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Publisher's Summary

Linus Owen is a young professor of conspiracy theory at a small college just outside San Francisco. His marriage is foundering and his wife, Claudia, has gone to Chicago to visit her mother. But if Claudia is in Chicago, how is it that two FBI agents show up at Linus' office and inform him that Claudia has been killed in a plane crash on her way from New York to Brazil? And why did a man named Jeffrey Holden, the vice president of a major pharmaceutical company, buy her ticket and die beside her?  

Enlisting the aid of two fellow conspiracy theorists, Linus heads across the country in search of answers. But as their journey progresses, it becomes frighteningly clear they've left the realm of the academic and are tangled up in a dangerous, multi-layered cover-up. Finally, deep in the heart of the American desert, stunned by an ominous revelation, Linus sees he has a new mission: to try to stay alive.  

Part Don DeLillo, part Kurt Vonnegut, with writing that is electric, whip-smart and suspenseful at each turn, Noah Hawley draws us into a deliciously labyrinthine world of paranoia and plots.

©2018 Noah Hawley (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Noah Hawley's writing is vivid and muscular. He speeds it up and slows it down in just the right places, and the portrait he paints of Linus is memorable. [He has a] true gift for characters." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Energetic and funny...an engrossing debut." (The New York Times)

"Orwellian echoes haunt this provocative, tongue-in-cheek debut chiller... A suspenseful, cerebral satire..." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your time...

I purchased this months ago, before anyone else had left a review. I made it through almost 7 hours and could do no more. I don't know if the author bashed anyone's religion or how old this book actually is, all I know is the boredom was excruciating. My mind wandered and I had to go back and re listen too many times to count and I had to ask myself WHY? Couldn't come up with a good reason and deleted it.
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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 07-25-18

Complicated Downer

Yep this is a conspiracy tale. An elaborate conspiracy. Hooks you early on, but the hook slipped free about halfway in. Author is a craftsman, so he kept the large cast straight with Robert Petkoff's help. Still, I found myself repeating hunks of the narrative to suck out the nuances. For me though, the point of the piece just didn't justify the work it took to stay on the bull.

Overall though, I'd recommend it, just not near the top of my hit list.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

No ‘Christianity Bashing’ going on here. It’s just a bad book.

Another reviewer mentions ‘Christianity Bashing’... which had me confused. I think they must be referring to another book or didn’t actually read or listen to this one. This has absolutely nothing about that going on here. This is about conspiracies. This starts out well, starts to fall apart, then gets just, well, bad. The book is completely disjointed. The last chapter is incredibly drawn out and I just wanted to either slap the protagonist or shoot him for being so obtuse. I liked the narrator, but this book feels like it was edited in a hurry where whole explanations of how things, people and situations got from here to there were just thrown out and the thinking was, ‘no one will notice’. Also, I was surprised that this is supposedly a new release, but seems to be some twenty years old. For a book of this sort newly released, it seems important that technology be more ‘of the moment’. A big disappointment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This is a 20 year old book

I never enjoy anticipating a new contemporary novel only to buy it and see that it was published 20 years ago. The book hasn't "aged well", whether that's from my expectations or the unexpected dated technology throughout the book. I'll be reluctant to buy a "new" novel from Hawley without doing my research first. In the past I've asked Audible to be more transparent with original publication dates but they've never responded.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A HUGE disappointment

I enjoyed Noah Hawley's BEFORE THE FALL, and eagerly purchased this book. What a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. The plot is extremely far-fetched, the characters are flat and inconsistent, and editing is sorely lacking. It was hard to believe this book was written by the same author. Once I did a little digging and discovered this book was written 20 years ago, I understood. Unfortunately Audible does NOT make original publication dates available to readers, which is basic and relevant information. Had I known the book was written so long ago, I would not have purchased it. I sincerely hope Audible revisits this policy, and elects to include the ORIGINAL PUBLICATION date for all books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awful. Christianity bashing and unconvincing

Sorry but the there were two things that bugged me. The conspiracy people were way out there and not believable. I also don't like Christianity bashing, which was throughout. If you are a "believer" don't bother with this one. It's just annoying.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful