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The Expectations

Narrated by: Michael Crouch
Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The Expectations announces a dazzling new voice in American fiction." (Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach)

St. James is an exclusive New England boarding school known for grooming generations of leaders. Ben Weeks is a true insider - his ancestors helped found St. James, his older brother taught him all the slang, and he's just won a national championship in squash.

But after 14 long years of waiting, Ben arrives at school only to find that the reality of St. James doesn't quite match up with his imaginings. At the same time, his new roommate, Ahmed Al-Khaled, the son of a fabulously wealthy Emirati sheik, can't navigate the unspoken rules of New England blue bloods. Even as Ben and Ahmed struggle to prove themselves in the place they have revered for so long, each of them must face losing it forever.

The Expectations is at once a finely drawn portrait of American privilege and a subtle exploration of class, race, and tradition. Above all, it is a tender, sharp, and evocative debut about the pain and treachery of adolescence, and the difficulty - wherever one finds oneself - of truly belonging.

©2019 Alexander Tilney (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully rendered, sharply observed, and intensely moving. Writing with uncommon acuity and generosity, Tilney pierces the heart of a boy, exposing it without betraying it. The Expectations is an unsentimental novel about adolescence, written for adults, to be read not so that we might remember our blundering younger selves but that we might forgive them. A gift of a novel." (Susan Rieger, author of The Heirs and The Divorce Papers)

"The Expectations portrays all the intrigue of adolescence - sexual longing, competitive aspiration, and betrayal - while illuminating the most poignant of growing-up realities: It's scary to figure out who you are, and even scarier when you have no idea. Tilney expertly evokes the human yearning to be recognized as Somebody, even when you fear you are nobody." (Katharine Dion, author of The Dependents)

"Prep school isn't what it used to be, as Ben Weeks discovers during his first year at the elite St. James School. Debut author Tilney deftly limns the unchanging eponymous expectations: that students will graduate to the Ivy League and real-world leadership; that while at St. James they will uphold such dubious traditions as ferocious competitiveness in sports and brutal hazing of new students. But Tilney also nails the changing social climate of the mid-1990s...The Expectations paints a compassionate portrait of a confused young man groping for maturity...Smart, shrewdly observed, and highly readable." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Is this part one?

Nice story, superbly read by Michael Crouch. But when he stops reading, the story is not finished. None of the plot, none of the character issues has been resolved. Supremely irritating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful