Weather

A Novel
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times Best Seller

From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation - one of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year - a “darkly funny and urgent” (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years, she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. Sylvia has become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. 

As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you've seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience - but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she's learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks.... 

And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in - funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad. 

“Offill’s fragmentary structure evokes an unbearable emotional intensity: something at the core of the story that cannot be narrated directly, by straight chronology, because to do so would be like looking at the sun....” (The New York Times)

©2020 Jenny Offill (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Compact and wholly contemporary, Jenny Offill’s third novel sees a librarian find deep meaning and deep despair in her side gig as an armchair therapist for those in existential crisis, including liberals fearing climate apocalypse and conservatives fearing the demise of 'American values.' As she attempts to save everyone, our protagonist is driven to her limits, making for a canny, comic story about the power of human need." (Esquire)

 

"Always wry and wise. Offill offers an acerbic observer with a wide-ranging mind in this marvelous novel." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

"Clever and seductive...the 'weather' of our days both real and metaphorical, is perfectly captured in Offill's brief, elegant paragraphs, filled with insight and humor. Offill is good company for the end of the world." (Kirkus Reviews starred review)

Editor's Pick

A highly unforgettable-sentence-to-listening-time ratio
"Despite consuming a vast amount of novels, I’m terrible at remembering them, so I consider Jenny Offill’s 2014 book Dept. of Speculation a minor miracle. Years later, I still think of it (and its startling observations on everything from adultery to art monsters to sad, worn-out underwear) on a near-daily basis. While it’s too fresh in my mind to say for sure, Offill’s much-anticipated follow-up is working the same bracing magic on my beleaguered brain. Told by a Brooklyn librarian who picks up a side job with a futurist podcast called "Hell and High Water," Weather is "about" many things: climate change, contemporary dread, the surprising savagery of domestic life, the fascinating characters you meet in libraries. What it isn’t is a traditional narrative with a neat, propulsive plot. Written in fragmented, impressionist vignettes and impeccably voiced by Cassandra Campbell, this is one you’ll want to dedicated some focused listening time to—all the better to have its sentences pleasingly burned into your brain for years to come." —Kat J., Audible Editor

What members say

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

Probably Perfect for Most People

I’m don’t cuss and am pretty conservative so I didn’t like the use of the “F” word.

3 people found this helpful

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

More Short Story than Novel

I was not the greatest fan of this book. It sounded very interesting, and it started out promising. However, the further into it I got the more I realized the story structure didn’t agree with me. There are essentially two plot lines whose nexuses are the narrator and the fact climate change is happening. These could have been two distinct short stories. Combining them in this way made for a confusing listen. The story flips from one to another without warning. Having seen the printed book, the structure likely makes more sense in that format. All this said, the narration is top notch.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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audio cutting out!!

Great book. is the audio cutting out for all of you? Every couple paragraphs the narrator misses a word --_--

2 people found this helpful