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Mouth to Mouth  By  cover art

Mouth to Mouth

By: Antoine Wilson
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
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Publisher's Summary

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2022

A successful art dealer confesses the story of his meteoric rise in this “powerful, intoxicating, and shocking” (The New York Times) novel that’s a “slow burn à la Patricia Highsmith” (Oprah Daily). “You’ll struggle not to rip through in one sitting” (Vogue).

In a first-class lounge at JFK airport, our narrator listens as Jeff Cook, a former classmate he only vaguely remembers, shares the uncanny story of his adult life—a life that changed course years before, the moment he resuscitated a drowning man.

Jeff reveals that after that traumatic, galvanizing morning on the beach, he was compelled to learn more about the man whose life he had saved, convinced that their fates were now entwined. But are we agents of our fate—or are we its pawns? Upon discovering that the man is renowned art dealer Francis Arsenault, Jeff begins to surreptitiously visit his Beverly Hills gallery. Although Francis does not seem to recognize him as the man who saved his life, he nevertheless casts his legendary eye on Jeff and sees something worthy. He takes the younger man under his wing, initiating him into his world, where knowledge, taste, and access are currency; a world where value is constantly shifting and calling into question what is real, and what matters. The paths of the two men come together and diverge in dizzying ways until the novel’s staggering ending.

Sly, suspenseful, and “gloriously addicting” (BuzzFeed), Mouth to Mouth masterfully blurs the line between opportunity and exploitation, self-respect and self-delusion, fact and fiction—exposing the myriad ways we deceive each other, and ourselves.

©2022 Antoine Wilson. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Mouth to Mouth

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

Best book evaaa!

Not since The Silent Patient was I this engrossed in a book!

Nearly flawless. Will recommend to anyone who reads. The story will stay with me for a while.

So much better than The Disappearing Act, The Plot and other would-be thrillers that try to hard and force the story via plot holes.

Effortlessly suspenseful. Perfect ending.

4 people found this helpful

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Just...wow...!!!

The NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour recommended this book and I'm so glad I was smart enough to accept the challenge. The story grabbed me and held me till the very end. Bravo!

4 people found this helpful

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Intriguing Premise

This novel has an intriguing premise--what if the stranger whose life you saved turns out to be a morally bankrupt man? Antoine Wilson is a thoughtful and intelligent writer. The storytelling conceit--one man telling another these events as they wait for a delayed flight--makes for quick reading that never gets bogged down. There's a nice twist at the end, that makes for a satisfying conclusion. It's not a thriller, but it has a sense of looming menace throughout that kept me turning pages.

All that said, I found the characters less interesting than the story or perhaps more like figures acting out the drama rather than determining it. If you read primarily for story, that won't bother you. If you read (as I do) primarily for character, it might.

Ballerini, an incredibly prolific narrator, does a professional if unremarkable job here.

2 people found this helpful

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Fun listen, great ending

I loved this book, engrossing and well performed. The ending was perfect and made me want to listen to parts again. Fun but memorable

2 people found this helpful

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NPR featured it.. Just as good as promised

The writer said that he wanted to be sure each page was as interesting as the page before it. He accomplished the task.The story makes one think about our own motivations.

2 people found this helpful

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Superficial, one dimensional characters, don’t waste your time

I was so excited to listen to this book after I heard a glowing recommendation on NPR. So I kept waiting for it to get better, deeper, more well written. It just never developed! It was very surfacey, characters were one dimensional, and even though the author tried to put a twisty end, it was just kind of flat. I didn’t care about the narcissistic main character

2 people found this helpful

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Engaging Format and delivery

Well written with a unique delivery. Kept me engaged and want to keep listening as each chapter finished.

2 people found this helpful

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Good storytelling and narration

Very compelling and tightly-written; excellent narration. I look forward to more from this author!

1 person found this helpful

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Wow....

If I could give this book 6 stars I would. An incredible story about something that at first seems mundane but is far from it!

1 person found this helpful

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Exceptional narrator!

The story kept my interest and I got the twist at the end that I was hoping for. Edoardo Ballerini is my favorite narrator. He did another great job with this one.

1 person found this helpful