Imagine Me Gone

  • by Adam Haslett
  • Narrated by Ellen Archer, Robert Fass
  • 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: How far will we go to save the people we love the most?
When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings - the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec - struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.
Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.
With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.

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What the Critics Say

"Spectacular.... You should buy this book, you should read it, and you should admire it.... [It] is the herald of a phenomenal career." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Exceedingly well written...a high-spirited, slyly astute exploration of our great bottoming out." (The Boston Globe)
"Haslett possesses a rich assortment of literary gifts: an instinctive empathy for his characters and an ability to map their inner lives in startling detail; a knack for graceful, evocative prose; and a determination to trace the hidden arithmetic of relationships." (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A melancholic foray into the world of mental illness

Excellent narrators. They did a great job of conveying the current mindset of the characters, which changes throughout the book (example: Michael on meds and off meds). The narrators didn't sound like they were reading at all.

A sense of melancholy and foreboding pervades this book, which is primarily what held my interest—the knowledge that something bad will happen, but having yet to discover what, when, how, and why. The writing is strong. I especially liked that the story is told through the alternating points of view of the different family members; an interesting and effective approach, particularly in this case, as it enables the reader to see how the circumstances affect each family member, in turn. I'm not sure I can say I "enjoyed" it per se—this book addresses mental illness and the toll it takes on the victim and everyone close to that person, so although enlightening, it's also quite depressing. Well done, but unless someone is seeking to understand what people suffering from mental illness go through, to "walk a mile in their shoes," I don't know that I would go out of my way to recommend it.

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- Jen B.

deeply moving

enjoyed this on my long drives- cars are boring and this novel was deeply moved me exploring mental illness and how it effects those closest
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- Kimberly

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-03-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio