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The Need

Written by: Helen Phillips
Narrated by: Alex Allwine
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the National Book Award in Fiction

"An extraordinary and dazzlingly original work from one of our most gifted and interesting writers" (Emily St. John Mandel, author of The Glass Hotel). The Need, which finds a mother of two young children grappling with the dualities of motherhood after confronting a masked intruder in her home, is "like nothing you’ve ever read before...in a good way" (People).

When Molly, home alone with her two young children, hears footsteps in the living room, she tries to convince herself it’s the sleep deprivation. She’s been hearing things these days. Startling at loud noises. Imagining the worst-case scenario. It’s what mothers do, she knows.

But then the footsteps come again, and she catches a glimpse of movement.

Suddenly Molly finds herself face-to-face with an intruder who knows far too much about her and her family. As she attempts to protect those she loves most, Molly must also acknowledge her own frailty. Molly slips down an existential rabbit hole where she must confront the dualities of motherhood: the ecstasy and the dread; the languor and the ferocity; the banality and the transcendence as the book hurtles toward a mind-bending conclusion.

In The Need, Helen Phillips has created a subversive, speculative thriller that comes to life through blazing, arresting prose and gorgeous, haunting imagery. "Brilliant" (Entertainment Weekly), "grotesque and lovely" (The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice), and "wildly captivating" (O, the Oprah Magazine), The Need is a glorious celebration of the bizarre and beautiful nature of our everyday lives and "showcases an extraordinary writer at her electrifying best" (Publishers Weekly starred review).

©2019 Helen Phillips (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Need

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  • Autumn Richter
  • 2019-07-11

Horrible.

Do not waste your tome. No plot. No development of any character- and the obsession with leaking breasts and overall body moisture was disturbing, and frankly, pointless. So disappointed. I’d give it a zero if that was an option.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Retired Disabled CA Guy
  • 2019-07-29

The mess!

A story with no purpose. Useless waste of time, especially for those of us hoping that things will get better near the end, but it doesn’t. It is still a waste of time. Repetition is rampant. How many times can you have your character sit in the corner of the kitchen on the floor or under her desk hugging her children for some nonexistent intrusion. The narrator is the only positive part of this audible and I suggest she find another story to narrate the next time.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Helena
  • 2019-11-22

Wow

Bizarre...otherworldly...but somehow familiar all at once. This is Helen Phliips’ skill: to blur reality with fantasy, and do so seamlessly, with elegance and shock. Each piece of her body of work is entrancing.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Gerry
  • 2019-08-15

If your a Mom — of 2 littles,,

The Need was a bit to much of Mommy, mommy,mommy - I get the message , but for me it was just to much about how exhausting being a Mom is . Anyone who has raised children know exactly how tiring it can be - and I guess if I were younger and in the midsts of doing that - this story may have held my attention more , or possibly less . Ok story line- not book I couldnt put down by any means....,,,

4 people found this helpful

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  • Meagan Gibson
  • 2022-12-19

You have to follow…

Very closely or you will be lost…. Quite honestly I should give it another read through, not sure if it went over my head or if it simply the way the story was laid out.

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  • Jan Ostler
  • 2022-07-08

Bizarre

The story is bazaar and Clever at the same time. That being said I am still lost.

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  • Johna I.
  • 2022-06-11

Couldn’t finish

Did not hold my interest. Perhaps a young mother solely focused on her children might enjoy this story