We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Idiot Audiobook

The Idiot

Regular Price:$35.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan's friends. On the way she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin's summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom, its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman's fiction is unguarded against both life's affronts and its beauty - and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling that they entail.

©2017 Elif Batuman (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (61 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.8 (56 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (6)
Story
3.9 (56 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-21-17 Member Since 2013

    Deep, thoughtful, literary fiction—old, new, sci-fi, whatever—is my thing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating point of view"

    The author's voice and experiences are interestingly objective - intelligent, restrained and artifice- free. If you require a plot-driven story, this isn't the one for you. If, though, you'd like to get out of your head and into the author's, then dive on in!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Jobling Oakton, VA USA 05-19-17
    Ian Jobling Oakton, VA USA 05-19-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captures the strangeness of being"

    This account of a young woman's first year at Harvard and summer trip to Hungary captures the random directionlessness of life and of the mind and also the human foreignness to language. Batuman captures the feeling that words are incapable of describing our experience and that no one even begins to understand this problem. If you're looking for the kind of "twisty plot" that is so common these days, you will be disappointed. But if you are ready for a new dimension of existence to be revealed to you, this is the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 05-15-17
    Michael 05-15-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    188
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flawless"

    It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a book this much for language, thought and tone alone. Thanks, Elif Batuman.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Y. Reinberg 05-09-17
    Y. Reinberg 05-09-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Most boring book ever"

    Elif is a competent and talented writer. Why the hell they published this book without editorial supervision???

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laureen Miki seattle, wa 05-17-17
    Laureen Miki seattle, wa 05-17-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't finish"

    I don't know if the author was trying to economize by reading her own book but it was done so poorly it took away from any interesting content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-07-17
    05-07-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mind numbingly boring"

    This book lacked any type of plot line. The book is essentially the diary of a bland loser in her first year at Harvard. In the end, she travels to a foreign county to teach English. Nothing happens. The end. What I wouldn't give to get back the time wasted listening to this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.