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Publisher's Summary

A masterful, inventive thriller from a remarkably assured and always surprising young writer.

Perpetual graduate student Joseph Geist is at his wit's end. Recently kicked out of their shared apartment by his girlfriend, he's left with little more than a half bust of Nietzsche's head and the realization that he's homeless and unemployed. He's hit a dead end on his dissertation; his funding has been cut off. He doesn't even have a phone. Desperate for some source of income, he searches the local newspaper and finds a curious ad:

CONVERSATIONALIST SOUGHT. SERIOUS APPLICANTS ONLY. PLEASE CALL 617-XXX-XXXX BETWEEN SEVEN A.M. AND TWO P.M. NO SOLICITORS.

And so Joseph meets Alma Spielman: a woman who, with her old-world ways and razor-sharp mind, is his intellectual soul mate. How is he to know that what seems to be the best decision of his life is the one that seals his fate?

©2010 Jesse Kellerman (P)2010 Penguin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Gave Up

I really REALLY wanted to like this book. I've read several Jesse Kellerman books in the past and enjoyed them all. That's why I eagerly downloaded this one. I'm not sure where the author was going, but it seemed to drag on and on and I finally gave up listening. It was downright painful. Also, I found the narrator's voice quite annoying. I'll be interested in reading what others have to say.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Tricky

This book has the signature Jesse Kellerman hook - the story begins with an odd document, voicemail or newspaper ad, etc. - and expands from there. In this case it's a peculiar job listing, in the Harvard "Crimson", for a "conversationalist".

I considered this story to be very credit-worthy, but the overdone, melodramatic narration moved it down to a "3".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointing

What was most disappointing about Jesse Kellerman’s story?

What began as a promising and interesting story line with interesting characters, I was surprised (not in a good way) when the story took an unexpected turn and then became very predictable.

What does Kirby Heyborne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Heyborne's voice lends itself nicely to the characters.

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

I purchased another book by Mr. Kellerman (actually by accident), but decided to give it a try because it is clear that Mr. Kellerman can write. Again the book started with promise but once more the character development took a turn that I did not care for. It is hard to write much more without giving away too much of the plot. This author is just not for me but clearly has talent and I can see him developing his own following if he hasn't yet.

Any additional comments?

I use whispersync which eases my commute and allows me to stay with one book at a time instead of keeping up with two books, one audio for commuting and the other one being read. <br/><br/>I would recommend that someone try Mr. Kellerman. He is just not for me.