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.

Michael's Recent Reviews

    • 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 31
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 28
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 27

    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....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • genetic mods- Medical Necessity? Frivality?

    • By Beth Yacoub on 01-04-19
    • 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 31 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 12
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 10

    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 12 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 6,255
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5,545
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5,524

    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....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Perfect

    • By Tal on 10-18-18
    • By: Esther Perel
    • Narrated by: Esther Perel
    • Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
    • Release date: 10-04-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 6,255 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 344
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 314
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 313

    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 344 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 73
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 63
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 63

    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 73 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 219
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 201
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 197

    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 219 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 1,638
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,516
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,509

    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 1,638 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 201
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 194
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 194

    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 201 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 137
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 132
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 130

    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 137 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 180
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 163
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 165

    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 180 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 29
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 25
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 25

    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 29 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 1,835
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,711
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,700

    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 1,835 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 7,686
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 7,174
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7,143

    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 7,686 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 8,652
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 8,154
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8,124

    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 8,652 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.