Out East

Memoir of a Montauk Summer
Narrated by: Michael Crouch
Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (99 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"An unforgettable story told with feeling and humor and above all with the razor-sharp skill of a delicate and highly gifted writer." (Andre Aciman, New York Times best-selling author of Call Me by Your Name)

"Out East is full of intimacy and hope and frustration and joy, an extraordinary tale of emotional awakening and lacerating ambivalence, a confession of self-doubt that becomes self-knowledge." (Andrew Solomon, National Book Award winner)

A gripping portrait of life in a Montauk summer house - a debut memoir of first love, identity, and self-discovery among a group of friends who became family.

They call Montauk the end of the world, a spit of land jutting into the Atlantic. The house was a ramshackle split-level set on a hill, and each summer 31 people would sleep between its thin walls and shag carpets. Against the moonlight the house's octagonal roof resembled a bee's nest. It was dubbed The Hive.

In 2013, John Glynn joined the share house. Packing his duffel for that first Memorial Day weekend, he prayed for clarity. At 27, he was crippled by an all-encompassing loneliness, a feeling he had carried in his heart for as long as he could remember. John didn't understand the loneliness. He just knew it was there. Like the moon gone dark.

Out East is the portrait of a summer, of the Hive and the people who lived in it, and John's own reckoning with a half-formed sense of self. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Hive was a center of gravity, a port of call, a home. Friendships, conflicts, secrets, and epiphanies blossomed within this tightly woven friend group and came to define how they would live out the rest of their 20s and beyond. Blending the sand-strewn milieu of George Howe Colt's The Big House and the radiant aching of Olivia Liang's The Lonely City, Out East is a keenly wrought story of love and transformation, longing and escape in our own contemporary moment.

©2019 John Glynn (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"In his tender and inspiring coming-of-age debut, John Glynn explores how a single summer of beer pong, sunshine, and friendship showed him it was time to be honest with the world, and with himself." (Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead)

"John Glynn wonderfully captures it all: the bars, the clothes, the music, the breakups, the giddiness and terror of being young in New York, searching for yourself all week, searching for someone else on weekends, in one of the world's most hauntingly beautiful beach towns. If you're in your twenties you'll smile and nod at the joy and pain of Glynn's quest. If you're not in your twenties, he'll make you feel as if you are. A gorgeous debut." (J. R. Moehringer, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times best-selling author of The Tender Bar)

"As a microcosmic rendition of a lost summer's drunken rhythms and Glynn's slowly unfolding realization about his own sexuality, the writing resonates with a shimmery tingle." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Out East

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Excellent narration of an intimate and moving story

I enjoyed listening to Out East by John Glynn. The memoir is an intimate account of one summer of decadence and self discovery. Crouch is an excellent narrator. Glynn does a good job of making you feel like you are at the Hive; he also renders his sorrow, longing, grief and love so articulately.

2 people found this helpful

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Pregame, pregame, pregame

Picked this up when I saw it on the New Yorker’s summer 2019 list and I was disappointed. I wish this manuscript had another go around with an aggressive editor. The author’s use of brand names, “the hive,” and “pregame” is beyond cloying and really took away from my enjoyment of a fun summer story.

3 people found this helpful

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Quick and Easy

This is a quick and easy read. Growing up in the Hamptons and being gay maybe attracted me a little more to this book than the average person. This is a pretty topical book that shows where we are as gay people in a certain strata in NYC society. It’s a good beach read or a book for someone young coming to grips with their sexuality.

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Sweet story

This was a nice easy sweet coming-of-age story. Well told, and unfolded nicely. There was a singsong pattern to the narrator that was a little annoying at first but eventually got used to it and could hear past it.

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Right theme, wrong author

John Glynn is a poor man's F. Scott Fitzgerald in every conceivable way, and I even hesitate to put the two on the furthest possible ends of the same spectrum, because doing so still feels like a insult to Fitzgerald. Despite the adequate and descriptive writing, the sheer banality of the story arc and single dimension of virtually every character made listening an almost unbearable task. Not every story deserves to be told, read, or listened to. Glynn's arc was almost so flat that Flat Earth theorists could post Reddit threads about it.