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Publisher's Summary

Simon had always expected love to feel different than this. Whether it was his Catholic upbringing or the poetry he’d read, Simon had thought that true love would be uplifting, fulfilling, that it would give a meaning to his loitering, and add joy to his leisure. But not this kind of love. This love was a flesh-eating monster, sharp-clawed and evil-eyed, ravishing his mind with medieval cruelty.

Dr. Simon Mráz is a respected specialist and lecturer at the Charles University in Prague. He is a serious man, responsible. His students call him "The Cruel Doctor Frost" not because he’s unkind, but because of his unwavering, ice-cold composure. As a psychiatrist, he values sanity. And sanity can be found in work, restraint, and self-control.

Not many know of that one time in the past when "The Cruel Doctor Frost" lost his cool. His ill-advised, secret affair with a student left Simon deeply wounded. Since that day, every minute of Simon’s life has been a struggle to remain sane and functioning. He’s managed so far. As long as he is needed, and as long as his work makes a difference, Simon can scrape together enough strength to get up in the morning and run off the nightmares. But when his friends begin drifting away, his beloved protégé becomes independent, and the man who bereaved Simon of his precious sanity might return.... Simon’s mind and body stop responding to his impressive willpower.

©2017, 2018 Roe Horvat (P)2018 Vance Bastian

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

I need to recover after this one

okay oh my God wow this book made me ache for the main character so freaking much I didn't just loved this book I absolutely adored it it was fascinating and amazing I'm so melancholic you can feel the Melancholy from the first words of the author it's such a good book yeah it's not a funny book but it's not a sad book if you're not a crying baby like me because I am a crying baby but I don't think this book will make everyone cry but I do think this book will make everyone absolutely everyone feel I don't like to write spoilers I don't like to write about the story in my reviews because this is not the point the point is if the writing is good or if the story is good and both are fantastic but I do want to speak a little bit about a character because he's fascinating I don't know how to do it without making a spoiler so I would not say much but I will recommend this book for 100% it was a lovely Journey with this amazing character I just loved it!
I don't do a lot of re- listens but I think this book deserves it and maybe not now but I will return to this book and maybe not even one time

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Long long story.

A long long story, that could easily become mindless rambling, but done very good. Lots of angst and slow love, but very enjoyable.

Love the narrators voice. Can't wait to see if he has more titles.

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

Emotional Five Star read!

Roe Horvat is one of my favorite authors. I read this book when it first came out and gobbled it up too quickly. As a result, I missed a lot of the finer points of this complex and emotional story. When the opportunity came along to listen to the audio version I jumped at the chance. The characters and unique setting come to life through the excellent narration of Vance Bastian. He has a fine grasp for voices and difficult accents and it made the listening experience that much better. Horvat excels at writing flawed characters and A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat is heavy on angst and light on fluff. Evocative and unsentimental but masterfully crafted toward the uplifting ending. I loved it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Book Babe
  • Portland, OR United States
  • 07-24-18

The best kind of heartache

From the moment this story begins, the sadness of its characters hangs over everything like a hot summer humidity. Every bit of happiness is earned by long trial, and somehow it never feels unbearable.The prose is beautiful and tender. I am a tremendous fan of Roe Horvat's writer's voice and his happy endings always feel deeply earned. I also found Vance Bastian's narration to be perfect, simple and clean so the story shines through. This book will cut you open right down to the bone and then gently stitch you back together. And you may be glad for every bit of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narrator elevated an emotional story

The blurb for A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat intrigued me because it seemed so different than the typical romance and offered a chance to try out a new-to-me author and narrator. This audiobook definitely ended up having a unique vibe- not so much a hurt/comfort, but rather a melancholic, almost pessimistic underlying sentiment right up through the final chapters. While the heavy, emotional aspect of this title makes it one I couldn’t rush through, the writing was thoughtful and articulate, demanding my complete attention. Paired with a narrator that only enhanced the author’s words, I would definitely recommend this title for people who like stories that are rich in emotion, even if they aren’t filled with lovesick moments.

I suspect some readers may struggle with A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat, especially because the characters aren’t what I’d consider overtly likable and they certainly aren’t the type I usually encounter in romances. That said, they also weren’t the type of character I cringe over or can’t root for. Simon and all the secondary characters were very interesting and many of Simon’s struggles and cynical thoughts were relatable enough to resonate with readers, even if a bit morose. His character is well flushed out and develops over the course of the book, which made it especially poignant to see some of his defenses come down a little with those he loves, particularly his former student Matěj. I aslo loved having a different setting for this book. The author includes a multitude of vibrant visuals and scenes that allow the reader to experience Prague and its culture, making it easy to immerse yourself in the background.

As for the narrator, I will not hesitate to listen to more from him. The writing in A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat was rich and detailed, both in setting the scene and describing Simon’s complex emotions and experiences, and Mr. Bastian was the perfect fit. He brought life to the author’s words, delivered the emotion as the scenes demanded without it feeling overacted or forced, and spoke with a rhythmic, unhurried pace that made for a great listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An interesting complex story

The writing is superb, poetic and gut punching. This book was a twisting, sometimes dark, path towards love and acceptance. At times I was confused, and the narrative of the story is not straight forward, which added to the confusion and mystery of Simon and his relationship with his ex-Matěj. It was both unique in the M/M genre and suspenseful, the plot pulling you in and capturing your interest. This book is one i would gladly listen to again, I feel like there is so much depth I have yet to discover in it.

I enjoyed the setting of this story too, it was so refreshing to read a story in Europe, and in a country that is not usually in the literary spotlight in this genre. The background felt authentic, both culturally and geographically, and you can clearly tell the author brought their own knowledge and upbringing into the story.
This was a fascinating book also because all the side characters had their own complexities and were very diverse and well rounded. I loved the relationships they had, the friendships and the familial ones, and the closeness between them. It made it a whole world to be discovered and not a two character story where some extras pop up to say hi.
The narrator did a good job, despite the lengthy pauses he had which made me speed up the narration quite a bit. He tackled languages and accents well, gave each character a distinct voice and added life and emotion into the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator made a wonderful story even better!

I read this book in December 2017 and posted this review:

"This beautiful and painful tale is a romance, even though Simon and Matěj have a complicated relationship from the start. When Matěj leaves though, this becomes Simon's story of merely existing without really living. This man breaks my heart, when he tries to literally outrun his pain, when he hurts others with his inability to let them in, and when he let's go and breaks down. It's good that that part of the book remains focused on Simon, because seeing Matěj's devastation at the same time would be overwhelming. When the two come together again, will they be able to heal the deep wounds that are now part of their souls? I recommend that you read it and see for yourself. This story is very much worth your time and tears. I love it, and Simon and Matěj will stay in my heart."

I loved the story, and I was so excited to experience the audiobook. I was not disappointed at all. The author's words, combined with the soft and soulful voice, brought me to tears - and occasionally to laughter. As I listened to the tale of these two men who could be so perfect together if only Matěj could just let himself believe, I ached for Simon. When they saw each other again and Simon kept his feelings in check, I understood, but still I hurt for Matěj. Meanwhile, I came to care for the chosen family surrounding these two complicated men, even more than when I read the words myself.
I recommend this audiobook, with its beautiful story and its wonderful narrator, wholeheartedly. I know that it will be one I listen to again and again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautiful!

This was my first book by Roe Horvat and first audio by Vance Bastian...and I can certainly say that it will not be the last by either! This one was beautifully done by Bastian...he brought such compelling emotion to life with his narration of this novel! It definitely had some angst so if that isn't your thing, you might want to steer clear of this one but it was well worth it in the end!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely heartbreaking and beautiful

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story. I blindly went into it reading only the blurb knowing just to expect heartache. Normally, I read other reviews, maybe ask a few friends and from there I decided whether or not to dive. Thank goodness I decided to dive. Well worth it.

There was so much more than heartache. The misery, forlorn and love seeped out of every word. Vance Bastian’s voice was made to read hurt, longing, and love. Bring this story to a whole new level of intimacy for the listener.

I’ve always loved reading/listening to stories about people who’ve been hurt, because real life just isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Roe Horvat does an amazing job on making me believe the pain, the misery, the gentle care and love from all the characters. This wasn’t a story of someone getting hurt and then on the next page everything is wrapped up happily in a pretty bow. It's about people hurting, others caring enough to help, and a man who struggles to understand everything around him after his heart was ripped apart in a matter of minutes.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

pretty good

parts of this was slower then others but overall it wasnt a bad story. i hadn't read it before.. but i enjoyed it.. it was well written and the narrator was decent.. i liked his voice...i liked the emotions put into it.. it was all around a well done story and i enjoyed listening to it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Olivia F
  • 08-16-18

Absolutely brilliant!

I never expected to love this book so much.

The opening scene is fun and catchy and than drags you straight into the melancholic 'after' world.
The journey to fill the gaps and get to the ending is angsty and beautiful at the same time.
The book felt so honest and true, completely different from the usual m/m romance.

I really enjoyed the writing style and the flow of the story.
Also, the narrator did a great job portraying the characters.

I will definitely keep my eyes open for more audioboook releases from this author.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs C
  • 08-11-18

3.5 stars

I liked the story but didn't love it. There were just too many POV for my liking. The narrator is great and I loved his drunk character part, really funny. The book is quite sad and at one point I wanted to shake the MC but I get that lost love is difficult to recover from. I loved the ending though. Redeeming characters is a favourite trope of mine.

Overall I would recommend this book/audio and would read/listen to more from this author.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • jey cee
  • 08-06-18

A lovely M/M romance novel

The story is told in 3 parts - present, past and back to the present. It's a very heart-breaking for the first two parts While I liked the ending, it was a bit rushed and would have loved to see more of the way Simon and Matej worked the issues between them.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AnnA
  • 06-23-18

A Love Song beautifully Sung

I was slightly hesitant about whether to listen to the audio book as I so thoroughly enjoyed reading the physical book but I needn't have worried. Vance Bastian does an excellent job and even copes well with the few Czech names and words which are thrown into the mix too.
I recommend this audio book to everyone.