A Cure for Suicide

  • by Jesse Ball
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Kirby Heyborne
  • 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Long-Listed for the National Book Award
From the author of Silence Once Begun, a beguiling new novel about a man starting over at the most basic level and the strange woman who insinuates herself into his life and memory.
A man and a woman have moved into a small house in a small village. The woman is an "examiner", the man her "claimant". The examiner is both doctor and guide, charged with teaching the claimant a series of simple functions: This is a chair, this is a fork, this is how you meet people. She makes notes in her journal about his progress: He is showing improvement, yet his dreams are troubling. One day the examiner brings the claimant to a party, where he meets Hilda, a charismatic but volatile woman whose surprising assertions throw everything the claimant has learned into question. What is this village? Why is he here? And who is Hilda?
A fascinating novel of love, illness, despair, and betrayal, A Cure for Suicide is the most captivating novel yet from one of our most audacious and original young writers.

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What the Critics Say

"Elegant, spellbinding.... With the simplicity of a fable and the drama of a psychological thriller, Ball tells a story about starting over from nothing, reconstructing life from its most basic elements. These acts of narrative deconstruction highlight his strengths as a deeply questioning writer at home in fact as much as abstraction.... Ball deftly explores questions with the eye of a poet and the logic of a philosopher, revealing new facets with perfect timing and acuity. At each unforeseeable turn, A Cure for Suicide is a story Ball ensures we understand and, because it is subtle and breathtaking, we are happy to be told." (Sarah Gerard, The New York Times Book Review)
"War doesn't exist anymore, and neither do prisons, in the seemingly not-so-distant future where Jesse Ball's magnetic, suspenseful, occasionally heart-rending fifth novel, A Cure for Suicide, unfolds.... There are echoes of the Peter Weir movie The Truman Show and the Tom McCarthy novel Remainder.... Seeded with humor…. Ball also weaves in romance - the sweet triumph of a resilient heart.... Hypnotic." (Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe )
"Ball...craft[s] a full, satiating story.... A rich, tragic love story.... The heart of the claimant's motivations - a dense kernel buried and reshaped by the Process of the Villages - is revealed, richly adorned with sensuous scenes.... Ball is commenting on the texture of our strongest memories - jagged rocks that jut out amid the steady tide of daily life.... An enthralling thought experiment that considers the value of memory versus the pain of grief." (Maddie Crum, The Huffington Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Comes up short on so many levels ...

Depressing and self-indulgent. I kept waiting for it to get better but the final third of the book is a complete mess. The author should stick to poetry - can't carry a narrative or plot.
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- Scott

First Enlightening than Confusing

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not sure, probably not. In the beginning of the book the characters and the flow of the story moves forward in a perfect order. Then something changes and you, the reader, are not sure if you are listening to a reflection of the character or the continuum of the story.


If you’ve listened to books by Jesse Ball before, how does this one compare?

None before, maybe some in the future...


What about Cassandra Campbell and Kirby Heyborne ’s performance did you like?

The Reader interpretation of the book was enjoyable, however, the story was just not worth any more time.


Was A Cure for Suicide worth the listening time?

Sorry, this book was difficult to follow, for me. I gave up on the story with 1Hr43M remaining. The dots of the story just stopped, connecting.


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- R. Kov.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-17-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio