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Publisher's Summary

"A powerful story of people struggling to keep their humanity in dire circumstances." (People Magazine)
"Tearjerker... The Great Believers asks big questions about redemption, tragedy, and connection." (Entertainment Weekly)
A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris
In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying, and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.
Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the '80s and the chaos of the modern world as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.
©2018 Rebecca Makkai (P)2018 Penguin Audio
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Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Michael] Crouch is expressive and empathetic, breathing life into the many characters without ever overacting or exaggerating accents. His timing is superb, rarely rushing or slowing the pace even when the novel takes circuitous routes." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By jenny b/hudson oh on 07-01-18

Best book for a long time!

Loved!!! The story is poignant and beautifully depicts a subject many may not know or not know from a personal perspective and the way the aids epidemic shaped a generation ... the characters are developed sensitively and unflinchingly: love,guilt, shame,hope . Kudos to the author in weaving the story to capture the humanness in all its flaws/demonstrating eloquently frailty and the longing to make sense of senselessness... narration makes this a top pick for sure !

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By ZippyBippy on 07-26-18


It's been a while since a novel ripped at my seams and left me bleeding by the side of the road quite like this. It's not an easy book to sit through, granted, but the characters are so realistically drawn and fully fleshed out that you cannot help but fall in love in them--which is a very, very bad thing when you are forced to say goodbye to them. It hurt. I can't remember the last time a novel left me blubbering like this at the end. Wow. Just, wow.

And Michael Crouch is a master storyteller. He inhabits each character so completely that you lose yourself in his voice. The story comes alive under his nimble touch. You forget that you are listening to one man voice a dozen or more characters. He's amazing and never disappoints. Buy this today. Like, immediately. But, be prepared for the emotional roller coaster that's coming!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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