely in the geriatric, but Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful checked too many of my boxes otherwise to pass up. It is decidedly crafted for a younger audience, but that surprisingly didn’t distract me one bit from enjoying the sophisticated technological and emotional worlds that Arwen Elys Dayton deftly ties together between stories. These are real people struggling with the unforeseen complications of technology’s rabid acceleration. To my ears, the narrators do a fine job imbuing their performances with just a hint of adolescence, and as it turns out: a touch of naivety is precisely what makes each of these whole new worlds so captivating.
    • The Lonesome Bodybuilder

    • Stories
    • By: Yukiko Motoya, Asa Yoneda - translator
    • Narrated by: Natalie Naudus, Brian Nishii, Erin Bennett, and others
    • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 12

    In these 11 stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien - and through it, find a way to liberation....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Interesting.

    • By Abdul on 12-01-18
    • Stories
    • By: Yukiko Motoya, Asa Yoneda - translator
    • Narrated by: Natalie Naudus, Brian Nishii, Erin Bennett, Paul Michael Garcia, Tanya Eby, Kate Mulligan
    • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
    • Release date: 11-06-18
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 14 ratings
    • Super strong short stories
    • I love short stories because their brevity often makes them more bewildering and more stimulating than longer form writing. Yukiko Motoya’s debut collection is a great example of just how shocking great short stories can be. Taken on their own, the stories in this collection are beyond baffling, but cumulatively they offer an intimate perspective of the deeply personal irrationalities we all wrestle with on a daily basis. With each new character, I felt I had fallen in on a subterranean well of emotion. And with each new narrator, even though I knew I was hearing a new voice, I felt a unifying urgency that kept me absorbed and for some reason, comfortable. Even when it got real weird.
    • Esther Perel's Where Should We Begin?: The Arc of Love

    • By: Esther Perel
    • Narrated by: Esther Perel
    • Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6,761
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5,982
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5,969

    For her latest Audible Original, Where Should We Begin?: The Arc of Love, Esther Perel invites you to listen to private and intimate conversations exploring the evolution of relationships....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Not Nearly as Good as the Podcast

    • By LAX2NRT on 10-09-18
    • By: Esther Perel
    • Narrated by: Esther Perel
    • Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
    • Release date: 10-04-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 6,761 ratings
    • A relationship wizard works her magic
    • Esther Perel’s book Mating in Captivity was a bible for me when I first moved in with my girlfriend a year and a half ago. And I kept coming back to it in those first few months (first…16 months?) as my girlfriend and I have worked on ironing out our different…perceptions of reality. Perel immediately established herself as someone with a next-level understanding of relationships in my mind, as I’m sure she will in yours. Nowhere is that on better display than when we get the chance to listen to her council couples through their complicated relationship issues, as she does in Arc of Love. It’s amazing to see how quickly she grasps the core issue each time, and how assertive she is in getting her patients to confront those issues in a productive way. And really, to be frank: it’s just a lot of fun to compare those core issues with ones I, for one, have experienced a few too many times.
    • The Silence of the Girls

    • By: Pat Barker
    • Narrated by: Kristin Atherton, Michael Fox
    • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 396
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 364
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 363

    From the Booker Prize-winning author comes a monumental new masterpiece. Pat Barker turns her attention to the timeless legend of The Iliad, as experienced by the captured women living in the Greek camp in the final weeks of the Trojan War....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Terrific book!

    • By Michal on 09-16-18
    • By: Pat Barker
    • Narrated by: Kristin Atherton, Michael Fox
    • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
    • Release date: 09-04-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 396 ratings
    • The women of the Trojan War
    • Mythological retellings are definitely trending right now, and we’ve seen some truly excellent examples recently (Circe remains my favorite audiobook of 2018). Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls is no exception. Barker focuses on The Illiad as experienced by the captured women, and the perspective shift is a perfect opportunity for audio; Kristin Atherton and Michael Fox’s intimate narration mirrors and reinforces the severely personal nature of this book. As a whole, The Silence of the Girls creates an experience that brings you so much closer emotionally to a story that continues to have profound influence.
    • Flights

    • By: Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft - translator
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 80
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 70
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 70

    From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Curious and beautifully written

    • By Alejandra on 10-24-18
    • By: Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft - translator
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
    • Release date: 08-14-18
    • 4 out of 5 stars 80 ratings
    • Delightfully Disorienting Vignettes
    • Olga Tokarczuk is apparently a very well known author in Poland, and while I’d never heard of her before she certainly has proven herself in awards, among them The Man Booker International Prize. Super weird short stories are also totally my thing, and when I saw the narrator was veteran Julia Whelan I was sold. Flights definitely falls into the super weird category. Its structure, content, and style all vary wildly between quirky and imaginative, to assertive and analytical. But it is extremely clear that Tokarczuk has a finger on exactly what bothers us most deeply. Her stories are inexplicably unsettling, and I can’t wait to test the knot that they tie themselves in, as I’ve heard the ending is particularly strong.
    • Florida

    • By: Lauren Groff
    • Narrated by: Lauren Groff
    • Length: 8 hrs
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 239
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 218
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 214

    The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida - its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind - becomes its gravitational center....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Listening to this again

    • By mommyof2 on 08-06-18
    • By: Lauren Groff
    • Narrated by: Lauren Groff
    • Length: 8 hrs
    • Release date: 06-05-18
    • 4 out of 5 stars 239 ratings
    • Exploring Florida as a state of mind
    • As an almost lifelong New Jerseyian, Florida has always seemed a mystifying place—one that caters to extremes—and Lauren Groff’s new aptly titled book never loses sight of that dynamism. Her characters, like their vibrant settings, are entropic, overgrown, and saturated with the small dissatisfactions that make for great drama. The short story cycle format works too. To listen to her perform this collection is to meet many different people, see many different states, all in one.
    • Artificial Condition

    • By: Martha Wells
    • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
    • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,842
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,698
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,692

    It has a dark past - one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot." But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Awesome but painfully short.

    • By Brian Barry on 09-05-18
    • By: Martha Wells
    • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
    • Series: Murderbot Diaries, Book 2
    • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
    • Release date: 05-08-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,842 ratings
    • Punchy and fun Hugo finalist
    • The first book in Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries series, All Systems Red, was recently named a 2018 Hugo Award finalist. It’s an excellent story and a great place to start if sarcastic quick-witted robots are your thing. With Artificial Condition, Wells has seized the opportunity to flush out Murderbot’s background and delivered another punchy and super fun addition to what is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. Kevin R. Free has a great approach to the performance as well; with his emphasis on Murderbot’s laid-back sardonic voice and perspective, never has a robot sounded so human.
    • Speak No Evil

    • A Novel
    • By: Uzodinma Iweala
    • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi, Julia Whelan
    • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 219
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 212
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 212

    In this novel from the author of Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Part 2 Let Me Down

    • By pynkskies on 06-09-18
    • A Novel
    • By: Uzodinma Iweala
    • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi, Julia Whelan
    • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
    • Release date: 03-06-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 219 ratings
    • Lyrical and emotional
    • I’ve never seen nor read Beasts of No Nation, so Speak No Evil is my first experience with author Uzodinma Iweala. His writing is sublime. Clean, precise, evocative, whatever you want to call it, I am constantly impressed by how well he mirrors his character’s emotions with their physical environment. For example, the moment before Niru comes out as gay to his potential girlfriend (very early in the story), he is wandering through her unheated parents' house, in the dark, and half naked. Iweala’s imagery and style is surprising in this way. It’s lyrical but not prosaic, and sparse as a means of conveying honesty and reality, without feeling brusque or truncated. Narrators Prentice Oneyemi and Julia Whelan are really the reason I picked this one though, because they are two seasoned veterans who complement each other, and Iweala’s aesthetic immaculately.
    • The House of Impossible Beauties

    • By: Joseph Cassara
    • Narrated by: Christian Barillas
    • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 142
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 137
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 135

    A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and '90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • As real as it gets

    • By Michael - Audible Editor on 03-01-18
    • By: Joseph Cassara
    • Narrated by: Christian Barillas
    • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
    • Release date: 02-06-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 142 ratings
    • Brutal. Unflinching. Beautiful.
    • The House of Impossible Beauties absolutely threw me into a world I knew close to nothing about. The Harlem Ball scene of the 80s and 90s was a culture born of intense, largely unrecognized struggle, and Joseph Cassara’s fictional ode to the time is likewise chock full of character. Pure, undiluted, super-concentrated character. This book is brutal. It is unflinching, and it is as real as it gets. Like have you ever seen Requiem for a Dream? It’s on the same page of, “Wow, I can’t believe anyone could endure this,” type emotional shock. But where that movie follows a drug addict's bleak downward spiral, Cassara’s characters never fail to demonstrate a life-affirming and indomitable strength that is, simply put, beautiful. Joseph Cassara clearly vetted narrator Christian Barillas super closely, as this is a book that demands fluidity between languages, genders, and class all at once—I think it would have been an impossible task for nearly anyone else, but Barillas nails it.
    • The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

    • Stories
    • By: Denis Johnson
    • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, Michael Shannon, Dermot Mulroney, and others
    • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 195
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 177
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 179

    The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • RIP Denis Johnson

    • By Thomas B. Houghton on 01-19-18
    • Stories
    • By: Denis Johnson
    • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, Michael Shannon, Dermot Mulroney, Will Patton
    • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
    • Release date: 01-16-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 195 ratings
    • A master of short fiction—an all-star cast of narrators
    • Denis Johnson passed last year, but left us with this one last beautiful example of his wonderful writing. His stories are so refined, and transition so effortlessly, that there is often no noticeable distinction between the emotions they elicit. You might find yourself laughing at death, or worried for one of Johnson’s characters' untimely success. In this subtle way Johnson shocks his listeners into what I would guess is awareness, or clarity. At the very least, you can tell a book is good when it gets this many all-star narrators (Nick Offerman, Michael Shannon, Dermot Mulroney, Will Patton, and Liev Schreiber). They leave no stone of Johnson’s lyrical prowess unturned or unpolished.
    • The Dark Dark

    • Stories
    • By: Samantha Hunt
    • Narrated by: Christa Lewis
    • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 30
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 26
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 26

    In these marvelously inventive stories, Samantha Hunt imagines numerous ways in which human lives might be altered by the otherworldly....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Total Trip

    • By Michael - Audible Editor on 12-01-17
    • Stories
    • By: Samantha Hunt
    • Narrated by: Christa Lewis
    • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
    • Release date: 07-18-17
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 30 ratings
    • A Total Trip
    • When you first read about The Dark Dark the inventive concepts draw you in. A woman who cheats on her husband after she turns into a deer? Sounds funky, you think to yourself. What keeps you listening is Hunt's incredible sense of aesthetic. In many ways, as weird as these stories are, they are all about the same thing: a woman struggling with her many internal identities, motherhood, and wrestling with herself and her relationships in general. That's where I think the underlying emotional current of this book runs, and it hits you on a real level.
    • American Wolf

    • A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
    • By: Nate Blakeslee
    • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall, Nate Blakeslee
    • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,996
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,861
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,848

    The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • An Epic American Story

    • By Michael - Audible Editor on 10-17-17
    • A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
    • By: Nate Blakeslee
    • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall, Nate Blakeslee
    • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
    • Release date: 10-17-17
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,996 ratings
    • My Favorite Book of 2017
    • The wolf is rife with symbolism in American culture, and no less so in Blakeslee’s dynamic exploration of the controversial Yellowstone wolf reintroduction. American Wolf is a story that really has it all: a charismatic (read: badass) female protagonist, fierce action scenes, gripping courtroom drama, a coming-of-age tale, and last minute political upheavals all served up with sturdy, hard-hitting narration. It diligently reveals a very real political and emotional landscape, illuminated by increasingly dire circumstances and bold personalities at every turn. The result of which is an upending portrait of a great and unmistakable bond that we all share, and is as strained as ever—the further you get into this modern-day epic, the more deeply you realize that our story and the wolf’s are one and the same.
    • Born to Run

    • By: Bruce Springsteen
    • Narrated by: Bruce Springsteen
    • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7,793
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 7,275
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7,241

    In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The Boss demonstrates his strong work ethic and dedication to excellence as he tells his story.

    • By Tim on 12-21-16
    • By: Bruce Springsteen
    • Narrated by: Bruce Springsteen
    • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
    • Release date: 12-06-16
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 7,793 ratings
    • A Marathon Concert Tell-All
    • Growing up in New Jersey it’s not too much of a stretch to say that Bruce Springsteen was something of a spiritual force. His voice is synonymous with a powerful sense of place, and it bears a rugged, scrappy idealism that can make you feel patriotic and subversive at the same time. That’s what makes this autobiography, written and performed by The Boss himself, nothing less than magical. It’s not simply a story of his path to success or a philosophy of greatness, but a marathon concert tell-all wherein he confronts demons of mental illness, poverty, and familial strife. It is nostalgic for a simpler time, but urgent in its display of discipline and individuality. Ultimately, Bruce delivers with this audiobook what he has done for nearly five decades with his music: a celebration of the commonplace and the struggles of American life with candor, imagination, and purpose.
    • Hell Divers II: Ghosts

    • The Hell Divers Series, Book 2
    • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
    • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
    • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9,093
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 8,567
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8,536

    Ten years ago, Hell Diver Xavier "X" Rodriguez fell to Earth. Those he left behind went on without him aboard the airship he once called home....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Can't wait for the next book!

    • By Todd (Toad) Vogel on 07-31-17
    • The Hell Divers Series, Book 2
    • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
    • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
    • Series: The Hell Divers Series, Book 2
    • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
    • Release date: 07-18-17
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 9,093 ratings
    • A Thrilling Sequel
    • I was already totally set on listening to Hell Divers II before I met author Nicholas Sansbury Smith at the 2017 Book Expo America, but I secretly freaked out when offered the surprising chance to talk to him. He’s a young guy, early thirties if I recall correctly, but he’s already penned more than 16 books. 16 books! Can you imagine? All of that work has more than paid off in his fine-tuned Hell Divers series. Beyond a brilliant concept, Smith’s writing is fresh, fast-paced, and chock full of compelling characters. What’s more, the second book in the series does a remarkable job adding depth and excitement to an already sophisticated storyline. In talking to Smith we were both super excited about R.C. Bray’s narration, and you will have to agree that with Bray – the modern day voice of Sci-Fi – this all-star combo is one that cannot be ignored.