Good Kings Bad Kings

  • by Susan Nussbaum
  • Narrated by Christina Delaine, Lauren Fortgang, Emma Galvin, Alexander Cendese, David Ledoux, Karen Murray, Daya Mendez
  • 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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).


What the Critics Say

"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

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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- Shelley

Story enhanced by wonderful audio production

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio selection. The story centers around disabled kids and staff in a nursing home set outside Chicago. The story is compelling, realistic and yet upbeat. Each chapter is narrated from a single point of view and the chapters rotate between different lead characters. The story progresses in a linear fashion but some of the most painful details are revealed after the fact by the speaker in the next chapter. The author reveals the flaws and foibles of the main characters but you love them and root for them anyway. The multi-narrator audio production was top notch. It really enhanced the experience and made the characters that much more real. I will remember this book for a long time to come.
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- Liz

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-28-2013
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books