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Publisher's Summary

This is the way the world ends....

It was a fairy tale come true when Mark Dorn - handsome pilot, widower, tragic father of three - chose Jiselle to be his wife. The other flight attendants were jealous: She could quit now, leaving behind the million daily irritations of the job. (Since the outbreak of the Phoenix flu, passengers had become even more difficult and nervous, and a life of constant travel had grown harder.) She could move into Mark Dorn's precious log cabin and help him raise his three beautiful children. But fairy tales aren't like marriage. Or motherhood.

With Mark almost always gone, Jiselle finds herself alone, and lonely. She suspects that Mark's daughters hate her. And the Phoenix flu, which Jiselle had thought of as a passing hysteria (when she had thought of it at all), well...it turns out that the Phoenix flu will change everything for Jiselle, for her new family, and for the life she thought she had chosen.

©2009 Laura Kasischke (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Kasischke's penchant for disconcerting but absorbing fiction is on display, as is her facility with language. Startling, sometimes violent images combine with strikingly dispassionate narration to create a fictional world where terror, beauty and chaos walk hand in hand." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Rebecca
  • South Burlington, VT, United States
  • 06-19-12

I was promised an apocalypse novel!

A saintly stepmother begins caring for her husband's 3 rotten teenager children right before a slow apocalypse begins. Her one-dimensional, Mother-Theresa-like good nature lasts and lasts for the entire book, despite having a nasty crone mother, her neighbor's wife being a cheating slut, and her new husband basically abandoning her with his 3 spoiled children to raise.

The apocalypse details that I read for were not there until maybe the last 1/10th of this novel, and it was in no way worth reading through the rest of this unrealistic tale of the Mother Theresa of the Apocalypse who never did one selfish thing ever in her whole life to get to them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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fabulous story

powerful and gripping. a slowly unspooling tragedy. a swan song perhaps for a way of living that cannot last.

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Waste of money

What would have made In a Perfect World better?

Its missing a story. In full disclosure I didn't finish the book. I don't know how it ends and honestly don't care. Its a bad sign when you can skip two chapters and don't miss anything in the story. Slow story that droned on and on with pointless side notes. Shallow characters with no development.

Has In a Perfect World turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. This should not be in the post apocalyptic genre. The first 90% of the book barely talks about the epidemic and is totally unrealistic in how the public would respond (always plenty of food at the store and the electricity always comes back on, no riots or looters). I couldn't bring myself to finish the last 45 minutes of the audio book. Just wasn't worth my time.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No.

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  • Danielle
  • st paul, MN, United States
  • 02-19-13

Worth listening to again and again!

Having listened to this audiobook at least five times, I feel I have a pretty solid viewpoint on it. I LOVE this book. It isn't a linear time line, which usually confuses the listener, but for some reason really works in the story. I enjoy post-apocalyptic thrillers as they are usually large scale, fantastic reads (LONG) that involve a wide cast of characters (i.e: The Passage, Swan Song) so finding that I found a under-ten-hour audiobook so intriguing says a lot about the story and the narrator.
This is a small cast of characters with whom you will connect with and care about, wanting the very best for them but not wanting the book to end too soon. It truly will move the reader to another place and make it sad to leave that place. Enjoy!

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  • Gisele
  • Fougerolles, France
  • 10-04-11

Oh boy! Still 10 chapters to go

Sorry but I have to force myself to go to the end. I'm tempted by abandoning it. The story is non-existent, and it has a taste of deja vu. The only thing that saves my listening is the narrator who's perfect for a foreigner who has English as a second language.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A dull, droning, factually flawed bore.

The narrator enunciates her words so precisely that she makes a one syllable word into three syllables and causes the reading to be twice as long as it would be if someone had read it in a manner that did not make the listener feel like a hearing impaired senior. The characters are not developed so we could not care less what happens to them and in all cases do not find out. The premise and facts are plain ridiculous. In an apocolypse they do not even group together with the town or nor are given any instructions by government to handle things. They merely sit at home and bake bread and stoke the fire? They run out of writing paper and consider writing on the walls before the bank in town even closes up? A six year old is teaching chess or designing a grilling tripod and coming up with a recipe for mint toothpaste? COME ON!

4 of 8 people found this review helpful