• The Lightest Object in the Universe

  • A Novel
  • By: Kimi Eisele
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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The Lightest Object in the Universe  By  cover art

The Lightest Object in the Universe

By: Kimi Eisele
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
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Publisher's Summary

What if the end times allowed people to see and build the world anew? This is the landscape that Kimi Eisele creates in her surprising and original debut novel. Evoking the spirit of such monumental love stories as Cold Mountain and the creative vision of novels like Station Eleven, The Lightest Object in the Universe tells the story of what happens after the global economy collapses and the electrical grid goes down.

In this new world, Carson, on the East Coast, is desperate to find Beatrix, a woman on the West Coast who holds his heart. Working his way along a cross-country railroad line, he encounters lost souls, clever opportunists, and those who believe they'll be saved by an evangelical preacher in the middle of the country. Meanwhile, Beatrix and her neighbors begin to construct a cooperative community that suggests the end could be, in fact, a bright beginning.

Without modern means of communication, will Beatrix and Carson reach each other, and what will be left of the old world if they do? The answers may lie with a fifteen-year-old girl who could ultimately decide the fate of the cross-country lovers.

©2019 Kimi Eisele (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Lightest Object in the Universe

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your time.......

I thought this book would he a refreshing change for dystopian post apocalyptic novels, billed as an upbeat, human story of the apocalypse. I quickly found out why it was billed this way. Imagine reading a book of this genre written by a hippie Communist protester and how it would turn out...........and that is this book.

The main character is your classic hippie protester, who looks down her nose at people who do the hard jobs in this post apocalyptic story, like the armed protectors, scavengers, ham radio operators, and others of their perfect co-op commune, I'm surprised the author even bothered to include police types in her story given her obvious disdain for them. The author also mentions the need for firearms in this world for her story many places, yet still the idea doesn't gel well with her world view, so she goes out of her way to minimize their use in the utopian commune she struggles to create in this book.

Her dystopian picture while beautifully written is not believable in the slightest bit, and that brings the rest of the novel down, as the story really drags on most of the book. The only two characters given any real depth in this book are the romantically involved main characters traveling across the nation to reach each other again, and even these 2 aren't very relatable. All other characters in this story are intentionally marginalized and not fleshed out at all.

I almost stopped reading about a quarter of the way, and then again halfway through the book, but slogged through to the end. 2 out of 5 star read.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This year’s Station 11

The apocalypse has come— no electricity, no government, viral flu. But still we hang on. The story follows 3 characters: Beatrix, Carson and Rosie. Carson leaves the East to find Beatrix in California. Beatrix, who has never stayed home long enough to make contact with her community, finds that community, including Rosie, a 15 yr old. Against this is a radio broadcasting zealot promising a better life. Great character development and pace.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bad Dystopian

I love great dystopian fantasy, but this was not that.
This literally seemed crazy to me. The electrical grid goes down, many have died. The survivors must find a way to survive. What will be the primary focus for survival? Of course, the answer is so obvious, NPR...National Public Radio...is what the world needs. Nevermind there is no power thus limited radios, we must start broadcasting helpful homemaking tips and inspiring fiction stories.

There is also a bad religious guy promising salvation over the radio, but that arc is too boring to mention. As is the love story. The book starts with the two lovers separated by thousands of miles of the dystopian United States. Will they reach each other? More importantly, why would anyone care. The relationship predates the start of the book, and it not well developed, so I was not clear why I should care about them getting together. There are also marauding bands of evil-doers, but not to worry as they are really only misunderstood young boys on BMX bikes and only need NPR to convert them back to caring productive youths.

I really don’t think this was a dystopian parody.

The narration was not too bad, but could not help the inane plot.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A kinder, gentler slow apocalypse

I tend to like the soft or slow apocalypse genre. and this was no exception. I also gravitate toward books that can tell the story and have well-rounded characters without a ton of violence. It's a rare novel that gets 4 stars out of me!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Reminds me of Octavia Butler

For fans of the late, great Octavia Butler here is The Lightest Object in the Universe, a tender take on the apocalypse by another female sci fi writer. I prefer sci fi by women since it generally is more about characterization and less about weaponry and this book is a prime example. It's lyrical and poetically written, without being pretentious--and has a compelling plot that drives the narrative. It's an exploration of life after a flu pandemic and other unnamed disasters shut down the nation's electric grid and government. No internet, no food, no water, no gas, no nothing. If you ever wondered how you--and the world-- would survive without electricity this book gives you some idea. Cleverly Eisele comes up with an old technology--AM radio-- as a communication device. An activist-type woman named Beatrix who believes in community starts her own radio show and figures out how to broadcast it from California (I think) A mysterious charismatic preacher named Blue takes over the airwaves and promises a wonderful life to all who take a journey to the "center" to join him. The book follows Beatrix, her soulmate Carson who starts traveling by foot from New York to get to her and a teenage girl and her grandmother who travel to the center with disastrous consequences. Even though Eisele is realistic about the apocolypse-- there are marauding gangs of teenagers who terrorize her town--she also shows how good people who want to stick together can do just that and save each other and possibly the world. Narration on this also lovely--matches the spirit of the book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Okay story if you can tolerate the performance

I found the narrator to be deeply annoying. She has a pattern of nasal staccato followed by a melodious patch and back. Once you hear it, you can’t unhear it.

Almost turned it off, but persevered. It sounds like a YA novel (not sure if it is??). It draws comparison to Station Eleven, which I enjoyed more.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Only read for class

Liberal book. Story doesn’t seem realistic. Only read a bit for class, then dropped that class