Vox

Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (1,184 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The national best seller

One of Entertainment Weekly's and SheReads' books to read after The Handmaid's Tale 

"[An] electrifying debut.” (O, The Oprah Magazine

“The real-life parallels will make you shiver.” (Cosmopolitan

Set in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke 16,000 words a day, but now women have only 100 to make themselves heard.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. 

This is just the beginning...not the end. 

One of Good Morning America's “Best Books to Bring to the Beach This Summer”

One of PopSugar, Refinery29, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Real Simple, i09, and Amazon's Best Books to Read in August 2018.

©2018 Christina Dalcher (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Julia Whelan brings this realistic, thought-provoking debut to life with heart.... A frighteningly believable story that ends with hope." (AudioFile)

Editorial Review

100 Words…is the length of this paragraph!

Vox has a great hook: what if women could speak only 100 words each day? But men and boys aren’t limited *at all*? Well, at the start of the novel, our heroine, Dr. Jean McClellan, is pretty tired from holding in all her thoughts and feelings…and resentful of her own beloved husband and sons. In the tradition of The Handmaid’s Tale, Vox makes dystopia feel contemporary and plausible. Although the novel is a little long, and I disagree with some of Jean’s choices, I enjoyed the performance by Julia Whelan, one of my favorite narrators. She makes every word count! —Christina H., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Vox

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

Great concept but the end felt rushed

I really enjoyed the concept of this story but the dialogue was unnatural and the end felt like the author just got in a hurry to wrap things up; I don’t want to give it away but- I felt the author should have spent more time with it. Too rushed- so rushed that some things just left me going, “but wait- why did they do that and how did they get from here to there ??”

12 people found this helpful

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🔬🗣Speak No Evil👄👁🧪🦠💉🔑

This terrific and timely sci-fi thriller does owe a lot to Margaret Atwood/Handmaid’s Tale, and it’s true that it isn’t nearly the literary masterpiece that Handmaid is. And as an SLP who has conducted aphasia research, works closely with neurologists and neuroscientists, and treats patients with aphasia every day of the week, I can tell you that the science behind this protagonist’s miracle “cure” for Wernicke’s aphasia (why only Wernicke’s? Why not global aphasia, which is even worse?) is complete hooey. All that said, however, I loved it, and am recommending it to every friend I have. Yes, it’s a dystopian fairytale, not a 100% realistic novel. It’s also a gripping good story, and an urgent call to action at a critical time in our nation’s history. I read it and listened to it all day and half the night just to get to the big reveals. A few of the surprises were twists I did not see coming. The narrator is very good, and perfect for the material. Grade: A Bechdel test: Pass

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

Gender stereotypes Cultural stereotypes Ethnic stereotypes I wanted to like this book, but I found it too predictable filled with cliches.

30 people found this helpful

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Handmaid wanna be

Story is unrealistic. Limiting women to 100 words per day is pointless. How would a women who is to keep house and raise children function without words? A lot of science in this book which does not seem possible. At least with the handmaid tale the treatment of the citizens of Gilead seems plausible

35 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Handmaid’s Tale But about our words

Vox was recommended to me by a teacher friend. She told me if I like Handmaid’s Tale, I’d love this. What she described; a dystopia where women are not used for sex or child rearing, but as nearly mute slaves to a patriarchal government... I was in for the whole ride. The one downside to this book is that it keeps you angry the whole time, which is great when facing injustices and trying to punch Nazis, not great when you’re trying to do mundane tasks like order coffee or clean the house. Be careful of the ending. It’s... it’s something we have all seen in books done to men, so I like the trope switch... but it still feels like lazy writing, even if it is done pointedly so. Wonderful book, will be recommending to every woman and man I can talk to.

5 people found this helpful

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Please ignore the negative reviews.

Most of the negative reviews are from Christians who don’t like what they hear. If the religion of the bad people in this book had been, say, Muslim, then there would be five stars all over the place! The book is interesting. It leaves you with more questions than answers, however. On a small scale, it is an interesting social experiment. Is it possible in America? Probably not. But it also rings true in a lot of senses. At the end of the day, Vox probably deserves 3.5-4 stars, but I chose to give it the full five stars to offset the obvious poo-pooing of all the offended Christians who don’t think this book is appropriate. Religion, ALL religion, has dark sides. Survivors of the LDS cults in Utah and Arizona would agree, I think. If you decide to read Vox, just buckle up and enjoy the ride! If nothing else, it will make you think. What is the true end that religious zealots desire in this country? I have a feeling that more than a few would enjoy the idea of women being seen and not heard.

5 people found this helpful

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Deserves less than a star

I almost NEVER write reviews, but I had to tell everyone to not waste your money. As a fan of Handmaid's tale, I really thought I would enjoy the concept of this book. Unfortunately it lacked narrative constancy, a coherent theme and any development in character. First of all, the hostility towards Christianity and conservatives is so blatantly apparent she will be losing 50% of the population's readership in the first few chapters. It's lack of subtly to even understand Christian theology made it impossible for me to find myself drawn into this world. It seemed so fictional that I found myself laughing in scenes that were supposed to be making a thought-provoking jab at today's Christian culture. Second, the book has moments where it mentioned women weren't allowed to read anymore yet in other scenes she is reading a bedtime story to her daughter. Other narrative inconsistencies include the mention that the counter bracelets only went on a year ago, yet she talks about counters she has for infants that her daughter had worn (which makes no sense because her daughter is 6 or 7). She is also allowed to go to the doctor to find out whether she is pregnant without her husband's knowledge? Seems like this wouldn't be the case in a world where they aren't supposed to even write. How would she explain why she was there on her 100 words? All the Bible versus she reads are made up as well. This all took me out of the book and made the story lack narrative constancy. Third, the theme. I started to immediately understand that the book was trying to cover every current political issue in one book which gave me whip lash. If she had decided one main issue to focus and expand on I think the book would have been much more intriguing. Halfway through book I started to realize the bigger theme was that the protagonist was a feminist but had decided to sit on the sidelines instead of fight for what she believed and soon it was too late to fight. I thought this was actually an inspiring idea. Don't sit on the sidelines while the world goes to hell. Unfortunately, the author completely ruined it at the end when she had the protagonist move across seas and decide to stay out of politics for a while. Isn't that how this had all happened before? Because she sat on the sidelines? It made no sense. Lastly, the book was boring. The author spent too much time describing scenes where she gets mail out of the mailbox and where she puts monkeys back in cages and less with the character's development. She has been having an affair with a man from work but instead of exploring the moment where her husband finds out the truth, the author turns away from that moment. She also added in characters randomly like the Linn's girlfriend. I would have loved to have explored more of how they had broken up because the new government. Lastly, her husband. You think he's weak weasel throughout most of the book and towards the end you find out he actually makes the ultimate sacrifice. The author didn't do a good job transitioning from weasel to hero. It felt forced. Overall, the book was too long in some parts and too short in others. Besides complete blasphemy on Christianity (can't authors just make up a religion instead of using one that is about love and grace?) it lacks theme, character development and a good ending.

45 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It’s okay.

Narrator is great. Story line had potential. A shame that the main character lacks the moral to stay faithful to her husband, her excuse being that her husband is too weak to stand up to the dystopian anti woman type government. Turns out he actually was part of the resistance. So he is conveniently killed and all four kids of her kids don’t even seem to mourn their own father before just accepting the affair partner. This lady makes me sick. But yeah, cool idea for a book. Sooo much more I could say about the unrealistic costs of infidelity and lack of morals but not worth it

1 person found this helpful

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Extreme hysterical liberal propaganda

Quick read, love to listen to anything Julia Whelan narrates. The story however, while quick to get through, reminds me of The Handmaiden's Tale. An extremely liberal hysterically written propaganda piece against anything conservative or religious.

1 person found this helpful

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Not a bad book...

I didn't struggle to listen to it. It did flow, but honestly I didn't really care about the characters because the writer didn't make you care about them one way or another. The story was there and it wasn't bad, but it could have been so much better had things been fleshed out a little more.

1 person found this helpful