1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
In the Unlikely Event  By  cover art

In the Unlikely Event

By: Judy Blume
Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $20.90

Buy for $20.90

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In her highly anticipated new novel, Judy Blume, the New York Times number-one best-selling author of Summer Sisters and of young adult classics such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, creates a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by unexpected events.

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was 15, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place - Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable”, Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on. 

In the Unlikely Event is vintage Judy Blume, with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume’s unparalleled storytelling, and full of memorable characters who cope with loss, remember the good times and, finally, wonder at the joy that keeps them going. 

“Like many family stories, this one is not without its life-changing secrets and surprises. There is no surprise that the book is smoothly written, and its story compelling. The setting - the early 1950s - is especially well realized through period references and incidents.” (Booklist

“In Blume’s latest adult novel...young and old alike must learn to come to terms with technological disaster and social change. Her novel is characteristically accessible, frequently charming and always deeply human.” (Publishers Weekly

©2015 Judy Blume (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Characteristically accessible, frequently charming, and always deeply human." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Narrator Kathleen McInerney creates a vibrant audio version of the interlocked lives, families, and generations in Judy Blume's arresting, sometimes harrowing, new novel.... McInerney's vocal technique is marvelously flexible..." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about In the Unlikely Event

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    497
  • 4 Stars
    481
  • 3 Stars
    318
  • 2 Stars
    119
  • 1 Stars
    48
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    637
  • 4 Stars
    357
  • 3 Stars
    200
  • 2 Stars
    80
  • 1 Stars
    37
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    458
  • 4 Stars
    408
  • 3 Stars
    279
  • 2 Stars
    117
  • 1 Stars
    51

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Teen Writing & Narration

I am new to Judy Blume's writing and took a chance with this book. I know she usually writes for a child and/or teen audience. All of the 5 star positive reviews here made me decide to give this "adult" entry a try. That was a mistake. After listening for several hours I found that I could not go on. The book was adolescent and totally geared towards teen listeners. I found the narration childish, cloyingly sweet, sing song and grating. Can't recommend unless you are a fan of teen books and narration.

46 people found this helpful

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

"HOPE FOR THE BEST... PLAN FOR THE WORST"

Would you consider the audio edition of In the Unlikely Event to be better than the print version?
NO. THIS WAS ONE BOOK THAT I APPRECIATED MORE IN THE WRITTEN VERSION. I PAYED MUCH CLOSER ATTENTION WHEN READING, AND AFTER COMPLETING I'M SO GLAD I DIDN'T MISS ANYTHING FROM THIS AMAZING (PART BIO, PART FICTION) TRAIL BLAZER OF A BOOK.! TREMENDOUS PLOT, AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN. WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING!

What other book might you compare In the Unlikely Event to and why?
A BOOK THAT COMES IMMEDIATELY TO MIND AS A GREAT EXAMPLE IN WHICH STRONG COMPARISONS CAN EASILY BE MADE TO: "IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT" IS PHILIP ROTH'S: "NEMESIS". IT IS A NOVEL ABOUT THE POLIO EPIDEMIC OUTBREAK, & THE LIMITATIONS CAUSED BY THE FACT THAT NO ONE KNEW WHAT TO DO, (OR IF ANYTHING COULD BE DONE) TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND CHILDREN FROM CONTRACTING THIS KILLER. JEWS BLAMING CATHOLICS AND VICE VERSA. HENCE, THE FINGER POINTING THREAD BETWEEN BOTH NOVELS. PEOPLE DESPERATELY NEEDED/WANTED TO KNOW WHY THIS WAS HAPPENING AND WANT ANSWERS YESTERDAY!!!SAME GOES FOR:"IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT" NO ONE KNEW HOW TO STOP, NOR WHAT WAS CAUSING THE PLANE CRASHES, POINTING FINGERS WAS COMMONPLACE, AS PEOPLE NEEDED TO UNDERSTAND "WHY" IT WAS HAPPENING, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHY IT WAS HAPPENING TO THEIR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, ETCETERA... HUMAN NATURE AT ITS BEST

Which character – as performed by Kathleen McInerney – was your favorite?
THE PROTAGONIST LITTLE GIRL, WHO LIVES WITH MOM AND HER GRANDMOTHER, WAS MY FAV. CHARACTER. SHE IS THE ONE PERSON I GOT A SENSE AS DEMONSTRATING A REAL AUTHENTICITY.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
"ONCE BURNED, TWICE SHY." I CHOSE THIS MANTRA BECAUSE THESE CHARACTERS WOULD CLEARLY HAVE BENEFITED FROM ITS STRENGTH DURING SUCH AN UNFATHOMABLE, TRAGIC TIME.

Any additional comments?
FAVORITE JUDY BLUME BOOK EVER! THIS BOOK IS NOT A PRE-TEEN, TEEN OR RACY ADULT BOOK EASY FOR CHILDREN TO UNDERSTAND, YET WRITTEN FOR ADULTS ENJOY AND HOPE OTHERS ENJOY(ED) AS MUCH AS I.

18 people found this helpful

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

In the unlikely event that you are considering reading this . . .

While there was much detail provided about the events and time period, there was very little story. Moreover, it still had the feel of the young adult book, not a novel for an adult.

12 people found this helpful

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

Very adolescent

Would you try another book from Judy Blume and/or Kathleen McInerney?

No

What could Judy Blume have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I feel this book belongs in the "young adult reader" category.

What didn’t you like about Kathleen McInerney’s performance?

The intonation of the characters was as adolescent as the story line.

What character would you cut from In the Unlikely Event?

Any of them

Any additional comments?

If you love watching Lifetime and Hallmark movies you will enjoy this book.

10 people found this helpful

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

Just OK

I love this time period. And I love Judy Blume. And I will look back at this book with some fondness, but at times it was difficult to keep listening. The story seems somewhat disconnected from the crashes, though the characters were affected. It is a little slow, and feels as if Blume is trying to "fill up space" between crashes. I did enjoy it more toward the end, when I was a little more invested into the characters.
This narrator is not bad, but not good. She reads as if she's advertising something, and is a little too happy all the time. I felt like it cheapened some of the story.

7 people found this helpful

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

Fails on all levels

Ms Blume needs to continue writing for children. If this book was intended as adult fiction ,it has failed. I would have been bored even if I was twelve.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

In the unlikely event you read this....

What would have made In the Unlikely Event better?

An adult plot; adult descriptions and comments. This is a young innocent teen book.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

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

Detailing the plane crashes in Elizabeth NJ in 1951-52.

Any additional comments?

I lived in Bayonne NJ just across from Newark Airport and I remember those crashes so I looked forward to this book. But Judy Blume writes for young teens and other than the horror of the plane crashes, this book is a teen story and nothing more. Yet because of the crashes over 50 years ago I wouldn't recommend it to teens. A real disappointment.

6 people found this helpful

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

this is not an adult book...young adult at best

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a hard question to answer. Book was aimed at teenagers and younger although being marketed as adult fiction.

What was most disappointing about Judy Blume’s story?

Book described as her first adult fiction effort. Our first Blume book..and our last. Book full of adjectives in describing the teen agers world.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kathleen McInerney?

Narrator read as a child/teenager with with no inflection.

5 people found this helpful

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

Too many characters; not invested

There are way too many characters in this book, which means there isn't enough time to get get invested with the main characters, who should be the most interesting. I still don't feel like I know much about Miri/Rusty/Irene/Mason and their group was supposed to be the focus.

Instead, you get little tangents of side characters that give you a tiny bit of information to get you interested, and then you might never hear from that character again.

This narrator is super generic sounding and uses a horrible baby voice to portray small children.

I grew up with Judy Blume books and have always loved her writing. I loved her foray into adult literature, with Summer Sisters, and have to say that this was a big disappointment. The whole book felt disjointed, long, yet incomplete.

5 people found this helpful

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

Loved it!

I am so impressed with the narrator. Amazing job! Great story. I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.

4 people found this helpful