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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Norman Ollestad comes a captivating short story about the fraying relationship of a married couple and the bold, messy explorations of intimacy that only seem possible far away from home.

Jim Stenson has been flown to the bohemian island of Formentera for a monthlong gig: writing a screenplay for a famous Spanish director, loosely based on the classic French film Contempt. With his career flagging, Jim is determined to make the most of the opportunity. But the director raises the stakes, pushing Jim to draw inspiration for the script from his strained relationship with his wife Anna.

Anna arrives on the island with her own agenda, thinking this long-overdue break from her psychotherapy practice will offer a chance to clear her head and, perhaps, even reignite a spark in her marriage. Languid days and emotionally charged nights create a dynamic neither expects. And when Jim's writing and their time together begin to blur the lines between reality and fantasy, they must decide: Is this an opportunity for a breakthrough or the beginning of the end? 

©2021 Norman Ollestad (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator

Norman Ollestad, a New York Times best-selling author, was born in Los Angeles. His books include Crazy for the Storm (an Amazon best book of the year; published in 15 countries), Gravity, and French Girl with Mother. His work has appeared in TIME, Outside, and Men’s Journal. He lives in Ojai, California, with his family.
Photo credit: Jeff Lipsky

About the Performer

Eric Yves Garcia spins stories into a mic, whether alone in a booth or onstage with a piano. An actor and musician, Eric has voiced several mysteries, thrillers, YA, and romance, as well as non-fiction titles in history, self-help, memoir, and, uniquely, recipes. Eric's roles in multi-cast audio plays range from kids to classics, including Little Women starring Laura Dern, highlighted by Entertainment Weekly. As an award-winning singer/pianist, he has performed most nights of every week across NYC for more than a decade while also touring the US, UK, and Europe. His solo reviews have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, and Chicago Tribune. Of the two gigs, the narrator wardrobe is decidedly more breathable.
Photo Credit: Xanthe Elbrick

About the Performer

Taylor Meskimen is an award-winning narrator who has been recording characters for audiobooks since she was in her early teens. She is also an accomplished actor, musician, and improviser who has performed throughout LA at many venues. The daughter of actor and narrator Jim Meskimen, and the granddaughter of TV's Marion Ross, of Happy Days fame, she comes from a family steeped in theater, with a love of the written word.

What listeners say about Formentera

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

Language. Twisted relationships. Formentera.

I thoroughly enjoyed the craftsmanship and escape. Norman Ollestad has proven himself once again. My only complaint is I wanted more. Thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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A complete escape

Formentera completely swept me away to that small Spanish island and into the complex web of characters and the intense drama of a complicated multi layered marriage. Ollestad is a master with painting the backdrop and of immediately drawing the reader into this world and this marraige. I just finished and am starting it again and looking forward to catching all the nuance the second time around. Highly recommended!!

2 people found this helpful

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Good Story

Good (if rather traditional) story, very good storytelling, good character development and excellent readers. As with so many publications of late, I stumbled across some really problematic narrative grammar and a few malapropisms that pulled me out of the story to wonder if proofreaders and editors are now a thing of the past. SMH.

1 person found this helpful

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Well crafted Short Story

I’ve found Audible Originals to be a Hit-and-Miss experience, but this one worked. The premise was interesting and difficult to pull off but I think Ollestad succeeded. With just six characters, he spun an intriguing web in just a few pages.

He writes about the creative process taking place in the midst of a marriage on the brink and a faltering career, with underlying themes of insecurity, passion and manipulation running though all of it. Nicely done.

My only reservation was with Taylor Meskimen’s narration of the part of Anna. I felt she played the role in the voice of an excited teenager rather than an unhappy three year partner of a failing writer.

The writing was good and the rest of the characters were well played, so I’d give Formentera Four Stars. A satisfying read. ****

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Interesting

I enjoyed this story very much. I recommend this. It’s short and sweet and complex.

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More please!

Bottom line. I did not want this story to end! Jim and Annas journey in Formentera only makes me wonder what happens to them next. This is a sexy summer listen and you’ll be looking up flights to Spain before you even finish.

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good short listen

it was good to listen to just to escape what's going on around you. it got confusing at times but pretty simple to catch up after a few lines. I wouldn't pay for the book but not bad for being free.

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Great story breezes by, needs a sequel!

An evocative exploration of a married couple testing the boundaries of their own sexual appetites in order to reignite the spark. Expertly matched to the medium of the auditory short story, and especially great if listened to in headphones (Garcia is fantastic as Jim). With the carnal charge of Henry Miller and the astute exposition of James Salter, the author creates an immediate escape tinged with the melancholy of desires not met. Deftly crafted, Formentera makes for a wholly perfect summertime listen!

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Couldn't finish

It didn't engage me. I couldn't finish it because the premise was uncomfortable, and the sex.

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Nice island setting but that’s about it!

The narration was way overdone and overly dramatic—at times I just cracked up it was so bad. Hard to focus on the storyline which was not that enjoyable. I listened to it just to mentally escape to an island. Very difficult to keep listening to the end with the self-absorbed characters.

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  • Gregory M. Brassard
  • 05-07-21

Loved it!

Excellent short story. I was hooked after the first chapter. Listened Start to finish in one sitting. Definitely recommend.