Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel Price: $20.95 (as of 28/07/2021 15:04 PST- Details)

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Winner of the 2018 Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved 11-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery.

“My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

The 166-person full cast features award-winning actors and musicians, as well as a number of Saunders’ family, friends, and members of his publishing team, including, in order of their appearance:

Nick Offerman as Hans Vollman
David Sedaris as Roger Bevins III
Carrie Brownstein as Isabelle Perkins
George Saunders as The Reverend Everly Thomas
Miranda July as Mrs. Elizabeth Crawford
Lena Dunham as Elise Traynor
Ben Stiller as Jack Manders
Julianne Moore as Jane Ellis
Susan Sarandon as Mrs. Abigail Blass
Bradley Whitford as Lt. Cecil Stone
Bill Hader as Eddie Baron
Megan Mullally as Betsy Baron
Rainn Wilson as Percival “Dash” Collier
Jeff Tweedy as Captain William Prince
Kat Dennings as Miss Tamara Doolittle
Jeffrey Tambor as Professor Edmund Bloomer
Mike O’Brien as Lawrence T. Decroix
Keegan-Michael Key as Elson Farwell
Don Cheadle as Thomas Havens
Patrick Wilson as Stanley “Perfesser” Lippert

With Kirby Heyborne as Willie Lincoln, Mary Karr as Mrs. Rose Milland, and Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator

Praise for the audiobook

Lincoln in the Bardo sets a new standard for cast recordings in its structure, in its performances, and in its boldness. Now, let’s see who answers the challenge.” (Chicago Tribune)

“Like the novel, the audiobook breaks new ground in what can be accomplished through a story. It helps that there’s not a single bad note in the cast of a whopping 166 people. It’s also the rare phenomenon of an audiobook being a completely different experience compared to the novel. Even if you’ve read the novel, the audiobook is worth a listen (and vice versa). The whole project pushes the narrative form forward.” (A.V. Club)

“The result is an auditory experience unlike any other, where the awareness of individual voices disappears while the carefully calibrated soundscape summons a metaphysical masterpiece. This is a tour de force of audiobook production, and a dazzling realization of Saunders’ unique authorial structure.” (Booklist)

“The finished audiobook’s tapestry of voices perfectly mirrors the novel.” (Entertainment Weekly)

©2017 George Saunders (P)2017 Random House Audio