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Publisher's Summary

"Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That's what all the Returned were."

Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds healed through the grace of time.... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep - flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargraves find themselves at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

©2013 Jason Mott (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    151
  • 3 Stars
    137
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    28

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    147
  • 4 Stars
    166
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    11

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    98
  • 4 Stars
    136
  • 3 Stars
    115
  • 2 Stars
    50
  • 1 Stars
    28
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting premise; how would you react?

The premise is interesting and a wish fulfilling difficult subject. The author took the premise in a particular direction but examines it on a fairly shallow level. How would you deal with the return of a loved one? How would nations deal with the return of thousands of deceased and why didn't the author deal with potential return of famous historical figures both revered and hated?

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyed this book

If you could sum up The Returned in three words, what would they be?

Sci-fi soon to be classic.

What other book might you compare The Returned to and why?

Feels like a classic science fiction book. Unusually thoughtful in its characters and story.

Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not sure if I have listened to the performers other productions. He was great however !<br/>

If you could rename The Returned, what would you call it?

They all came back !

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the story and the performance. I rated it higher, mostly because the performance was really done well !!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Got boring

It started off well and I was interested but then I got bored half way in and had to skip a couple of chapters just so that I could finish it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • lynn
  • Wheeling, WV, United States
  • 09-24-13

really wanted to like it

Is there anything you would change about this book?

the story was okay but it began to feel like the author was trying to teach me a lesson and i wanted entertainment.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

this could have been a series and taken many different turns, but it didnt and after awhile it was depressing.

Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no, he wasnt bad but I think the story was my main problem

Was The Returned worth the listening time?

not really, i did not even finish listening, it became a drag to listen to

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

O lawd!! Not worth the hype

Any additional comments?

I'd heard some hype around this book, and it definitely sounded like an interesting premise -- a la Tom Perrotta's "The Leftovers," which I absolutely adored. But it wasn't worth the hype. It wasn't even worth its own hype. <br/><br/>There are a lot of interesting ideas hinted to at this book -- for a time I had high hopes it was going to turn into a horror story -- but in the end, it fell completely flat. Listening to the author's note at the end made it even worse.<br/><br/> The book reads like the small-town, simple-minded Southern folks it features, which is to say alternately charming and infuriatingly contradictory. In one paragraph the a character is described as a man who doesn't believe in -- refuses to -- apologize for things he knows are right, but in the next he "apologizes without quite knowing why." <br/><br/>The narration often speaks in broad terms, as if describing a story that could never have gone any other way, and in some instances Mott is right: that's exactly what people are like, and that's exactly how this or that petty conflict would play out. But in others, Mott seems to have taken cookie-cutter characterizations and placed them into a cookie-cutter story about "others." If you want a great story about how small-town folks react with a stranger in the midst, go see "Bat Boy." <br/><br/>However: I did listen to the whole thing, and in a span of just a couple of days. I couldn't put it down, as they say, even if the things that perked my interest never came to fruition. Granted, there were times I only kept listening to hear narrator Tom Stechschulte's Old Southern Lady impression -- I'm still laughing just *imagining* his voice saying, "Ohhhh lawwwwwwddddddddd, oh lawwwddddddd" (which happens a lot in this book). Comedic gold, if only because no actual person actually sounds like that, in the South or elsewhere.<br/><br/> On a last note, if you were as intrigued by the premise and as let down by the execution of this book as I was, check out "The 4400" on Netflix. Same idea; less Jesus, more awesome.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Renee
  • AURORA, IN, United States
  • 09-01-13

Disapointed

Would you try another book from Jason Mott and/or Tom Stechschulte?

No/Yes

Would you ever listen to anything by Jason Mott again?

Maybe ,if it was free.

Which scene was your favorite?

No standouts

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disapointmennt

Any additional comments?

Could have been a great story but too many questions left unanswered. Way too preachy.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Never went anywhere.

Would you try another book from Jason Mott and/or Tom Stechschulte?

I kept waiting for a proper answer, or a conclusion, but it never came.<br/>

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Average at best

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

There are much better books out there

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Disappointed......no satisfactory resolution

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

Maybe, he's not bad, but awful take of main female voice

Was The Returned worth the listening time?

Not, really.....interesting premise but not even the authors idea. Did nothing to build on an interesting concept.

Any additional comments?

May be cathartic for author,by not for me!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting Story, terrible narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Long time audible listener; this is the first book I've stopped listening to because the narrator's voice simply doesn't carry any emotion. I keep trying and wanting to listen through, but I stop every time. I'll probably buy the kindle book instead, and consider this a lesson in needing to listen to the sample before buying an audio book. Sigh.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Haven't finished, so no comment

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Stechschulte?

Anyone

Could you see The Returned being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Haven't finished, so no comment

0 of 4 people found this review helpful