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Ohio

Written by: Stephen Markley
Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The debut of a major talent, a lyrical and emotional novel set in an archetypal small town in northeastern Ohio - a region ravaged by the Great Recession, an opioid crisis, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - depicting one feverish, fateful summer night in 2013 when four former classmates converge on their hometown, each with a mission, all haunted by the ghosts of their shared histories.

Since the turn of the century, a generation has come of age knowing only war, recession, political gridlock, racial hostility, and a simmering fear of environmental calamity. In the country’s forgotten pockets, where industry long ago fled, where foreclosures, Walmarts, and opiates riddle the land, death rates for rural whites have skyrocketed, fueled by suicide, addiction, and a rampant sense of marginalization and disillusionment. This is the world the characters in Stephen Markley’s brilliant debut novel, Ohio, inherit. This is New Canaan.

On one fateful summer night in 2013, four former classmates converge on the rust belt town where they grew up, each of them with a mission, all of them haunted by regrets, secrets, lost loves. There’s Bill Ashcraft, an alcoholic, drug-abusing activist whose fruitless ambitions have taken him from Cambodia to Zuccotti Park to New Orleans, and now back to “The Cane” with a mysterious package strapped to the underside of his truck; Stacey Moore, a doctoral candidate reluctantly confronting the mother of her former lover; Dan Eaton, a shy veteran of three tours in Iraq, home for a dinner date with the high school sweetheart he’s tried to forget; and the beautiful, fragile Tina Ross, whose rendezvous with the captain of the football team triggers the novel’s shocking climax.

At once a murder mystery and a social critique, Ohio ingeniously captures the fractured zeitgeist of a nation through the viewfinder of an embattled Midwestern town and offers a prescient vision for America at the dawn of a turbulent new age.

©2018 Stephen Markley (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

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  • Matthew Hall
  • 2018-08-26

Absolutely Moving and Deeply Haunting

This was not something I thought I would enjoy. I'm from a small town in Ohio and graduated high school in 2004. So I don't need someone telling me about the crashed economy and the opium epidemic. While there is a lot of this book that is very real and I was able to see a piece of myself in every character the story is something else entirely. This is a book about consequences and childhood. It's about how what you do when you don't know any better can haunt your whole life. When we were young we never knew what we would regret forever but we all made mistakes that we never get over. This is that book. If you decide on this story my only advice is pay attention to the many characters involved as there are alot. The experience is so deeply rewarding.

39 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Btongue
  • Orlando, Florida
  • 2018-10-18

Wow! Captivating... surprising... wow.

This is quite a story. Told with such detail that you wonder how the author’s mind could produce it without being a part of the story himself. Loved how the readers changed with the characters. I was truly engrossed the whole way through. Highly recommend

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • adaum
  • 2018-11-17

Scarily entertaining

This was an amazing listen. The characters are all fascinatingly flawed, which causes you to both care about them and be revolted by them. The author tells the story from one character's perspective at a time, which allows for truly jaw dropping twists as the story unfolds. You will have to stop and re-think your perceptions of each character as you learn more about them than they know themselves. In the end the story is a tragedy, that is completely believable which makes it even scarier. #ComingOfAge #Dark #Mindbending #America #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Saint Joseph, MI, United States
  • 2018-09-03

This one is different

I decided to try this book based on the Audible recommendation. I'm glad I did. Best book I've listened to in several years. Not a happy story, but great character devlopment and engaging all they way to a very good ending.

Just get it. You won't regret it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel Subido
  • 2018-08-23

Great book :)

A lot of characters, so gotta pay close attention. But damn, it’s a great book.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-22

Without Words

I do not even know where to began to do the justice of a proper review for this novel. Being a born and breed Ohioan myself I reminisce throughout the chapters of those long summer nights with friends who's names now long forgotten. Reminded by the month of September that those fresh faces in the classroom will fade out too when silver covers my head like the lines around my eyes. Markley doesn't force the memories of high school years rather he brings the sounds, smells and voices that filled those days back like a rippling wave of the lake one so often jump into on those hot summer nights in Ohio. I suggest not to read any more reviews and starting listening to the fantastic narrators of the impeccable novel that is Ohio!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Nikki Eschmann Kirsch
  • Wrentham, MA, US
  • 2018-11-12

Just wow

I stumbled onto this book and I am so glad that I did. An incredible read, beautifully written and beautifully performed. Life is complicated and wonderful and heartbreaking. Just, wow.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Linden Thoburn
  • Brighton, MI, US
  • 2019-04-07

Treacherous and beautiful

Wow! This book came as a total surprise. It begins with a chapter that pulls you into the landscape with language that does not let you go until the surprising last pages. I had to read this one twice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank Daugherty
  • Columbus OH USA
  • 2019-02-14

Great Story Great Performance

having gone to school in that area. And dating someone and living there part-time for a couple years. I found the story very good. found it very relevant and I like the idea of the complexity of the characters that were able to be developed. I also like the multi voice performances it gives you more of a sense of telling an individual side of the story which was the first time I've experienced that in Audible.

very well done all around and I highly recommend the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • SHANNON BOEHM
  • Ward, Ar
  • 2018-09-07

So good, you will want to listen again

I have not listened to a book this well written since The Nix! I highly recommend this book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful