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Publisher's Summary

Told in alternating perspectives by a varied and vocal cast of characters, Nussbaum pulls back the curtain to reveal the complicated and funny and tough life inside the walls of an institution for juveniles with disabilities. From Yessenia Lopez, who dreams of her next boyfriend and of one day of living outside those walls, to Teddy, a resident who dresses up daily in a full suit and tie, to Mia, who guards a terrifying secret, Nussbaum has crafted a multifaceted portrait of a way of life hidden from most of us.
In this isolated human warehouse on Chicago's South Side, friendships are forged, trust is built, and love affairs begin. And it's in their alliances that the residents ultimately find the strength to bond together and finally fight back against their mistreatment.
Told with humor and authenticity in voices that stay with you long past the last moments, Good Kings Bad Kings is at once strikingly original, baldly funny, and profoundly moving.
Performed by an ensemble cast, with Chris Delaine (Joanne Madsen), Lauren Fortgang (Michelle Volkmann), Emma Galvin (Yessenia Lopez), Alexander Cendese (Teddy Dobbs), David Ledoux (Ricky Hernandez), Karen Murray (Jimmie Kendrick), and Daya Mendez (Mia Oviedo).
©2013 Susan Nussbaum. Recorded by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel hill, a Division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc. (P)2013 HighBridge Company
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Critic Reviews

"This is fiction at its best. The story's sharp eye allows no one to take shelter, and it doesn't flinch, it is simply and breathtakingly honest. A stunning accomplishment." (Barbara Kingsolver)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Jody L. Jordet on 05-08-17

It was great . . . until the abrupt end!

Would you try another book from Susan Nussbaum and/or the narrators?

I loved the narrators -they brought the story to life - they were wonderful! I did like the book - REALLY liked it - until it ended so suddenly. I actually downloaded it from another audio book company, thinking my Audible recording maybe cut out. It did the same thing. Assuming the paper copy ends with chapter 48 and the words, "It was Ricky," then the ending of this book sucked. Like she forgot to remember to finish her thought. Another review said to be prepared to cry at the end . . . but nothing tear worthy at the end of mine. I was SO MAD it ended, but only because it was like in the middle of a thought. I just don't get it. Never been so disappointed in an ending in my life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mia was my favorite. Partly, her narration was excellent, but she also had an interesting story - although not sure what really happened before ILSE, because the book ended too soon.
I actually really liked the way the representative that brought in new kids (name forgotten) progressed through the story, too, until the abrupt end.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

So much LIFE and the ability to understand whose story is whose.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Shelley on 03-15-14

Fantastic performances; moving and inspiring story

Where does Good Kings Bad Kings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Because I serve people with developmental disabilities in my professional life, I was intrigued to listen to this award-winning book. Different narrators voice the different characters and do so with the liveliness of actual stage performances. I loved it!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Good Kings Bad Kings?

The whole book was well plotted and the little "reveals" about each character were all memorable.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

I have to say I liked them all!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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