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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller Lauren Groff returns with a new book as bold and consuming as her novel Fates and Furies. 

Lauren Groff is "a writer of rare gifts"*, and Florida - her first new book since her "clear the ground triumph"* Fates and Furies - is an electrifying, expanding listen. 

Over a decade ago, Groff moved to her adopted home state of Florida. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida - its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind - becomes its gravitational center. Storms, snakes, and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional, and psychological nature. 

Groff's evocative storytelling and knife-sharp intelligence first transport the listener, then jolt us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, Groff pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury - the moments that make us alive. Vigorous, startling, precise, and moving, Florida is a magnificent achievement. 

(*The New York Times, Washington Post

©2018 Lauren Groff (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Don't buy the audiobook

I don't think this is a book for me, so I'm not gonna tell people not to read it. I am going to tell you that the audiobook version is frustratingly bad. The chapters are seemingly placed at random intervals throughout the short stories. Some end halfway through a sentence without any explanation as to why. On top of that, it's impossible to tell when any of the short stories will end, since every chapter is approximately the same length. If this book interests you, read it yourself, don't listen to it on Audible.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Thufferin thuccotash!

Why oh why do authors narrate their own books? There are so many fantastically talented people out there with voices that perfectly fit the idea the author is trying to convey. Just pick one and sit back and relax.

Lauren Groff, God bless her, has a lisp on her S's that doesn't make her any less of a person, and by Chapter 30 or so you kinda (sorta) get used to it, but man does it distract from listening. Once you notice the impediment it's all that you hear. Ugh..

As for as my ratings of two's across the boards, I have to say some of that was my fault. I've lived in Florida for the past 5 years, and whenever I move to a new place I like to get a sense of the history and the culture. I saw the Florida Panther on the cover and scanned the review. To me I thought this was going to be about Florida's colorful history.

But unfortunately the stories have little to do with my adoptive home state. They honestly could happen anywhere, and then Ms. Groff throws in a token mention of a hurricane or a gator just to keep with the theme.

If you want books outlining some of the color of the Sunshine State, check out the library of Carl Hiaasen. If you want dreamy narrating, poetic writing, and a mish-mosh of short stories that could take place anywhere, pick up this little book.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Pam
  • Atlanta
  • 10-04-18

Beware author readers

I knew it was a mistake to purchase this! Audible books are beautiful when performed by a pro. This author is no pro and I can only assume is motivated by greed. I am always reading and have for years now purchased both the audible and the text so that I never even drive to the grocery store without my book playing. Many times I have put a book down while reading so that I could listen to a passage on Audible because the reader is so good that I know it will be beautiful. But authors who read their own works as a commercial endeavor just don't pass muster. I'm giving up on this half way through, a practice that I try to avoid at all costs. Moving on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

languid, succinct, melancholy, wonderful

great narration, couldn't get enough. languid pace to the stories but the succinct prose keep pulling you along. melancholy like a hot summer afternoon

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Sad characters beautiful writing

This is not the typical Florida book with quirky characters and laugh out loud plot lines. The characters are intelligent but make bad decisions and are completely neurotic. I kept listening hoping for some glimmer of light or happiness or even hopefulness but that is not in this book. The author does write beautifully and I absolutely loved her descriptions of natural Florida but unfortunately it was overshadowed by the darker shadows of the characters.

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

YUCK

I did not enjoy this book at all and did not like the voice of the person reading it. Here voice irritated me and made it hard for me to listen.

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

Beautiful<br />

simple stories with heavy undertones. Lauren has captured Florida as a state and people I'm their natural state. loved it... once again

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

Very interesting

This audiobook was very intriguing as I didn't know much about the book. It centers around a few character who have relation to Florida (duh). It shows their lives in FL and out. While the story at times didn't make sense, I still enjoyed it at the end. The performance by the author did the book justice although a little slow.

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

Mix of gorgeous, essay-ish short stories

Full disclosure: I have a serious writer crush on Lauren Groff. I have been binge reading her books in preparation for hearing her speak at the Napa Writers' Conference (which I did and which was wonderful), but I didn't get to Florida until after seeing her speak. Florida, unlike her other works, is author narrated, and it contains a number of first person POV stories with significant character similarities to her life. All of which culminates into the short story collection that feels intermixed with personal essays. This isn't a bad thing, and I enjoyed the entire collection immensely, but not as much as I enjoyed "Delicate Edible Birds", an earlier short story collection that knocked my socks off. Basically, IMHO you can't go wrong with a Lauren Groff story. Regardless of length, her writing is gorgeous and her storytelling complex and satisfying. Florida just wasn't my absolute favorite of her sumptuous options. I can't wait to read whatever she offers up next.

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

Listening to this again

I don't always like it when the author narrates but in Florida, Lauren Groff is perfect. I'm listening to this book a second time which I've never done before.