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Broken River

Fiction: Literary
Unabridged   11.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/16/2017

Broken River

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781681683911
Digital Download ISBN:9781681683928


An unusual and inventive psychological thriller about a Brooklyn family that moves to a house in upstate New York, in the wake of the husband's affair. Twelve years before, there was a brutal double murder in the house, during which a young girl escaped; this event affects the houses new inhabitants in surprising ways.

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Product Description

Karl, Eleanor, and their daughter, Irina, arrive from New York City in the wake of Karl's infidelity to start anew. Karl tries to stabilize his flailing art career. Eleanor, a successful commercial novelist, eagerly pivots in a new creative direction. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Irina becomes obsessed with the brutal murders that occurred in the house years earlier. And, secretly, so does her mother. As the ensemble cast grows to include Louis, a hapless salesman in a carpet warehouse who is haunted by his past, and Sam, a young woman newly reunited with her jailbird brother, the seemingly unrelated crime that opened the story becomes ominously relevant.

Hovering over all this activity looms a gradually awakening narrative consciousness that watches these characters lie to themselves and each other, unleashing forces that none of them could have anticipated and that put them in mortal danger. Broken River is a cinematic, darkly comic, and sui generis psychological thriller that could only have been written by J. Robert Lennon.


"An omniscient, objective narrative viewpoint—the Observer—floats ethereally through Lennon’s psychological thriller . . . The Observer’s interest shifts . . . [to] the unhappy, guilt-ridden Louis and Joe, a hulking brute who enjoys killing . . . When they and their potential victims face off, Huber performs the scene as shocking and suspenseful, no small task from the Observer’s more detached perspective." —Publishers Weekly Audio Review

"Lennon has written a realistic novel, with vivid characters and flashes of humor and an evocative mood, that is also a playful, sophisticated meditation on storytelling itself: down-home metafiction." —New York Times

"There are moments here of chilling violence, and of nuanced comedies of manners; the result is a heady novel that distills a host of anxieties into something offbeat and hard to shake." —Star Tribune

"[A] dark and brooding thriller." —SFGate

"It is, simply, brilliant." —Spectrum Culture

"A darkly hilarious examination of human behavior. . . . The characters are so richly developed they resonate as someone familiar--and that's what makes this wonderfully absorbing novel equally funny, terrifying and heartbreaking." —Shelf Awareness

Author Bio

J. Robert Lennon is the author of seven novels, including Familiar, Castle, and Mailman, and a story collection, Pieces for the Left Hand. His fiction as appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, Playboy, and The New Yorker. He lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches writing at Cornell University.