• The Wanderers

  • By: Meg Howrey
  • Narrated by: Mozhan Marnò
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (423 ratings)

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The Wanderers  By  cover art

The Wanderers

By: Meg Howrey
Narrated by: Mozhan Marnò
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Publisher's Summary

Station Eleven meets The Martian in this brilliantly inventive novel about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them - and their families - changed forever.

In an age of space exploration, we search to find ourselves.

In four years aerospace giant Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshihiro Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they're the crew for the historic voyage by spending 17 months in the most realistic simulation ever created. Constantly observed by Prime Space's team of "Obbers", Helen, Yoshi, and Sergei must appear ever in control. But as their surreal pantomime progresses, each soon realizes that the complications of inner space are no less fraught than those of outer space. The borders between what is real and unreal begin to blur, and each astronaut is forced to confront demons past and present, even as they struggle to navigate their increasingly claustrophobic quarters - and each other.

Astonishingly imaginative, tenderly comedic, and unerringly wise, The Wanderers explores the differences between those who go and those who stay, telling a story about the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart.

Library Journal, A Big Fiction pick for March 2017.

©2017 Meg Howrey (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Engrossing.... Although the contours of a space drama may seem familiar to a 21st-century readership, Howrey, through the poetry of her writing and the richness of her characters, makes it all seem new. A lyrical and subtle space opera." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"Three astronauts and those who know them best explore the limits of truth and love in Howrey’s genre-bending novel.... The voices are distinct, each member reviewing and acting on his or her own emotional telemetry with equal parts brilliance and blunder, and the stakes are high, with any heartbeat capable of tipping the scales against the crew’s survival.... With these believably fragile and idealistic characters at the helm, Howrey’s insightful novel will take readers to a place where they too can 'lift their heads and wonder.'" (Publishers Weekly)

"Howrey presents an extraordinarily empathetic and well-realized look at the astronauts and their families as they progress through the Eidolon mission. Compelling and timely, these parallel tales of exploration, both through the galaxy and within, should win over a wide variety of readers." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about The Wanderers

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A Voyage Of Discovery

Ok, up front I just loved this book. My hope is that you didn't read the editorial review or the publisher summary. To me, they both contain too much information. I won't say they contain actual plot spoilers--but something more on the lines of presenting preconceived ideas. Notions that might limit your personal experience of what is actually happening in this amazingly subtle and nuanced novel. There is so much depth in Howrey's writing and when combined with Marno's beautiful narration the whole experience sparkles.

I think that this is the sort of book that each reader will interpret in their own way. For me the writing was packed full of deeper meaning, wry humor, growth and love. The whole book was so thoughtful, so filled with insight and grounded solidly in a feeling of hope and possibility.

My suggestion, if you decide to take the plunge, is to approach the storytelling free of limits, with an open mind and allow yourself to see where this adventure takes you. I hung on each word and listened almost non-stop. My favorite book so far this year. Wonderful.

27 people found this helpful

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Boo

This book was horrible. No plot - just a whole lot of rambling characterizations. Could not listen to it. It was free and I still want a refund

6 people found this helpful

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Think drama more than science fiction

I bought this book because I really enjoyed The Martian and Station Eleven, but this book is more of a drama than sci-fi. Slow moving book more about the dysfunctions of the unlikeable characters than a mission to Mars. Plodded along until it's unsatisfactory ending. Narration was very good and most likely the only reason I finished the book.

6 people found this helpful

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If I could've returned it, I would've.

I've never been so bored with an audible purchase & I was so relieved when it was over.

5 people found this helpful

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A Journey over a Destination

The narration is very good - there are a few spaces between paragraphs where it is clear they edited together two different recording sessions, however, overall the quality and tone of the narrator is great. Overall I would call it calm and intriguing. The book itself is not quite what I expected. Each chapter is from a different character's perspective, and the reader has no information that the characters themselves do not have, and they are unreliable. They only see each other through filters, and all are conscious of they way others see them to a hyperactive degree. The setting is somewhat circumstantial, where the interesting this is not training to go to Mars - really that is just a backdrop for exploring the development and relationships between these people - rather what a superhuman task requires of those who undertake it.

3 people found this helpful

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Know what You Are Getting-Poignant And Deep

If you are looking for a replica of The Martian or Station Eleven, that is not this book. Instead, this book is an exploration of the humans involved in a Martian space simulation, whether by being the selected astronaut or one of the family members waiting while the 17 month Mars simulation progresses. Whether from the past or present, these people and their stories, their frailties and strengths, their hopes and worries for themselves, earth and humankind; they will touch your soul. I think if you know that going in you'll enjoy your travels through this beautiful, beautiful book.

3 people found this helpful

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What a horrible ending....

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No! I read the tag line that this book was a combination of 'The Martian,' and 'Station 11.' Both of these are books I absolutely loved and have listened to multiple times.

I finished this book in about 3 days. I had very obsessive dreams about this book and highly anticipated a good ending. What a huge let down. I'm sure it was meant to be profound and thought evoking, but it was just enormously frustrating.

In short, I'm returning this book and getting my credit back.

3 people found this helpful

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Revelation upon revelation upon...

One of the most deeply moving and compelling works of contemporary fiction I have read.

Ms. Howery has much to teach Nabokov, Roth, Vonnegut.

Listen with your heart, to the depth of your soul and all the compassion for humanity for which you are capable, and you, too, I hope, will feel about this work of genius as I do.

God Bless you, author Meg Howery and actress Mozhan Marino.

2 people found this helpful

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Meh...

What did you like best about The Wanderers? What did you like least?

The story is good, however I was hoping for a little more exciting story line. Mostly this is a story about the personalities of the astronauts and their families. After a few chapters, there wasn't much to keep me engaged. It was, however, interesting to imagine how they and their families must control their feelings for the sake of the career. The narration became a little monotonous for me. I finished the book but only because I am very stubborn and am unwilling to cut my losses!

Would you be willing to try another book from Meg Howrey? Why or why not?

No thanks. While the author's prose is great, I didn't find the story engaging. The style of writing isn't for me.

Which character – as performed by Mozhan Marno – was your favorite?

None really. I never developed an attachment to any of them.

Was The Wanderers worth the listening time?

No.

2 people found this helpful

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I hated listening to every minute of it.

If you are at all considering this novel based on the pitch that it's "Station Eleven meets The Martian." Don't - Just don't.

This is instead, a very internally focused literary fiction with a plot that offers up nothing more than what is already in the synopsis and a colossally disinteresting 10 hour 43 minute long character study where nothing happens. Ever.

The entire novel we're either in the heads of our astronauts, who more often than not, have constant weird off-putting sexual inner monologues about one another while their family members back home who are working out their own epiphanies with no dramatic tension.

This story ["gets at the heart of what it means to be human—even when we’re hundreds of millions of miles from home."]

I'm sorry - hundreds of millions of miles? Did that person even read this book? Because ...

Major Spoiler Alert:

THEY NEVER EVEN GO TO MARS!

2 people found this helpful