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The Great Alone: A Novel

Unabridged Audio Book

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Julia Whelan

15 Hours 3 Minutes

Macmillan Audio

February 2018

Audio Book Summary

*The #1 New York Times bestseller*

The newest audiobook sensation from Kristin Hannah, bestselling author of The Nightingale.

This program is read by acclaimed narrator Julia Whelan, whose enchanting voice brought Gone Girl and Fates and Furies to life. Kristin Hannah reads the acknowledgements.

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night audiobook about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Praise for The Great Alone:

'Listeners, beware: You won't want to stop listening to narrator Julia Whelan's performance of this complex story of survival and family...With pitch-perfect timing and a touch of drama, Whelan exquisitely builds the tension, creating an enveloping atmosphere of foreboding that's difficult to turn away from...a don't miss audiobook experience.' — AudioFile Magazine

'Reliably alluring...The Great Alone is packed with rapturous descriptions of Alaskan scenery… Hannah remembers and summons an undeveloped wilderness, describing a gloriously pristine region in the days before cruise ships discovered it.' — The New York Times Daily Review

'Kristin Hannah's new novel makes Alaska sound equally gorgeous and treacherous — a glistening realm that lures folks into the wild and then kills them there.' — The Washington Post

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  • Nancy K

    Sorry, this book was a real downer. This is a story about a family who is in trouble...big trouble. A husband with PTSD, a wife who takes the brunt of it , a relationship with poor decision making skills. A daughter who grows up with turmoil. The descriptions of Alaska and the wild beauty that exists there was the best part.

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  • Mary B.

    I have to agree with some of the other reviews - the book was extremely depressing. I felt the same depressing things were being repeated over and over. I thought the narration was good but the subject was a downer.

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  • Frances S

    Unbelievably captivating and one of the best books I have ever read.

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  • Elizabeth J

    I will give it 4 stars for being predictable and slow at times. It was a good book. The narrator made this extremely exciting.

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  • Jacob Daa H.

    I really enjoyed listening to this book - feels a bit like "Where the Crawdads sing", just set in Alaska and a bit darker Overall, a well-built story with strong characters, great descriptions of the wild Alaskan environment, and a great narrator. What's not to like!? I really don't agree with the reviewers talking about it being a downer or slow - it's all part of the story and character building, and I guess those reviewers probably don't have a lot of patience or spend too much time watching quick clips on YouTube with funny cats ...

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  • Wendy S.

    I love the author but found this book to be painfully slow. The fact that the narrator was flat didn’t help. If I had been reading the book, I surely would have not finished it.

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  • Beth M

    This was not my favorite book. I thought it dragged out too long.

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  • Kathy L

    Captivating story, easy listening, well developed characters. One minute you’re shaking your fist at them and the next minute giving them a hug.

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  • Debra K

    Awesome book. Loved every minute. Kristin Hannah is a wonderful writer. The narrator was totally captivating. I am going to listen again.

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  • Anonymous

    Beautifully written but it was predictable, painfully slow and seemed to drag on and on and on.

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