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Turtles All the Way Down

Written by: John Green
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (311 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Wrenching and revelatory." (The New York Times) An instant number-one best seller, the widely acclaimed Turtles All the Way Down is John Green's brilliant and shattering new novel. 

Featured on 60 Minutes, Fresh Air, Studio 360, Good Morning Amercia, The Today Show 

"A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control." (People

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a $100,000 reward at stake, and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, Davis.     

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.     

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza's story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship. 

©2017 John Green (P)2017 Listening Library

What the critics say

"Narrator Kate Rudd dramatizes the quick intelligence and high anxiety of high school junior Aza Holmes.... Rudd expresses most strongly Aza's sarcastic inner voice, which is so developed that it becomes a character. The convincing portrayals makes it easy to see how Aza is hindered in loving, thinking, and living without fear." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book about mental illnesd

This story was amazing. sometimes, I cried, or it hurt to listen. Narrator was fantastic

2 people found this helpful

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John Green never disappoints!

To be honest, this was my first audiobook. So it took me a little bit to get into it. But not much! I'd say somewhere in chapter 3, whether that was because of the story, or because I needed to get used to listening to someone else read it other than myself. Definitely a new experience lol. But in the end, I loved it! And would highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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Wow.

I have clinical depression and am currently in treatment, so this really rang out for me. You think that its going to be about the money, but it isn't. It's about Aza. And you don't really see that until later in.

1 person found this helpful

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One of the best stories I have ever experienced

This is moving, real, and emotionally charge throughout. The reader is very talented and John Green has made this his best story yet.

1 person found this helpful

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John Green does it again.

John Green has left another hole in my heart in a way that only John Green can. He has taken another step to normalize what feels anything but normal. He has given a new breath to a struggle that so many feel they are drowning in. How humanizing to know that even when you are spiraling, you are not alone.

2 people found this helpful

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Loooooovveeedd It!

Yeah - this was great on every level. It was a great story. Heartfelt, insightful and inspiring. The narration was good. The ending was fantastic. I loved it.

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Okay all the way down.

I do love John's writing style, and he perfectly conveys what having a mental illness feels like but also what it's like to have a friend with that mental illness.

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This one

This was different than the other books! I liked it more than most of John’s earlier novels!

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Deeply Moving

This is the book I keep coming back to. An incredible and realistically hopeful story that helps me in some of my worst times. Lovely characterization and great plot!

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Narration Helped Story Greatly

Bought this book physically and found it hard to read unlike other John Green books. The narrator made this book very enjoyable!

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  • Jenifer Jacobs
  • 2017-10-15

Heartbreakingly truthful and lovely

As a psychologist for teens, as a mom, and as a person, I loved this book. Being inside the head of a young woman with an anxiety disorder was both enlightening and anxiety producing. I know, from reading the "glowing book reviews" than John Green knows of what he writes. He suffers like Aza suffers. And so it rings true. Thank you, John, for the vulnerability required to put these thoughts to paper. I know how both enlightening and healing the written word can be. The shrink scenes were funny but also realistic. And so is the recognition that there is reason to hope. I miss Aza and Daisy and Davis. I wasn't ready for their story to end. As always, in John Green books, the adolescent/parent relationships are healthy and "normal". But the parents aren't really the focus of the story (which I also love because it means I get to "be" a teenager again). Anyhow, the bottom line is: read this book. Or listen - because the narrator is wonderful.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Lynnzee
  • 2017-10-23

I hate to call it a trigger warning, but-

John Green is, as always, an excellent writer, and this performance is really good at 1.25 speed (at just normal speed it was a little flat in places, but that might just be me). However, if you actually HAVE anxiety, be prepared to take this book slowly. Maybe some people it won't affect, but I had to take regular breaks or risk having a panic attack of my own. Aza's spirals felt very real and very tangible and too, too familiar.

99 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2017-10-11

Heart wrenching

Not only does John Green deliver his usual beautifully crafted cry fest, but as a person with a mental illness, this stuck a chord deep within me. It provides a voice to the very abstract in a wonderfully accurate and complex manner that is very hard to find.
I'm not usually a fan of audiobooks, as I prefer pacing the story according to my emotional responses, but Kate Rudd delivers an entrancing performance that I was unable to stop listening to for longer than 10 minutes, even though I got this book way too late in the day for it to be appropriate to consume it in one sitting. It's 1:47 am on the 11/10/17 as I type this. That's how good this is.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Meg
  • 2017-11-03

Surprisingly small amount of actual turtles.

An amazing insight to the life of someone with mental illness. Wonderful! Kept me hooked! Listened as much as I could! Great narration, incredible story.

23 people found this helpful

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  • A. Fernandez
  • 2017-11-15

Narrator's delivery distracted throughout

As someone with both first-hand and family experience of OCD, I found John Green's depiction of his main character's mental struggles disturbingly familiar. I wish Green hadn't written Aza Holmes as already seeing a therapist and in possession of prescribed medication, because Aza's resistance to taking her meds makes her anxieties not just a curse, but also a choice. For too many OCD sufferers, particularly young ones, diagnosis and medication remain months or years away.

As usual, Green has the YA mindset down pat. I admire his deft hand in creating adolescent characters: they're silly and insecure one moment, dramatic and self-importantly profound the next.

Unfortunately, Kate Rudd's narration robbed this book of being a four or five star read for me. Though she's clearly capable of reading with feeling, she has an annoying verbal tic of over-pronouncing words, particularly "to" (whether used with infinitive verbs--to go, to think, to eat, etc.--or as a preposition). It sounds choppy and halting, as if the text is being read by a first grader picking her way through a sentence, and it consistently threw me out of the story.

26 people found this helpful

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  • ping
  • 2017-11-03

Made me feel.

I'm not the kind of person who really get emotional over books, in my long book reading history I can only name a few that actually made me feel and this book is the newest addition. I got this book pretty much solely because it was written by john green and I do love his work but I wasn't too interested in the plot but alas as I listened to it I grew more and more atratched and now that its over... John Green has produced another wonderfully written novel.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Alicia
  • 2017-10-10

Another great John Green book

As always, John Green has delivered a wonderful read. I finished it in one day. Kate Rudd is a great narrator as well, giving the already lively book a brilliant performance. I’m sure this is a book I’ll revisit often.

12 people found this helpful

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  • ArtH
  • 2017-11-03

Wow. Heavy.

This is not a light book. The story line is a fine foil to tell the real message: It sucks to have an anxiety distorter. It is like John Green attempted to boil down a young life time's worth of "most poignant explanations" of anxiety, and mashed them into one book. This is a tall order, but I think he might have been successful. It is hard to get through some of the sections... but I think that is the point. My brain naturally squirms away from this pain. But it makes me a better person to see the struggles of others. It also explores other people's reactions to anxiety, from the trivial to the deep. I can see some of my reactions to the book in the characters reaction in the book. Reaction inception. In retrospect, it is amazing that this project did not take 5 volumes.

I listened to this on a cross country trip with my kids, 16 and 18. The 16 yo did not pay attention. The 18 yo likes it but thought some of the characters were annoying. I think that those lend the feel of authenticity that other more plastic characters of other books do not have. The more... er... intimate parts of the book did create an awkward bit in the car... but again seemed to lend to the feel of authenticity to my old mind.

I grew up as lower-middle class, and I had that one super rich friend. If I told you his dads name, you would likely know it. While I cannot imagine him giving money to anyone, I did think you otherwise captured the feel of going to his house. Don't get me wrong, he was not stingy, he just knew that giving money to people creates an expectation that would poison relationships. But maybe I am wrong. His Dad would give all of his classmates laptops so that he would not be the only kid with one... this was "back in the day" when a laptop in high school would be unheard of. So maybe a desperately lonely teenager whos mom was dead and dad abandoned him would do that... but seems unlikely to me.

A good book if you are looking for something to expand your horizons.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

7 people found this helpful

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  • C. Vedro
  • 2017-10-13

Good book, terrible reading

John Green has created beautiful, endearing characters and a great story. Kate Rudd’s performance was barely tolerable. At times I thought a computer was reading it! Sorry Kate, but yikes!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-11-04

Intriguing in many ways but a let down in others

I have read all of John Greens books and this was my least favorite. That's not to say it is a bad book, it's a very well structured and thought provoking book, and I believe it will be especially touching to those readers who suffer from mental illness. That said, I was very distracted by Kate Rudd's performance. Her male voices sounded like she was mocking teenage boys and her voice for the best friend was inconsistent and gnawing. I believe the audio would have been better had she not changed voices for each character, her regular voice was very compelling. Additionally, given John Green's foreshadowing I felt the main 'mystery clue' Aza was trying to solve was obvious, and thus it was very frustrating when she continually brought it up throughout the book. Despite John Green writing realistic teen fiction, all of his novels feel like a distortion of reality, many of the events end up feeling unbelievable.


All of that aside, the main characters were chArming, and had depth, and the reader spends the whole book trying to decide if they like the best friend or not, which is really intriguing. All of the characters break the readers expectations. This book is a good read for those suffering from mental illness and young adults struggling to understand mental illness.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Friot Clara
  • 2018-07-16

A good book

Nothing spectacular here, or maybe I'm.not the right age to find it spectacular. It's a good book with a simple and solid plot. The strong part is the characters and the writing style. It can be a little triggering if you're the very anxious type. Not my thing, but pretty nice.

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  • Atlanta Golding
  • 2018-02-20

AMAZING

Mindful and mind blowing, it is the answer to all questions and the word to understand Life.