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From twice National Book Award-nominated Rachel Kushner, whose Flamethrowers was called "the best, most brazen, most interesting book of the year" (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine), comes a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America.
It's 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women's Correctional Facility, deep in California's Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.
Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Kushner's work. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. As James Wood said in The New Yorker, her fiction "succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive."
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mia on 05-04-18
Enters your brain - one time listen
This gripped me from the beginning. I could not stop listening. Unlike “You” and “Hidden bodies”, I felt no sympathy for the characters . I wanted too, but this is hardcore and I hope it will end up as a show because the “cool” chicks in “Orange is the new black” world not make it here a day.
Get ready to listen in one-sitting.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 06-08-18
Amazing novel !
From start to finish the novel is read like a stream of consciousness poetry reading at a hole in the wall nightclub. Kushner does such a great job of narration in this audible book, I’m worried I won’t be able to enjoy her other works, which are narrated by others. Given my own prior professional career I can say Kushner’s novel provides more insight into the mindset of those trapped in the modern day prison system than any book I’ve ever read. The amount of time she must have spent researching her novel is evident. So happy to have discovered such a talented writer and look forward to enjoying many more of her novels in the years to come.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful