In the Country of Last Things

  • by Paul Auster
  • Narrated by Vanessa Redgrave
  • 2 hrs and 53 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From a background of ease and comfort, from a time and place where life still makes some kind of sense, Anna Blume embarks on a search for her missing brother. Soon she finds herself trapped in a city whose consciousness is obsessed with last things: with the means and manner of death. In this culture of doom, the masses are homeless, theft has ceased to be a crime. Production has ceased, and dying and disassembly are the only growth industries. As survival becomes her sole motivation, Anna takes up the occupation of scavenger, searching for objects from the past which she then sells for food and shelter. But even in this landscape of devastation, her humanity prevails as she finds friendship, love and even some hope for the future. In the Country of Last Things reaffirms the singular gifts of Paul Auster.

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What the Critics Say

Vanessa Redgrave is not so much an actress as a force of nature…Here she reins it in to deliver an appropriately detached portrayal of a sheltered young Jewess cast on her own devices in a nightmarish world of terror and entropy. While playing against the unremitting horror of the first-person narration, she vividly impersonates the characters in dialogue scenes.” (AudioFile)
“Auster's, one of the best, is distinguished by an uncanny grasp of the day-to-day realities of homelessness. This is a scary but highly relevant book.” (Library Journal)
“[Auster] creates a tone that deftly combines matter-of-factness and estrangement.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The story had a bit of a slow start.

If you could sum up In the Country of Last Things in three words, what would they be?

Future dystopia setting with the main character/story teller writing to an unknown source.


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect of the story started when the main character began to tell her story more. The least interesting part was the beginning because I had a hard time telling whom she was suppose to be speaking to, and where she was writing from.


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

Vanessa Redgrave did a great job at setting the tone for the story and her voice over kept me listening even when I didn't know what was happening story wise.


Who was the most memorable character of In the Country of Last Things and why?

The most memorable character was the journalist the main character fell in love with in the middle of the story, and jump started the main characters subplot.


Any additional comments?

A great story toward the middle and end of the novel. Started reading this book based on a Book Club recommendation. Definitely worth talking about.

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- Stephanie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-19-2009
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books