Regular price: $28.00

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man comes a riveting high-seas adventure that combines Christensen's signature wit, irony, and humanity to create a striking and unforgettable vision of our times. 

The 1950s vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella is making her final voyage before heading to the scrapyard. For the guests on board, among them Christine Thorne, a former journalist turned Maine farmer, it's a chance to experience the bygone mid-20th century era of decadent luxury cruising, complete with fine dining, classic highballs, string quartets, and sophisticated jazz. Smoking is allowed but not cell phones - or children, for that matter. The Isabella sets sail from Long Beach, California, into calm seas on a two-week retro cruise to Hawaii and back. 

But this is the second decade of an uncertain new millennium, not the sunny, heedless '50s, and certain disquieting signs of strife and malfunction above and below decks intrude on the festivities. Down in the main galley, Mick Szabo, a battle-weary Hungarian executive sous-chef, watches escalating tensions among the crew. Meanwhile, Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist with the Sabra Quartet, becomes increasingly aware of the age-related vulnerabilities of the ship herself and the cynical corners cut by the cruise ship company, Cabaret.  

When a time of crisis begins, Christine, Mick, and Miriam find themselves facing the unknown together in an unexpected and startling test of their characters.

©2018 Kate Christensen (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“This sly novel from Christensen (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award for The Great Man) begins as a casual romp and then heads inexorably into darker territory. The book steadily gains power as the boat loses its, and the portrayal of a small society on the edge of chaos is haunting. Christensen has crafted a Ship of Fools for an era of environmental concerns and social unrest.” (Publishers Weekly)

"[A] wry and ebullient, gradually catastrophic ship-of-fools-tail...Christensen's gripping and insightful novel dramatizes with stealth and daring the dangerous contrariness of human nature." (Donna Seaman, Booklist, starred review)    

"In her tale of a harrowing voyage at sea, [Kate Christensen] weaves together a perfect microcosm of the world today - overwhelming greed paired with selflessness and community; tribalism at its worst, and humanity at its best. At times hysterical, at times heartbreaking... This is a book that lingers with long after you've finished reading." (Portland Press Herald)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mac
  • Clinton, Montserrat
  • 07-15-18

Totally enjoyable listen!

A great story of three lives entwined. Three stories woven into a compelling tale. I can’t say more without hinting at a spoiler. Great narration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

A truly great novel.

This book so consumed me, that I feel lost having finished it. The depth of characters, the nuance and texture of scene and experience became more real than my own existence. Life abourdv

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

cheesy

Like reading a cheesy romance novel. Kept me listening but too easy to tune it out because it was so boring at times

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Loved it!

Did not want it to end. Loved all the well developed characters! The
Narrator was excellent.

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

Excellent

The character development was very good. I would have given it five but the ending was lacking in what I needed for closure regarding the characters.

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

Great story

Well written characters and plot. The narrator did an excellent job. He made me feel everything they were going through

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gretchen
  • Salinas, CA, United States
  • 07-25-18

The Last Cruise

Character driven novel. Well written and engrossing, but abrupt ending left me feeling cheated. Would have been much more satisfied if the author included and "afterward" chapter.

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

Trite and predictable.

Looked forward to this book but was very disappointed. Interesting story line that could have done so much more. Filled with trite and tired phases and very predicable story. At one point I said aloud, "of course this happens". Middle school romance scenario. Reader did a good job with very little content to work with.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Why was this in the mystery category?

Long on chapter development but it loses the plot little of it as there was with too many coincidences and flat out improbable events with an ending so abrupt all I could think was WTF. Narrator seemed to drone. Returned it. And can’t believe I listened to it as long as I did.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful