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Pretend I'm Dead

Narrated by: Candace Thaxton
Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
4 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Miranda July meets Mary Karr in this brilliant debut novel from Jen Beagin, Whiting Award winner and "one of the freshest voices […] in years - funny, wise, whip-smart, and compassionate" (Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins), about a cleaning lady on a quest for self-acceptance after her relationship with a loveable junkie goes awry.

Jen Beagin's quirky, moving, "frank and unflinching" (Josh Ferris) debut novel introduces an unforgettable character, Mona - almost 24, emotionally adrift, and cleaning houses to get by. Handing out clean needles to drug addicts, she falls for a recipient she calls Mr. Disgusting, who proceeds to break her heart in unimaginable ways.

In search of healing, Mona decamps to Taos, New Mexico, for a fresh start, where she finds a community of seekers and cast-offs, all of whom have one or two things to teach her - the pajama-wearing, blissed-out New Agers, the slightly creepy client with peculiar tastes in controlled substances, the psychic who might really be psychic. But always lurking just beneath the surface are her memories of growing up in a chaotic, destructive family from which she's trying to disentangle herself, and the larger legacy of the past she left behind.

The story of Mona's journey to find her place in this working-class American world is at once hilarious and wonderfully strange, true to life and boldly human, and introduces a stunningly one-of-a-kind new voice in American fiction.

©2018 Jen Beagin (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

story makes up for bad narration

I don't normally review, but I think it's worth mentioning that in my opinion the narrator doesn't do the story justice. The tone was completely off and she would often go for long stretches without taking a breath which was distracting. The character voices were decent but the narration almost ruined it. Awesome, complex, dark, comedic story saved the day. Would like to read the book myself now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Happy Sad

I’m nowhere close to my 20’s anymore but this story resonated so strongly. It’s hilarity is so sad. Ms. Beagin has angst down to a T. Mona is a little bit of all of us, regardless of age, sex, race, or childhood memories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Are you kidding me??!!

I listen to 3 to 4 audiobooks a week and can tolerate a lot - sex, drugs, gory murders, annoying narrators, bad plot turns, etc. This is the first book that I have yelled at as I was fumbling to quickly turn it off. At the 80 minute mark there was a wtf no-she-won’t, no-she-isn’t, oh-my-God-she-is shift in the female character. Given the opioid epidemic, this book sickens me. I am angry about it and will request a refund for the first time ever.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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What just happened? Terrible.

Sad that I wasted time on this book. There was potential for a good story line but the author would move on every time something would begin to develop and never circle back around or tie anything together. Lacking in climax and resolution. Terrible.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I laughed, I cried, it was better than cats!

Loved the descriptive detail. The characters were captivating- I felt like I knew them.
Can’t wait to read Jens next book.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I tried - but.......

If you are a fan of Faulkneresque writing painfully long reflections on lamp shades and colors then this might be for you.
I tried to like this book. Both print version and audio rendition left me exhausted and without an answer to why am I still reading/listening.
It’s simply a bore.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful