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Mostly Dead Things

A Novel
Narrated by: Jesse Vilinsky
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
3.5 out of 5 stars (141 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo's wife - and the only person Jessa's ever been in love with - walks out without a word. 

As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother's art escalates - picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose - and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them. 

Kristen Arnett's debut novel is a darkly funny, heart-wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and love. 

An Esquire Magazine Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
A BuzzFeed Books Pick of 2019 - Books to Keep on Your Radar
A Huffington Post Pick of 2019 - Books We're Looking Forward To
A Boston Globe Pick of Books We Can't Wait to Read
A Bustle Pick of 2019's Books to Add to Your Reading List

©2019 Kristen Arnett (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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

not funny, not even a little bit believable

not a funny book, self depricating in the worst way. the love angle was weird and forced.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Unimpressed

Just really unimpressed and story kind hard to understand and felt there was no point to the story

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Animal lovers beware.

I love that this book has a queer main character and a unique story line but I couldn’t finish reading it. Animals are not treated well in this book. I finally stopped reading and left this book unfinished because several beautiful peacocks were killed, in a callus and flippant way. And that was not the first time I nearly stopped reading due to the treatment of animals, it had just been the last straw. Didn’t like the characters and hated the flippant disregard of animals and their treatment. Animals lovers should definitely beware before reading this book.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Ugh.

There was not a single character in this novel that wasn’t trash. Interesting premise, poor character development, subpar narration.

11 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Awesome

This is a fascinating and moving story that captures the intricate nature of family relationships and learning how to let go.

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  • Jo
  • 11-25-19

Save your time and money...

I seldom write reviews, everyone is entitled to an opinion on the books they read but this book is spectacularly bad. I'm not offended by the references to taxidermy, although the gratuitous killing of exotic animals for profit and pleasure is appalling. No where does the main character even reference the fact that the animals are more beautiful and amazing alive than stuffed for her pleasure or to prove her prowess. The sex stuff is even weirder and I sincerely hope the author uses the proceeds from this book to get counseling.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Buy the hardcover book instead

I think I would’ve liked this much more if the reader didn’t take every word so seriously. Story wise, there was a lot to play around with but I felt the narrator had no interest in trying out any other tone but blasé boredom.

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Unafraid Of Bad Moments

Arnett's story is powerful. Portraying the life of a girl in both dark and bright lights, Arnett gracefully melds the grotesque and beautiful into one. I strongly recommend this novel to readers looking for something new, hilarious, and painstakingly truthful. Vilinsky's reading threw me off at first but their emotion and androgynous tone lead to GREAT character voices.

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Depressing and disappointing

I have trouble with the narrator. Her voice drops off at the end of a sentence so sometimes I couldn't hear what she was saying.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

I wanted to love this book so much. Reading the description I was sure it was going to be a new favorite. But I could not get into it. I even restarted it because I was spacing out a lot and still couldn’t get into it the second time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful