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Reproduction

A Novel
Written by: Ian Williams
Length: 16 hrs and 52 mins
3.0 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A hilarious, surprising, and poignant love story about the way families are invented, told with the savvy of a Zadie Smith and with an inventiveness all Ian Williams' own, Reproduction bangs lives together in a polyglot suburb of Toronto. 

Felicia and Edgar meet as their mothers are dying. Felicia, a teen from an island nation, and Edgar, the lazy heir of a wealthy German family, come together only because their mothers share a hospital room. When Felicia's mother dies and Edgar's "Mutter" does not, Felicia drops out of high school and takes a job as Mutter's caregiver. While Felicia and Edgar don't quite understand each other, and Felicia recognizes that Edgar is selfish, arrogant, and often unkind, they form a bond built on grief (and proximity) that results in the birth of a son Felicia calls Armistice. Or Army, for short. 

Some years later, Felicia and Army (now 14) are living in the basement of a home owned by Oliver, a divorced man of Portuguese descent who has two kids - the teenaged Heather and the odd little Hendrix. Along with Felicia and Army, they form an unconventional family, except that Army wants to sleep with Heather, and Oliver wants to kill Army. Then Army's fascination with his absent father - and his absent father's money - begins to grow as odd gifts from Edgar begin to show up. And Felicia feels Edgar's unwelcome shadow looming over them. A brutal assault, a mortal disease, a death, and a birth reshuffle this group of people again to form another version of the family. 

Reproduction is a profoundly insightful exploration of the bizarre ways people become bonded that insists that family isn't a matter of blood. 

This production contains audio effects intended to mimic the author’s intention in writing the novel. These effects are intentional but may be unexpected when you first hear them.

Cover image from GRANGER/granger.com

©2019 Ian Williams (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Reproduction

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So disappointed

This is an amazing novel but the narrators were honestly insulting. If you are going to narrate a story with West Indian characters they should at least be slightly familiar with the rhythm of the accent. It was so badly narrated and flat sounding and awkward and was so distracting i had to stop and just buy the book. In comparison, i just finished little fires everywhere which has Chinese accents done and was a great listen because of it

5 people found this helpful

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recording issues

Amazing read but audiobook comes with recording issues especially after you cross 10 hrs mark.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • L.
  • 2020-01-27

Great story that was frustrating to listen to for terrible audio in last 8 hours

The audio of this book deteriorated so badly in the second half. There is inconsistent volume levels electronic feedback and distortion of words throughout. You can still hear most of the story but you will be frustrated by how terrible the voices sound and by annoying changes in Edgars name over and over and over again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • PLS
  • 2019-11-03

Funny,, unapologetically Canadian...

Funny, unapologetically Canadian, with just the right amount of experimentation. What a unique offering to Canadian literature.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • KD
  • 2020-04-25

Narration was dreadful, horrible, unbearable....

Story was good, but the narrator was horrible. It was very difficult to follow. Names would change throughout the story. I could go on but it’s pointless. Audible should not be charging for this garbage.

1 person found this helpful

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Execrable.

Rarely have I been more disappointed with an audiobook. Chosen on the basis of its award-winning status I was hoping for some entertainment, insight, or drama. There was none. Any humour was buried under a drab emotionless performance. I despised all the characters for their lack of judgment, lack of effort in life, and inability to solve their own problems. Above all there was no hint of love in this book. Is this why no one smiles on Highway 401 in Toronto? Are city people this un-creative and self centered and sad? I can’t wait to cleanse my mental palette of this vile tripe served up cold and though fresh already mouldering like a gangrenous corpse. To add insult to injury they repeated hours of the book with audio effects to emphasize or mute words. If there was a point to it, sorry but I missed it.

1 person found this helpful

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Quality was not good

Halfway through the book the audio was bad on and off and the lady reading it was calling Edgar different names such as Edgrad, E E E E, Esh, ect. I found that very distracting. For my first time using Audible, I was not very impressed.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Started off good then deteriorated

I liked the first half. The audio deteriorated until I couldn't listen anymore. The book is overly long, skips decades for no reason. Characters don't grow. Gave up before I finished.

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Family

Not my typical read. The resilience of several characters struck me. s different perspective.

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Best read in print

I suspect there are many non-word messages throughout the book (whether symbols or images were used, I don't know) and this was difficult to convey in an audio book. I didn't become close to the characters -- they were always at arm's length. Good story arc and a general sense of closure.

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  • Alison
  • 2020-07-30

Special effects

The special effects at the end of the audiobook are terrible. I understand the intent but you can’t understand the actual words because of the effect.

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  • Mercedes
  • 2019-11-21

The narration is very distracting

Listening to both narrators was a painful experience. Surely, there are narrators available with Caribbean influence or experience. The fluidity of this book was lost in the static narration by both parties. Perhaps the author could have narrated instead, or at least listen to what the book became after the injection of these voices that lacked soul, diction and eloquence. The book is promising but I just couldnt bear to listen any further.