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Publisher's Summary

A Peculiar Peril is a head-spinning epic about three friends on a quest to protect the world from a threat as unknowable as it is terrifying, from the Nebula Award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer. 

Jonathan Lambshead stands to inherit his deceased grandfather’s overstuffed mansion - a veritable cabinet of curiosities - once he and two schoolmates catalog its contents. But the three soon discover that the house is filled with far more than just oddities: It holds clues linking to an alt-Earth called Aurora, where the notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley has stormed back to life on a magic-fueled rampage across a surreal, through-the-looking-glass version of Europe replete with talking animals (and vegetables). 

Swept into encounters with allies more unpredictable than enemies, Jonathan pieces together his destiny as a member of a secret society devoted to keeping our world separate from Aurora. But as the ground shifts and allegiances change with every step, he and his friends sink ever deeper into a deadly pursuit of the profound evil that is also chasing after them. 

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year - 2020

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

©2020 Jeff VanderMeer (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about A Peculiar Peril

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  • Overall
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  • Bruce
  • 2021-01-25

A book with "all the things in it"

Did you know that a woodpecker's tongue wraps around its brain? It does. I looked it up. If you read that, and just kept on reading my review with no problem, you will probably like this book. It is *not,* in my opinion, "just awful." It is not, in my opinion, a book designed for young readers. Judge for yourself. If it is a YA book, I could not tell. It *is* weird, funny, rambling, and things explode. Like Ruth's Pouch it has "all the things in it." It is a much lighter hearted book then VanderMeer's other books. Even so, there is no mistaking who wrote it. As always, there is fungus.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Pooska42
  • 2020-08-27

oh my..just awful

I tried ...I really tried! I just couldn't follow it at all. I even started over 3 times thinking maybe I just missed something....but nope....its just bad. I wanted all of the characters to slowly die but they don't. I couldn't even finish it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • chasidy hobbs
  • 2020-10-04

FAB!

Seriously loving this book by Jeff VanderMeer​! It is like Animal Farm and Harry Potter had a baby while watching Locke and Key in Hill House! I highly recommend! The reader was also a perfect choice.

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  • J. OBrennan
  • 2020-12-14

A little over the top

I love Jeff VanderMeer, and this was definitely had some of his hallmark mind-bending world building - but the over-the-top absurdity kinda wore me out by the end. I mean, I'm curious to know what happens to the characters in subsequent books...but not enough to actually read them. Great narration though.

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  • MommaFly
  • 2020-10-03

Wow! Highly imaginative and fabulous performance!

This is a fantastic story that is just as much fun for adults! VanderMeer is a master at creating worlds and filling them with wonderful, wacky, endearing and horrifying characters. This adventure across worlds made me laugh out loud many times! Also felt grossed out, scared, and endeared to the most unexpected characters. Hold on for the ride as this narrarator brings them all to life with perfect timing and fun voices, putting on a magnificent performance. The mystery continues and I am looking forward to Book 2!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-09-13

Uniquely thrilling

Loved this book, I have loved most of Jeff Vandermeer's fiction... But this one was surprisingly easy to get into, but still has the bizarreness & deep philosophical umpf that I've come to expect from the author. Amazing performance, superb writing. An adventure I loved to be a part of, and hope for more in this universe.

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  • Katie Fitzgerald
  • 2020-07-28

Very fun!

Such a wonderful book! I hadn’t expected it to be funny, but the humor made it really fun to read! The manner of humor reminded me of Douglas Adams, at times.

Only 4 stars on the narration because I didn’t feel that the narrator accurately captured how a teenage boy would express himself. Apart from that character, he was an ace narrator.

To the author: the quiz at the end was clever. : ) I’d answer e. All of the above. I look forward to the second book!!!

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  • Linda Likes to Learn
  • 2021-04-09

STARTED 3 TIMES, COULDN'T GET PAST CHAP 29

I struggled and struggled to like this book - to just SEMI-VISUALIZE the world that I kept 'bribing' myself to just 'read one more chapter' - but I could not get involved in the story - the characters - and the fluctuating premise. It was like a horrendous combination of Alice in Wonderland meets the Satanic Empire. I expected strange characters and landscapes - but there just never seemed to be enough DESCRIPTION of the walking & talking oddities that kept turning up 'en masse'. You need to take a really extreme pledge to just keep reading and hope that eventually your 'inner eye' will finally open so you can see what is happening. The plot is simply covered with 'strangeness', but it occasionally pops back into sight to 'keep you on the right track' - then veers off again with introduction of another mind-boggling oddity. After making THREE attempts to start it again, I never got past chapter 29. I couldn't remember what I had 'read' the evening before, I'd have to re-read part of it to 'remember' what I'd read before. That is NOT the way one should enjoy a book. Premise was reasonable - friends go on a quest and weird things happen along the way. But when the 'super star satanic villain' houses himself in a humongous elephant whose innards have been redecorated to suit the new owner, I decided to bail...not like the character (who had a 'private exit' through the elephant's anal 'slide'). I should have stopped reading when the somehow alive talking head of Napoleon appeared - and sometimes disappeared. Perhaps it will someday appear as a film - which might attract more interest. Sad to have to return it - it seemed so promising when I read the description.

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  • chriStine
  • 2021-02-23

Convoluted

This book TRIED to entwine a couple different storylines but it did not work well. The book, at 22 hours, could have easily gotten the job done in 10 hours, but it still would have been dull. You never come to care about any of the characters, they're pretty bland. Maybe except Danny. There's an unknown secret war going on with no reason for it or direction to it. There was no over all point to the story. And it just kept going and going.

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  • Carey
  • 2020-12-12

It felt almost there

I thought maybe I was distracted the first time I listened to it. That maybe I’d missed something that made the story comprehensible and cohesive. There are definitely parts of this book that I’m eager to hear continued. But there’s also like... pointless word vomit. The antagonist side of things is almost unbearable.