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The Need by Helen Phillips
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The Need

$20.99

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Alex Allwine

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Length 6 hours 19 minutes
Language English
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***LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN FICTION***
Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Mystery and Thriller Books of All Time

“An extraordinary and dazzlingly original work from one of our most gifted and interesting writers” (Emily St. John Mandel, author of The Glass Hotel). The Need, which finds a mother of two young children grappling with the dualities of motherhood after confronting a masked intruder in her home, is “like nothing you’ve ever read before…in a good way” (People).

When Molly, home alone with her two young children, hears footsteps in the living room, she tries to convince herself it’s the sleep deprivation. She’s been hearing things these days. Startling at loud noises. Imagining the worst-case scenario. It’s what mothers do, she knows.

But then the footsteps come again, and she catches a glimpse of movement.

Suddenly Molly finds herself face-to-face with an intruder who knows far too much about her and her family. As she attempts to protect those she loves most, Molly must also acknowledge her own frailty. Molly slips down an existential rabbit hole where she must confront the dualities of motherhood: the ecstasy and the dread; the languor and the ferocity; the banality and the transcendence as the book hurtles toward a mind-bending conclusion.

In The Need, Helen Phillips has created a subversive, speculative thriller that comes to life through blazing, arresting prose and gorgeous, haunting imagery. “Brilliant” (Entertainment Weekly), “grotesque and lovely” (The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice), and “wildly captivating” (O, The Oprah Magazine), The Need is a glorious celebration of the bizarre and beautiful nature of our everyday lives and “showcases an extraordinary writer at her electrifying best” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Helen Phillips is the author of six books, including the novel The Need, a National Book Award nominee and a New York Times Notable Book. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her collection Some Possible Solutions received the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A professor at Brooklyn College, she lives in Brooklyn with artist/cartoonist Adam Douglas Thompson and their children. 

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Limited-time offer

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Reviews

"Listeners immediately know something is wrong as Alexandra Allwine's urgent tone opens this tense and eerie novel. There's an intruder in Molly's house, and as she crouches in the dark, clutching her two small children, her confusion from sleep deprivation spirals into primal fear. The audiobook jumps between Molly's eventual confrontation with the intruder and her time as a paleobotanist, when she spends her days digging up plant fossils from "the pit" —from which strange objects start emerging. Allwine's voice has a smoky guise that suggests the hazy days Molly so often experiences after sleepless nights. Soon, the secrets of this literary thriller start to unravel, and the dark realities of motherhood rise to the surface." Expand reviews