adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $21.31

Buy for $21.31

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, 2017

Hisham Matar was 19 when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Gaddafi, Hisham was finally able to return to his homeland for the first time.

In this heartbreaking, illuminating memoir, he describes his return to a country and a family he thought he would never see again. The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale of loss. It is an exquisite meditation on history, politics and art. It's the story of what it is to be human.

©2016 Hisham Matar (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Return

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a journey

Very rare a book or an author can take me into his or her journey so deeply ... maybe it’s the story, the narration, the beautiful writing or a combination of all of them! I felt Hisham’s pain, his disappointment, and his longing ... I savoured it till the last second .

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anthony
  • Anthony
  • 12-18-16

Search for justice and closure - a Libyan story

Beautifully written, moving, tenacious story of a son's search for what happened to his father in Libya's political prisons. A story of his search for the truth and closure, and the betrayals he learned about along the way.

Beautifully read - the pronunciation of Leeebiya (Libya) will stay with me forever.

So too will the story of the return by the author's mother, week after week, to the political prison to bring lovingly prepared food for her incarcerated husband,... And what became of the bodies and bones of those who were killed by the Gaddafi regime ...

Autobiographical, deeply human story...

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Suswati
  • Suswati
  • 04-18-17

Deeply moving, the horrors of separation

A well deserved Pulitzer Prize for Hisham Matar, who speaks bravely about the terrible experiences his family faced under the Gaddafi regime and not knowing the fate of his diplomat father. It is gripping and terrifying to hear how easy it was for the authorities to arrest and kill Libyans at will even on foreign soil and the complicity of western countries that allowed it to happen. Truly a harrowing and stirring listen.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for FJF
  • FJF
  • 02-06-17

brilliant, beautiful and intimate

having Hisham himself as the reader, really transforms this story into a personal conversation.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Artyperson
  • Artyperson
  • 10-22-21

Remarkable

This is truly the best read book of a truthful story I have ever heard. Hisham’s prose is so moving and genuine, he takes you on his life’s journey with poetic yet soulful honesty of loss….. thank you Hisham.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-25-21

Painfully poignant and haunting.

Listening to the audiobook narrated by the author himself made the whole experience all the more intimate and gripping.

This is the story of one man’s search for his father, who was disappeared and imprisoned during Qaddafi’s brutal rule, in Libya. It’s a book about men, where the women feature in the background but do the heavy emotional weightlifting. The disappeared were the children of these women, their fathers, brothers, and husbands, yet their grief translates through that of their children and other menfolk.

There’s a tinge of sadness in Matar’s voice. Throughout the book, one can’t help but experience the pain and yearning as he flashbacks in his narration to various episodes of togetherness, absence, separation, and hope.

The book is an epic of endurance, resistance and the undying hope that the relatives of disappeared political prisoners in Libya and the Arab world continue to hold for a better future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mariam swehli
  • Mariam swehli
  • 05-08-21

Lovely book

Absolutely lovely book which definitely hit home (being that I'm also Libyan). Beautifully written, although a few hours in it was incredibly slow and took me a while to get through but once you get through that it goes by so quickly. Highly recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Roly
  • Roly
  • 09-10-19

Exceptional....

The material, so sensitive and personal almost stopped me listening. It’s beautifully written and narrated exceptionally as only a writer himself is able; telling the tragic cruel history of Libya; his diaspora and return and the rediscovery of his absent imprisoned father and family.
I’m not going to dare offer further bumbling comment but the sound editors didn’t leave enough of a natural pause between chapters, and the book deserves this.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Petra
  • Petra
  • 06-08-18

Compassion fatigue

I expected great things. I enjoyed finding out about Libya and the personal history. In the end the search for the author's father became repetitious and a bit dull. The narrator's tone exacerbated my impatience. Maybe I just lack empathy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs B
  • Mrs B
  • 04-21-18

well written autobiography

includes African history of Libyan occupation and a story of a man in search for his father

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-16-17

Good but drawn out

Interesting but somewhat drawn out, written by professional writer and somewhat literary in style. Actual story was interesting though just took a while to get through.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Judy
  • Judy
  • 04-29-17

Loved it

Compelling true story written by a man with a fabulous poetic sensibility. Hearing it read by the author himself added another dimension, his voice is thick with bitterness and melancholy. An insight into Libyan history too. The male characters are rich and real, but we only get fleeting glimpses of the women and I'm left wondering about them.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Fiona O'Connell
  • Fiona O'Connell
  • 05-08-17

A powerful memoir - better in written format

I had a written copy of this book as well as the audio version and would recommend the written format - definitely 4 star. The book moves between cities and decades, often within a chapter, which works well in the written format but was confusing in the audiobook. I also feel the beautiful prose is better pondered in the written form. Maybe it was just my download but a large section of chapter 14 was repeated.

This book is a wonderful testament to Hisham's father, family and country. A story of love and loss and Libya's history. Highly recommend.