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Reproduction

A Novel
Written by: Ian Williams
Length: 16 hrs and 52 mins
3 out of 5 stars (42 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. 

Cover image from GRANGER/granger.com

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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recording issues

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Unusual Format

I found that the format was odd. Chapter titles of X and XY were strange in my mind. Some of the chapters were only one line. However, I did like the story. I was interested in the relationships within an unconventional family; some relationships by blood and some by choice of housing arrangement. The writer gave us a realistic look into the character flaws of the people in this story and yet there is an abundance of love, spoken sometimes but mostly unspoken.

I would encourage anyone to read this book because although I was frustrated with the format mostly, the book still merits consideration for its substance.

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Poetic storytelling at its best

I loved the storytelling and the performance enhanced the characters and all of their emotions. Inclusive of many cultures and very easy to visualise what life in the city looks like and feels like. Classical in the themes of love, death and redemption.

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I didn’t want it to end.

That’s all. That’s the review. Unpopular opinion: I even loved the performance of the narrators.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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DISAPPOINTING PERFORMANCE

THERE ARE A DOZEN GERMAN WORDS IN THE TEXT, AND THEIR PRESENCE IS SIGNIFICANT.. HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO TRAIN THE ACTORS TO PRONOUNCE IT CORRECTLY...THEIR VOICES WERE FLAT, BORED AND UNINSPIRING.

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terrible production quality

book was great but after chapter 300 the audio is unbearable and incomprehensible. honestly felt like it was rushed to get out.

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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.