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Trust Exercise

A Novel
Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2019 by Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, Electric Literature, The Millions, PopSugar, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Publishers Weekly, Lit Hub, Bustle, and The Huffington Post.

In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing-arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarefied bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed - or un-toyed with - by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.  

The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls - until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside down. What the listener believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true - though it’s not false, either. It takes until the audiobook’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place - revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence.  

As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave listeners with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults. 

©2019 Susan Choi (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

fabulous performance, incisive writing

This book gave me a good deal of insight into my own high school experience, as well as the experience of my family members
The author is very talented with her phrasing and metaphors.She also discussed the etymology and usage of certain words, which I found quite eye-opening!
I highly recommend the audio version of this book, as the "exercises" contain repetitive phrases that are fleshed out in the performance, but would remain undifferentiated as words on the page
Don't miss this! Very enjoyable

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Terrific!

So much to think about in this novel! How do we recall the past? What is truth? What is fiction? How does one person’s truth contradict someone else’s? I found this to be a thought provoking page turner that makes me want to read everything else Susan Choi has written!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Don’t waste your time.

I listen to a lot of literary fiction. This book is awful. I gave up after two hours and returned it. If you want a really good listen about teenagers and consequences that follow through adulthood, try Ohio.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't finish it

This is the second book in my entire life that I couldn't finish. The performance was fine from those I heard but the story itself was terrible. It was over described, pretentious...ugh. I wanted to like it so much but I just could've bear listening to another sentence. Sorry. I hope others enjoyed it.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Did not make much sense.it felt artificial and the style at times pretentious. Not worth the time to read it

Did not make much sense. Disconnected. Felt forced. There are lots of other books that are better

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Vile words

Official reviews on NPR and the Atlantic led me to try this book, thinking it would be clever and emotionally impactful. However, no one gave any warning of how VILE it would be, starting from the first page. Boob-grabbing in a dark classroom, narrating a boy’s sexual experiences with his ex as a “sex recipe” in which they never deviated from a certain order of activities, etc. The tone of the narration is very odd too, seeming to relish in shocking the listener with self-congratulatory but unnecessary “calling a spade a spade” -ness. Am I supposed to be impressed just because they (author and narrator) throw the word “intercourse” about in a story about high schoolers? The narrative is rich in gratuitous vileness and thin in character psychology. I understand that halfway through, this narrative is revealed to be a false one. But I couldn’t endure the mincingly self-conscious narrative any longer than five minutes, let alone five hours. Life is too short. For narrative cleverness, there’s Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End. For sensitive treatment of teen angst, there’s Rainbow Rowell’s “Fangirl”. Just because a book is difficult and abrasive does not mean it is then “literary”. The praise for this book smacks of self-important types being avant-garde for the sake of being avant-garde, without a thought of how readers might actually want to enjoy their books—and enjoy their time.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not my favorite

I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as I thought I would. Too many hours I'll never get back.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful