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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times Best seller

An Esquire Best Book of the Year

A Wall Street Journal Favorite Book of the Year

A Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist

From legendary storyteller Stephen King, whose “restless imagination is a power that cannot be contained” (The New York Times Book Review), comes a thrilling new novel about a good guy in a bad job.

Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?

How about everything.

This spectacular can’t-pause novel is part war story, part love letter to small town America and the people who live there, and it features one of the most compelling and surprising duos in King fiction, who set out to avenge the crimes of an extraordinarily evil man. It’s about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption.

You won’t put this story down, and you won’t forget Billy.

©2021 Stephen King. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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What listeners say about Billy Summers

Average Customer Ratings
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Absolutely Wonderful

I have read, and re-read every Stephen King book. I loved almost every one of them. This one, however hits it out of the park. It is admirable that Mr. King is able to unselfishly weave his extensive knowledge of what other people have written into his books. Obviously he meticulously researched the war in Afghanistan and dropped it unadorned and raw into my mind. It chilled me to the bone. The end could not have been shaped any better. I feel as if Billy Summers was an actual person and feel fortunate to have been able to share a little of his life. Was he a good man or a bad man? Doesn't matter - he was superb. Thank you again Mr. King.

22 people found this helpful

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King skeptics -- Don't pass on this one

No ghosts or paranormal hookery. The impeccable craftmanship of the first 2/3 of this stark last job noire masterpiece is stunning and worth 5 stars for that alone. I could have left it there and gone away amazed. The last third is not particularly strong but doesn't hurt the novel . A mere side bar to be forgotten. The beginning is where the story lives and I will return often. If Mr. King has more of this in him, I'm in.

Narration superb.

13 people found this helpful

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Good as always

Top notch narration. Great story. Likeable/unlikable characters. Excellent character development. I much prefer Mr.King's crime novels opposed to the horror but I'll read/listen to anything he author's. Great buy. I recommend.

7 people found this helpful

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He did it again!!

I know that many call SK a master of horror. but, I don't know - thriller is more accurate, and a master of realism. He takes a story and makes it real to my heart. I have always felt that he is the one writer who "goes there". Most wouldn't say what we know is on all our minds but we are too fresh as a daisy to say so . But he does - like describing all of Alice when he rescues her. he has done it again here, and still intertwines a little bit about what we love in his story, just a little titillation of stories from the past! did you catch them????? If not, go backwards! lived this story and its just one more I hope they turn into a limited series. Although, film in never as good as the written word. Lived every minute of this one and I'm sorry it's over - again.

5 people found this helpful

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Stick to horror

Not one of his better books. Poorly put together and very poorly ended. Try again

5 people found this helpful

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Awesome!

Another brilliant novel! Paul Sparks reading is excellent beyond words, fully immerses himself into the main character and brings him and all of the others to life. A spectacular story, thank you Mr. King! Ya did good.

5 people found this helpful

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Great Book

It was a great a story, however it's apparent that Trump has a lot of free real estate in King's head. Takes away from the story.

4 people found this helpful

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Damn you Marge

This was a well put together book. I fully enjoyed it. It wàs long, but worth it. Almost cried in the end.
Bravo Mr. King, bravo

4 people found this helpful

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Genre switch hits it out of the park

Writing successful horror, supernatural or science fiction stories has defined the career of Mr. King. To write a crime novel without those elements coming into play elevates this author to the top echelon of a different popular category. There are so many entertaining and pleasurable layers to this story about a hired killer. The book within a book, the zig zag to a rescue and rehabilitation of a victim of sexual violence, the final justice to a powerful shadowy figure and several unexpected twists and turns that do not seem forced. For me this book stands beside the best of some of my favorite authors for this genre - Michal Connelly and Joe Nesbo. I remember once misinterpreting an advertisement for the police procedural master. Michael Connelly. A blurb for his book, The Late Shift made a reference to vampires. I was bowled over that this author had changed his stripes and was writing a supernatural book. Turned out that reference was not supposed to be taken literally - it was just detectives solving crimes during the night hours.

It is interesting to see some of the reviews that go against how I experienced this book. One reviewer told Stephen King to stick to horror. I don't know if Michael Connelly could write an entertaining nuanced vampire novel, but I do know Stephen can knock it out of the park changing genres. There are also several reviews that dump on the narrator. I found the relaxed delivery and different voices to be top notch. Some people don't like pauses. For me, the best speeches use pauses for effect. I was transported to another world by the synergy supplied by the author and narrator. There is one narrator that can ruin a book for me - everything sounds like an emergency. I steer clear of books by that person. Fortunately, I like this narrator. He can hit all the emotions at a relaxed pace.

I have listened to three Stephen King books. 11.22.63 was a masterpiece, Under the Dome was interesting but bloated and too long and this book. In my opinion, Billy Summers is worth your attention. I loved it.

This is my first review on the Canadian site. I have about 95 reviews with a few thousand helpful votes on the U.S. site. I scanned those reviews and there are many reviews bashing the book. These reviews indicate the book is too political, it is anti Trump etc. There is scant reference to Trump and no political diatribes. These people are just reacting to Stephen's courageous real life stand against Trump politics. I wanted to add my perspective for this review to the site - it is a good book and has hardly anything to do with politics. But, I was informed - you have to first buy the book to review it. The way some of those hit job reviews were written, I'm convinced they did not read the book. But, they must have bought it. So who wins, I think Stephen does because their hatred is so intense, they have to buy the book first before they can bash the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Another hit!

If you like to be challenged emotionally, this book is for you. It brings out raw emotion and makes you think about how you feel about controversial issues. What would you do in situations like these. I am an avid Stephen King reader and I think it's one of my favorites.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Victor @ theAudiobookBlog dot com
  • 2021-08-03

Absolutely amazing

Stephen King is one of the best authors in the world. He has written more than 100 books, short stories, and novellas in almost all genres out there. I experienced many of them as audiobooks and his latest novel, Billy Summers, was just released this week. I’d say that we are blessed to receive two novels from this amazing author in just one year.

I am a huge fan of Mr. King and I started listening to this audiobook as soon as it was available.

Billy Summers is an assassin for hire. He is working for a bad man by providing his services in order to kill other bad men. He is the best in the business, but he wants to retire. As always, a last job comes up and Billy cannot refuse this offer.

Well written, easy to follow, filled with interesting characters, and made even more immersive by the author‘s vivid descriptions, Billy Summers is another page-turner that will delight and entertain the readers and the listeners.

I have to admit that I was a little concerned to have such a work of literature recorded by someone who has no experience narrating audiobooks, but I can confirm that my worries were completely unfounded and I am ashamed to have ever doubted this actor.

Paul Sparks does a very good job with all the characters and the events in this captivating story. You may recognize Paul from his role as gangster Mickey Doyle in the HBO period drama series Boardwalk Empire. He draws from his experience in that great TV show in order to bring all the colorful characters from Billy Summers to life. Listen to the sample and hear for yourself the way he handles this production.

With Billy Summers, the king of horror proved to his constant readers once again that he can write anything. Reminiscent of Goodfellas, The Godfather or Don Winslow‘s The Winter of Frankie Machine, Billy Summers is a tribute to mobster novels everywhere and also a beautiful love story.

433 people found this helpful

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  • Jim G.
  • 2021-08-05

We get it, Steve.

I’m on Chapter 80 and had to pause to throw this out there. I don’t think I’ve ever “read” a Stephen King book where he makes his politics so known. He mentions Trump so often it is jarring and pulls me out of what is otherwise a fantastic story. We get it, Steve. You didn’t like the last POTUS.

351 people found this helpful

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  • Susan McKenzie
  • 2021-08-03

Great, but heartbreaking because I can't HEAR it!

Waited for this to come out today, and only on chapter 3, So far the story is great, the narrator's actual voice is great, but I can't HEAR him. His voice lowers down suddenly for no apparent reason. Checked my speakers, and sure enough, his voice is only carrying to about 30% while my speakers are turned up to 100% capacity. So, it's just sort of sad.
Will update if I figure this out.

264 people found this helpful

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  • ReaderCT
  • 2021-08-03

Poor choice of a narrator

The narrator ruined this book. I don’t know what the thinking behind it was but making every secondary character sound slurred, drunk or slow made this nearly unbearable . Couldn’t focus on the story. He sounds awful

246 people found this helpful

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  • Ski Bear
  • 2021-08-04

Excellent, nice change up from Mr King!

First things first, the narrator. Paul Sparks, is far better than some of these early reviews reflect! I can not stress enough the importance of SAMPLING a read before purchasing or listing to. Then you know what to expect! That said, Paul Sparks nailed it. This is not a “Will Patton’ story, it is a very different one…. If you are a true king avid reader, you will be pleasantly pleased! As with his previous works that depart from his typical better know horror, some of his best works in fact, he weaves a story that will keep the more causal of readers- not “page turning enthusiast” turning the pages! It’s that entertainingly engaging! Admirers of Jeffery Deaver, Rollins, Dean Koontz. Preston-Childs “Pendergast” novels and the like should enjoy Stephen King most recent endeavor! Never laking in intrigue, suspense, drama, thrills and subtle twists that twist tighter right to the very end!! Classic Stephen King if you really read and know Stephen King, the master of storytelling……….

208 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 2021-08-08

SK, please drop the political satire.

Political opinion has all but ruined traditional forms of entertainment like professional sports and the entertainment industry...their overt hypocrisy has forced many of us to just tune them out. Please don't let this compulsion to signal your political correctness opinions likewise taint your works. There are a lot of wonderful authors who can weave a great story without interjecting their individual biases.

173 people found this helpful

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  • Bob the troll
  • 2021-08-05

I get it king you are a good liberal.

over a dozen Trump references or Maga or make America great . it was a decent story except for the repeated jabs of wokeness

162 people found this helpful

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  • Tucson K-9
  • 2021-08-04

The narrator put me to sleep.

Going to read it instead. Bring back George Guidall. This narrator put me to sleep.

155 people found this helpful

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  • Sasha Stone
  • 2021-08-09

Major Stephen King Fan but I'm Trumped Out

I was dreading reading this because I follow Mr. King on Twitter and I know what his politics were. IMO Trump broke the left. He broke everything I loved about it. But it seemed to hit men especially hard, the Trump thing. I got so overloaded on hate hate hate -- unfiltered, bottomless rage coming from the left against one person and his family and his supporters that even I tuned out the left. So the second i heard "Maga hat" in this I figured reading it would be as stressful as being on Twitter. We're all just people. We're all just Americans. We have to learn to get along. I appreciate Stephen King wanted to go through this but imagine now the movies we'll have to watch, the TV shows, the books. It will be All Trump and anger by the left against Trump all of the time. For the love of all things holy, please stop the madness before it eats you all alive.

That said, I did not mind the narrator. Maybe someday I'll try to finish it but not right now. Too much too soon.

138 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-08-04

poor reader

the story was pretty good. by no means King's top tier. but by no means bad either. however, the reader was very poor.i was able to get used to it eventually. But he was very boring and mostly had a poor voice for reading, the poor reader definitely took away from the story in my opinion.

115 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 2021-12-04

A pleasant surprise

I bought this audio book not knowing what to expect but knowing I love Stephen King.
This is something of a departure from his usual work in that there is nothing supernatural or at least very very little. Having said that this what critics call hard to put down. The performance is excellent and I would recommend this audio book to any Stephen King fans as well as any fans of suspense fiction. The references to his previous works of the shining and the stand in this case are always a pleasure.