The Life We Bury : Max Rupert and Boady Sanden

  • by Allen Eskens
  • Narrated by Zach Villa
  • Series: Max Rupert and Boady Sanden
  • 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.
As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Aided by his skeptical neighbor, Lila, Joe throws himself into uncovering the truth. Thread by thread, he begins to unravel the tapestry of Carl's conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it's too late to escape the fallout?

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What the Critics Say

"More complications ensue, until the novel's satisfying resolution." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good listen!

For a bargain book, this was pretty good. I usually stick with cozy mysteries because I don't like the violence in normal ones, and this one does get pretty graphic. But the mystery was good, kept me listening (on 1.5 speed). I bought the book because it takes place in Minnesota, where I grew up, and where else am I going to read, "The tufts of hair stood out of my head in all directions, like I'd been cowlicked by a drunken heifer" but in a book taking place in the midwest?

The main character, Joe, was likable from the beginning, he just had this authentic feel to him, and when I found out his backstory, I liked him even more. The same is true with the girl who lived next door to him. They both had some baggage, but neither one of them let it get them down much, or if they did, admitted to themselves they were doing it and accepted that. That was kind of refreshing.

The relationship between Joe and his brother was really sweet and added a layer to the story that made it all that much more worth listening to.

The narrator was really good, perfect choice for the voice of Joe.
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- Lori Michele Kelley

Flawless Narration


The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens is a great example of a novel enhanced by audible narration. The book is more than it would have been without Zach Villa, who is the voice of the main character, Joe. So impressive.

This is the story of Joe and his younger autistic brother who grew up with a worthless mother. The alcoholic mother becomes a ball and chain for Joe as he enters his adult life. Joe survives, though not without scars.

Joe's life is enhanced by meeting a convicted felon who is dying, and who agrees to tell Joe the the events surrounding his incarceration. A story he has never told before.

The Life We Bury is beautifully written, though predictable as far as a mystery goes. The conclusion, though no surprise, is exactly what the reader hopes it will be.
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- Jan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-09-2015
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio